First pictures, first events, first speeches, first engagements, first homework … How does protocol and their parents’ choices govern public life and the responsibilities of young princes and princesses?
Will we soon see Crown Prince George of Cambridge, who is celebrating his 9th birthday in July, secure his first official engagements? In Sweden, Princess Estelle (10 years) and her brother Prince Oscar (6 years) are already considered real little ambassadors for the environment when they, together with their mother, Crown Princess Victoria, take part in tracking waste during the Nordic Coast Guard’s day. .
Among royals we are not born free and equal. The duties and responsibilities of a monarch’s descendants are conditioned by the place they occupy in their siblings, and more generally in the order of succession. If there is no strict protocol rule that determines the age at which a royal young child must make his first appearance, or secure his first public engagements, parental choices generally agree with tradition and customs of the family. And it often starts at birth.
In the UK, since Princess Anne, the first of the royal family to give birth in hospital, posed on the maternity ward with her daughter Zara in her arms in 1981, it has almost become a trend. ‘unavoidable. Prince Charles and Princess Diana thus followed his example, bowing to photography in front of an audience of media to present their two sons in 1982 and 1984. Prince Andrew and Sarah, the Duchess of York, did the same when their daughters, the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were born in 1988 and 1990.
For those who prefer to discreetly leave the maternity ward, it is still mandatory to publish a first portrait of the toddler in the days or weeks after its birth. In the age of social networks, the official pages of monarchies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook therefore regularly flourish with pictures of the family’s newborns. Then others afterwards, to mark their birthdays each year.
Family outings and first commitments
The little heirs attend from an early age in large family events such as baptisms, weddings or official birthdays. Prince Louis of Cambridge impressed the crowds as he greeted Buckingham Balcony for the Queen’s official birthday at Trooping The Color in June 2019. He was just over a year old at the time. The twins of the cliff, Jacques and Gabriella from Monaco, waited until they had blown out their second candle to accompany their parents to the balcony of the palace, for the feast in Sainte-Dévote.
As for more serious commitments, crown princes and princesses generally wait until adolescence to secure their first official commitments. In Spain, Princess Leonor, the eldest of King Felipe and Queen Letizia, gave her first speech on her 13th birthday in 2018. Under her parents’ emotional gaze, she read the first article of the Spanish Constitution in front of all political gratins. .
Since then, the Princess of Asturias has already led, as a 15-year-old and then a 16-year-old, two solo engagements, commissioned by her father, the King, proving that she was already a true professional.
Therefore, if the little Cambridges have some time ahead of them (and whatever happens, become ministers before their 21st birthday), we would not be surprised to see them occupy an important place during the platinum anniversary celebrations of their great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth, scheduled for 2.-5. June. They are already used to appearing on the balcony, but this year, for the first time, they were able to participate (perhaps even with all their cousins) in the parade in horse-drawn carriages and carriages. Answer in a few weeks.
Also read: Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Anniversary: Discover the Festive Program