Inside the Waleses half-term as Prince William and Kate plan family fun and outdoors time

Like lots of children across the UK this week, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have left the classroom behind them to enjoy their school half-term holiday. And there’s another familiar scenario playing out too as their parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, juggle the young royals’ very different focuses.

All three are now students at the Berkshire-based prep school Lambrook, located just a stone’s throw from the family’s home of Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate.

But while Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Louis are still enjoying a relatively carefree education, for big brother George, 10, the realities and stresses of school exams have set in, and it’s likely to be impacting the family now in ways they haven’t encountered before.

“William and Kate have three children with very different demands. We know poor George has been feeling rather under the cosh lately because school life seems to be all about being tested,” former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond tells OK!

“So this half-term holiday may not be quite like his previous holidays and could involve a certain amount of revision. That will be doubly hard with his sister and little brother having all the fun, but I’m sure William and Kate will find a healthy balance that will allow George to join in most of the time.

“George will be their priority right now because of his exams and his future schooling to consider. Charlotte is relatively carefree but, as the only girl, she’ll no doubt command special attention. Louis is the little kid on the block – probably getting away with murder while their parents are too busy with the others to chastise him!

"I’m sure William and Kate are at full stretch keeping their three youngsters entertained and happy during the holidays. But I am also sure that family life is a top priority – it’s the thing that fulfils them more than anything else.”

Kate and William’s increasingly busy work schedules could well be curbing the usual holiday fun of baking, trips to the beach in Norfolk near their Anmer Hall home and bike rides.

Jennie points out, “They really do have a lot on their plate at the moment with their royal duties so I think it’s getting quite tough for them to take time off work for the entire school holidays. They’ll continue to do their best to ring-fence school breaks, but they’ll probably have to accept that some interruptions are inevitable.

“However, I’m sure they’ll do their utmost to make sure at least one of them is home in the holidays as much as possible. We should applaud their efforts to be hands-on parents. They are modern parents who clearly believe that their first priority is their children and to my mind they’re absolutely right.

“William and Kate undoubtedly have the same battles so many parents endure, about screen time and sibling squabbles. But the children seem to generally get along pretty well, with sporty Charlotte singing and dancing, and being quite cheeky, and Louis a bundle of mischief, probably getting away with a heck of a lot more because he’s the youngest.

“Trust and discretion is everything for William and Kate but I’m certain they’ve manoeuvred a way to let their children have sleepovers and fun-filled days with their friends as much as possible,” says Jennie.

The family’s Norland-educated nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo started working for them in 2014, but will of course be entitled to time off. Jennie is certain that with the support of Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and with William and Kate adamant to do as much of the parenting as they can, the couple will enjoy the opportunity to be alone with the children.

“Maria must be almost like a member of the family by now having been with them for nearly a decade. But since they have moved to Adelaide Cottage she has had separate accommodation and I’m sure they’ve enjoyed being just the five of them, as most families would.

So the obvious time to give her a holiday would be half-term, if not during the longer school holidays. That means the family can enjoy time alone, or with the Middletons, who remain exceptionally close to them. It’s all part of making life seem as normal as possible and is a valuable lesson for children born to a life of privilege and nobility.”

In the moments where George is taking a well-earned break from his revision, what might the young royals get up to? It recently emerged that Charlotte loves to sing, which Kate confessed makes her “very happy”. Meanwhile, just like his grandfather and father before him, it’s been revealed that Louis has an electric car which he drives around Windsor Castle.

As for whether a trip abroad is on the cards, Jennie expects “they’ll base themselves at Anmer Hall and enjoy the freedom of the Norfolk countryside and beaches.” She adds that “those awkward teenage years are still a little way away, so I expect they’ll relish their time together with lots of outdoor activities, barbecues, sports and just being a happy, boisterous family.”

We know the family love spending time on the beach before ending the day roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire, just as they did in a special video released to mark William and Kate’s 10th wedding anniversary. So maybe the half-term will provide the perfect opportunity to try out the apple, cinnamon and sugar snacks that Kate sampled during a visit to Madley Primary School’s forest school last month.

The family’s half-term break comes after the royal couple hosted the Exploring Our Emotional Worlds forum in Birmingham to mark World Mental Health Day last week. They’re both leading voices in advocating for better mental health awareness and previously set up the charity Heads Together and support hotline Shout.

The Royal Foundation also released new research stating that 40% of 16-24 year olds feel they don’t manage their emotions well, and that 95% believe their peers are struggling with their mental health.

Kate said, “As a generation, you value and talk more about your mental health than any before you – something we truly admire and applaud.”

Having parents with such a heightened awareness of mental health is very important for George, Charlotte and Louis going forward.

Jennie points out, “They can count themselves lucky that their parents are so acutely aware of the problems encountered by so many young people. The messages William and Kate give out reflect how they’re bringing up their own children – coaxing and gently encouraging them to express their feelings, their emotions, their fears and their doubts.

“The ethos of the school they attend is all about community, self-confidence and caring for your friends. Its aim is to give pupils the feathers to fly and to excel in their lives ahead. So I think both at home and at school the royal trio are being encouraged to express their own feelings and to check on how their friends are faring.”

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