There's Something About Louis...
As a new photo is released to celebrate Prince Louis turning 3, just how has the youngest Cambridge become The Royal Family's biggest and brightest star?
APRIL 23rd, 2021
he Trooping the Colour ceremony takes place every year in London. It is a moment of pomp and pageantry for a celebration of the Queen’s “official” birthday. As is tradition, towards the end of the ceremony there is a flypast which is watched by the entire Royal Family, young and old, standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Each year the public and press watch with undiluted attention as the Royals interact with one another; pointing to the passing aircrafts and standing for the national anthem. Usually, The Queen is the main attraction, the one stoic figure who garners the attention of us all.
Yet, in 2019, that didn’t quite happen. Instead, safely tucked in the arms of his mother the Duchess of Cambridge, a one-year-old Prince Louis instantly became the Royal Family’s biggest and sweetest star.
Overzealous waving (just ask Camilla, whose hat took a beating), pointing, and then waving some more, Prince William and Catherine’s youngest son seemingly captured the hearts and humour of the entire world. It was similar to watching a royal star being crowned - unafraid of the crowds, perfectly sure of himself and determined to immerse himself in the action.
Prince Louis injected laughter and joy into a ceremony which had been repeated for over a century, and it was near impossible to take your eyes off of him.
Whilst some had been pleasantly surprised by the toddler’s adorable actions, others weren’t, for Louis had been somewhat of a character from the moment the world set eyes on him.
At his christening, a wonderful photo was released by Kensington Palace showing a beaming baby Louis looking off camera alongside the Duchess of Cambridge. Even at such a young age, his natural charm shone through the camera lens. And then at the unveiling of Catherine’s Chelsea Flower Show Garden, Louis once again stole our attention. Toddling up to the camera, his inquisitive personality was ignited by the cheekiest smile - a tearaway Prince who just exuded stardom.
That stardom was on full show at 2019’s Trooping the Colour. For the first time Louis' strong and loving personality was unquestionable. Transferring from his mother’s arms to his father’s, the prince pouted, pointed, cheered, smiled and waved, and waved, and waved again. He was quite simply an elixir for the soul. Though perhaps the sweetest moment came towards the end of the ceremony, once the planes had fallen silent and the Royal Family were making their way back into Buckingham Palace.
Upon seeing his grandfather, Prince Charles, Louis continued his exuberant waving, much to the delight of the future king. It is of no surprise that Charles has a special and close relationship with his grandson. A photo to mark the Prince of Wales's 70th birthday showed the two of them in a warm and loving embrace, and after past rumoured complaints by Charles that he felt he never saw enough of his grandchildren, it showed that away from the gossip, George, Charlotte, and in particular Louis, were extremely close to their grandfather.
But besides from the aesthetic of Prince Louis - dubbed ‘Boss Baby’ by royal fans - the three-year-old is already beginning to stand out from the royal crowd. But why? What is it about Prince Louis that makes him emit such star quality?
Whilst his young age defines the era of innocence in life, Louis doesn’t have to try hard to make us smile. Last year, for his second birthday, the Duchess of Cambridge - who has become the goto family photographer - released a collection of hilarious photographs to mark the occasion. As expected they were charming, but it was the final image which made headlines. Covered in paint, Louis had transferred his painting skills from the paper canvas to the facial one. “I should’ve taken a photograph of what I looked like after,” joked the Duchess afterwards in an interview with ITV’s This Morning.
Of course it was a delightful image, but its relevance to Louis’ stardom was profound. The little prince was relatable, comical and unashamedly himself. Who cared if he smothered paint on his face? So what if it wasn’t the prim and proper image of a child born into royalty? This was Prince Louis, a joker who seemingly was game for anything, as long as it made you laugh.
Much of Louis’ personality and freedom to embrace it, is down to his parents William and Catherine. There is a unique future ahead of their youngest son, one which will be different from his older siblings, George and Charlotte. For Prince George, he will be king. His life has been mapped and paved from the moment he was born. The media attention on his choices; career, education, partner, will only grow in intensity the older he gets. Charlotte will be the young glamorous princess, and as history has consistently shown us, the media’s fascination with royal women knows no bounds. Every stitch of her fashion choices will be mulled over, every photograph dissected and replicated. She will be a powerhouse, a new royal matriarch in the making.
Then we come to Prince Louis, fifth-in-line-to-the-Throne - the backup’s backup. His freedom will be more liberated, his choices less defined and controlled by tradition. He will be the co-star to an institution where hierarchy and position is the currency of the realm. And yet, there could be a concern that history may repeat itself. Could Prince Louis find himself in a similar struggle to his uncle Prince Harry? The answer, in a word - no.
What is clear from William and Catherine’s parenting skills, is that normality is a vital ingredient to their stable family life. That stability has been achieved through years of trial and error, mostly on Prince William’s insistence. Largely out of the spotlight through their development years, we’ve only seen Louis a handful of times in public. The same happened with George and Charlotte at a similar age. The success of this balancing act is already bearing fruit. By allowing restricted access to the public and the media, Louis has been able to experience his childhood in the sanctity of privacy, unlike his father or uncle.
“I hate ‘tographers’”, is what a two-year-old Prince William would tell his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when they would walk out and about Kensington High Street. ‘Tographers’ were of course the Paparazzi, who would stalk and harass his mother up until her death. For William, these bizarre men carrying cameras quickly became the enemy, a stain on his life; a life which would forever be lived in public. That understandable resentment formed well into William’s later years, and yet it doesn’t seem to have passed to his children, specifically Louis. It is the success story of The Cambridge's approach - ‘we’ll let you in, but not all the way in’.
Louis has been slowly introduced into the public world, which he will one day serve in, as both confidante and brother to a king. It will be a relationship which has the potential to become fraught at times, look no further than Prince Harry. Yet unlike his uncle, Prince Louis has the reassurance of a stable family life, a grounding sanctuary in the Middletons, and as he grows older, an understanding and appreciation for the role he will hold.
Unlike his uncle, normality isn’t an ideal he will have to strive for, it is one which is embedded through his parents. Whether it be spending pocket money at a local store in London, or visiting a craft shop and being made to wait in line like everyone else, Louis won’t have to take the normal things for granted. But equally, he will have a greater and more measured awareness of the relationship between royalty and publicity, to be seen to be believed, just not seen all the time.
Louis has much life left to live, and that’s before he enters the public arena as a working member of The Royal Family. Throughout that time, he will make mistakes, celebrate successes and feel the sting of failures. But, thankfully these elements will be experienced like most of the public - away from the camera lens. This will enable little Louis to appreciate the blesses of privacy, whilst respecting the honour of public duty. It will enable him to shine as bright as he chooses to, without fear of outshining those deemed more important than him. Whatever the future holds, there is something about Louis… and we all can’t wait to watch him flourish.
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