In December 2019 the viewing public was treated to a one-off BBC special called A Berry Royal Christmas. Featuring cooking legend Mary Berry, the show delved further into the lives of Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children. But it was the royal couple’s youngest who had quite the surprise in store for the presenter.
Prince Louis is the third child of William and Kate – following his older brother Prince George and sister Princess Charlotte. The young boy came into the world in April 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. William brought Louis’ two siblings to meet their little brother, and the family then returned to Kensington Palace on the day of the birth.
In honor of Louis’ arrival, gun salutes were shot in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London. Elsewhere, in Westminster Abbey the bells rang out and royal family fans rejoiced. Then, four days later his name was announced to the world: Louis Arthur Charles. He also received the official title of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.
Furthermore, Louis is fifth in line to the British throne. In front of him are his siblings George and Charlotte in third and fourth respectively, followed by William in second and finally Prince Charles. Interestingly, the fact that Louis is male would have put him ahead of Charlotte in the line of succession in previous generations. However, this rule was removed by the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013.
In the future, should George and Charlotte have children of their own, they would jump in front of Louis in the line of succession. And this is exactly what Louis has done to his uncle, Prince Harry, who moved down to sixth after the former was born. Nevertheless, it is highly doubtful the world will ever see Louis as the British monarch.
Shortly after his birth, a number of royal family members came by Kensington Palace to see the young Louis. His aunt Pippa Middleton, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles and Queen Elizabeth II all visited quickly. His great-grandfather Prince Phillip stayed away due to a recent hip replacement, but Louis’ grandfather Prince Charles soon visited on May 2 that year.
The month after Louis’ birth was a very busy time for the royal family. Princess Charlotte’s third birthday came on the same day as Charles’ visit to Kensington Palace, and Kate took a picture of her kissing her little brother’s forehead. This photograph was released to the waiting public – as was another of Louis at just three days old.
Then there was the matter of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – which was to take place on May 19, 2018. Sensibly, considering that Louis would have been less than a month old by the time of the wedding, it was announced earlier that he would not be in attendance with his parents.
Louis was then christened in July of that year in The Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace. And there, he sported the very same royal gown that his brother and sister had worn at their ceremonies. William and Kate chose six of their friends and family to be Louis’ godparents: including Kate’s cousin Lucy Middleton and William’s good friend Nicholas Van Cutsem.
Meanwhile, a number of pictures were taken at the event and shared with the public. Photographer Matt Holyoak told the BBC at the time, “Everyone was so relaxed and in such good spirits, it was an absolute pleasure.” The christening was also the first time that William and Kate’s family were seen in public with all three children.
A month after his first birthday, Louis was pictured playing with his brother and sister in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s “Back to Nature” garden – which Kate had assisted in designing. And he looked like he was having tremendous fun as he explored the area. In one photo, Louis is shown running toward the camera with his arms in the air and a stick in his hand. The shot also shows William in the background looking proud of his happy little boy.
In another picture Louis is seen on a rope swing, while his father William keeps an adoring but watchful eye. And luckily for the viewing public, the prince, Kate and his dad weren’t the only royals out that day.
For their part, George and Charlotte were also pictured playing in the garden with their parents and brother. An adorable photo features them sitting beside each other on a wooden bridge above a small stream. They’re both dipping their bare toes in the water and look very at ease in the outdoor surroundings.
An Instagram post on the Kensington Royal account was sent out along with the photographs. It credited the design of the garden to Kate and landscape architects Andree Davis and Adam White. The post added that the duchess “is a strong advocate for the proven benefits [that] the outdoors has on physical and mental health, and the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development in particular.”
In September 2019 Kate then paid a visit to the Royal Horticultural Society in Wisley, Surrey. Here, she spoke with a mom named Sarah and gave some insight into Louis’ developing personality. The latter told Elle Magazine, “She was just saying that her little boy Louis loves to smell flowers and he enjoys being out in the garden.”
Three months later Kate inadvertently told the world that Louis had reached a very important milestone in his development. She was visiting Peterly Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire as part of her new role as royal patron of the charity Family Action. Interestingly, this was previously a position held by the Queen herself.
A little boy at the event apparently tried to attract Kate’s attention by repeatedly saying, “Me, me!” So in response, Kate bent at the knees and lightly stroked his check. Then, according to the Daily Mail, she said, “You remind me of my little Louis, he keeps saying, ‘Me, me, me,’ and he wants to come everywhere with me.”
Kate’s chat with the young boy represented the first time in which a royal had publicly acknowledged that Louis had begun talking. And of course, the media ran with the story; Elle posited that the young prince may have been talking for longer than the public knew. And they rightly highlighted how “it’s not often the royal family shares such detail” about their children.
Then, during a January 2020 visit to Bradford, England, Kate spoke of another milestone that her little boy had recently hit. The duke and duchess were visiting a Khidmat Center in the city. According to the charity’s website, these facilities are designed to “address inherent inequalities in provision of services for the most vulnerable members of the community from minority ethnic backgrounds.”
Kate recanted some sweet anecdotes about her children at the event. In one particular story, she told a group of women that when George was born, she had an abandoned attempt at knitting. According to The Sun newspaper, she said, “When I first had George, I thought I’d knit him a very special jumper. I got halfway down this pattern, [but] it looked so terrible I gave up.”
