(LONDON) — With the second royal baby due any day now, Britain’s Prince George of Cambridge is about to become a big brother for the first time.
“Prince George and his little brother or sister will be incredibly close in age, and they will grow up side by side,” said Daily Mirror royal correspondent and ABC News’ royal contributor Victoria Murphy. “But of course, there’s one huge difference, and that’s that George is destined to be king and this baby is not.”
The obvious question is whether Prince George, who will turn 2 in July, will have a little brother or sister to watch over. Royal sources tell ABC News that George’s parents, Duchess Kate and Prince William, do not know the baby’s gender.
Whether the baby is a boy or a girl, the two children will be third and fourth in line to the British throne. That means they likely will have a close bond fostered by sharing something completely unique, as did their father and his younger brother, Prince Harry, before them.
It remains unclear whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will bring George to meet the new prince or princess at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where Kate is due to deliver sometime this month, ABC News has learned. Royal sources tell ABC News that William and Kate will make that decision on whether to bring George to the hospital after George’s baby brother or sister is born.
But who can forget William’s visit to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital 30 years ago to visit Prince Harry for the first time after Princess Diana gave birth? It is hard to imagine that George’s parents won’t want to do the same with this new baby.
One thing is for sure, William, 32, is determined to give his children a normal life.
“I think that just like Kate, William is very keen for his children to have the upbringing that she had,” Murphy said. “She had a very happy childhood. She’s very close to both of her parents, who are still together and still very much in love.”
“It’s a very secure family unit,” she said of Duchess Kate’s family, which also includes two more Middleton children, Pippa and James. “And I think that’s what she and William want to give their children.”
From Prince George’s very first photo op while with his parents on an official trip in New Zealand in April of last year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have tried to ensure George has some semblance of life as a normal child.
In that first photo op, George was introduced to the world at a playgroup with other children his age. Months later, like Princess Diana did for her sons 30 years ago, Duchess Kate brought Prince George to see Santa and he waited in line just like every other child, with no special treatment.
“Kate takes him to parks. She takes him to the beach. She takes him to the farm. She wants him to enjoy all of that, like any other child would,” Murphy told ABC News. “She takes him to carol services at Christmas to mix with other children.”
ABC News has also learned that, like many young children, George loves to splash about in the pool and his parents are teaching him to swim.
William and Kate currently rely on one nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, to help with George. Royal sources told ABC News the couple, for the moment, does not plan to hire an additional nanny or other staff after the baby’s birth.
Like many other young families, George and his sibling will also enjoy the company of their family’s beloved dog, Lupo, a wedding gift to William and Kate from Kate’s brother, James Middleton.
“Of course, this baby will be their second child, but in some ways this baby is their third child because you’ve got to remember they also have Lupo, who was there long before Prince George,” Murphy said. “And Lupo is their absolute, beloved pet dog, who they treat exactly like one of the family.”
“And as well as having a great relationship with William and Kate, Lupo and George also get on really well,” she said.
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