The duchess then had a conversation with grandma Jo Broadbent. And according to Elle magazine, the local lady told reporters, “I asked how her children were. She said Louis had started to tell her ‘he’s balancing’ and she said it was really nice to see him turning into a little boy from being a baby. She’s obviously very proud of her children.”
This scenario – in which Kate dropped important news about Louis during a conversation with a local at a charity event – was very similar to the earlier one in Buckinghamshire. The duchess also had a chat with another royal fan at the event called Josh Macpalce. And the latter, for his part, asked if William and Kate were going to have more children.
“I don’t think William wants any more [children],” Elle reported Kate as saying. She then apparently embraced Josh and said, “Thank you for the hug.” And this subject had come up before, according to the publication, when Kate had told new father Alan Barr in February 2019 that seeing his baby son James had made her “feel broody.” This latter event, meanwhile, had occurred during a royal tour of Northern Ireland.
The month before this visit to Bradford, the royals filmed a BBC festive special entitled A Berry Royal Christmas. And in it, Kate and William interacted with Mary Berry – the former judge of The Great British Bake Off. Furthermore, the show saw the royals helping the presenter with food preparation as she cooked for charity staff and volunteers.
Kate and William are reportedly big fans of the The Great British Bake Off, and their appearance on Mary Berry’s program certainly reflected this. But it was during a heartfelt chat with the host that Kate revealed something unusual. In one part of the show, she said, “One of Louis’ first words was Mary, because right at his height are all my cooking books in the kitchen.”
Kate told the host, “… Children are really fascinated by faces, and your faces are all over your cooking books and he would say, ‘That’s Mary Berry.’ So he would definitely recognise you if he saw you.” The latter then asked the duchess whether she cooks at home with the children.
Kate replied that she did indeed bake with the kids, and that she even used Mary’s recipes. Regarding cooking with George and Charlotte, the duchess highlighted how much she encourages them to experiment and have fun. She said on the show, “Yes, I really enjoy it. Again, for them to be creative, for them to try and be as independent as possible with it.”
For his part, William also took part in an honest conversation with Mary. And speaking at The Passage, which is a London homeless charity, he spoke about how his relationship with his late mother Princess Diana had greatly influenced his parenting style.
“My mother knew what she was doing with [her charity work],” William said. “[Diana] realized that it was very important when you grow up – especially in the life that we grew up – that you realize that life happens beyond palace walls, and that you see real people struggling with real issues.”
William added that he believed that Diana “liked to challenge the social norms about charities and about disadvantages and vulnerable people.” And this socially conscious upbringing is something which William has carried over into his life as a father. For example, he spoke about how George and Charlotte would ask him about the world on their way to school in London, England.
William revealed that “on the school run already… whenever we see someone who is sleeping rough on the street, I talk about it and I point it out and I explain.” Naturally, the prince believes it is important to tell his children about the realities of life – even at their young ages.
In one particular section of the TV show, Kate serves non-alcoholic cocktails at a dry bar in Liverpool established by the charity Action on Addiction. And the duchess revealed how she’d dabbled in waitressing herself when she was at university. Mary Berry then asked if she was a good at the job, to which Kate replied, “No – I was terrible.”
Mary was also extremely complimentary about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s extensive charity work. She marvelled at how they don’t simply perform the bare minimum of perfunctory duties and then take their leave. On that note, she offered some kind words for the couple.
Mary said on the show, “[William and Kate] don’t just arrive and shake a few hands make a few smiles and a speech, they want to get involved, and they want to see what they can do.” The TV presenter added, “And it isn’t just one visit, they come back again and ask for the results and they remember who they spoke to last time. I think that’s remarkable.”
Mary later spoke to You magazine about her interaction with William and Kate. She said, “They really are a pigeon couple. When they are together, he’s constantly touching her arm and looking over at her smiling and she’s the same with him. So natural.”
The duke and duchess were then pictured on their way into Buckingham Palace on December 17, 2019, for the royal family’s annual Christmas lunch. William drove in one vehicle with George, while Kate travelled in another car with Charlotte and Louis. And many media outlets took note of how much Louis was beginning to look like his older brother.
It was also noted how Louis looked slightly bewildered by the huge array of photographers scrambling for pictures of him and his family. George, on the other hand, looked perfectly comfortable amid the chaos. Perhaps he’ll have to help his little brother with staying in control in these situations as he gets older.
In January 2020 Louis was then pictured on a rare public outing without Kate present. He was photographed having a ball at the Natural History Museum in London holding the hand of his nanny: Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. The pictures, meanwhile, were quickly uploaded to a royal fan page on Instagram.
Around that same time, Kate was busy with an intense 24-hour solo tour of the U.K. to promote a project called 5 Big Questions. The survey, which has the support of the Royal Foundation, wants adults across Britain to contribute and aims to discover how they want the next generation to be raised.
However, even though Kate was away from her children, eagle-eyed photographers were able to capture images which showed that they’re still always close to her heart. She was pictured wearing a luxury gold necklace by designer Daniella Draper. And the necklace pendant featured the personalized engraving “G, L and C,” which are, of course, her children’s initials.