Who's making the initial decisions about taking care of baby royal
Prince George? A new book by a royal biographer, adapted in the October Vanity Fair, says it's not the royal family or palace pooh-bahs; it's Duchess Kate herself, backed strongly by Prince William.
in point: Bucklebury. Two days after Prince George of Cambridge was
born in London on July 22, Will and Kate, now known as Catherine Duchess
of Cambridge, departed from their Kensington Palace cottage for her
parents' expansive estate in Bucklebury in the countryside about 50
miles from London.
British reporter Katie Nicholl, one of the first biographers of the former Kate Middleton, a contributor to VF and author of the forthcoming The Future Queen,
writes about the behind-the-scenes jostling in a story headlined
"Curious About George." She quotes an unnamed source as saying there was
"resistance from the palace" about the move because of the
complications and expense of also relocating the couple's security team.
not sure the queen was entirely in favor of the idea of them all moving
to Bucklebury; it was certainly not the norm, but it was what Kate
wanted, and William supported her and made it happen," Nicholl quotes
the source as saying.
In fact, weeks before the birth, The Daily Mail's royal
correspondents predicted they would head to Bucklebury because Kate
wanted to have the help of her mother, Carole Middleton, with the baby.
But other royal experts, such as Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary
to the queen, pooh-poohed the idea as unlikely just on security grounds.
yet, Bucklebury is where they spent the first month after George's
birth, and where the first photographic portrait of the new family,
snapped by Kate's father, Michael, were taken.
Kate is close to
her parents, but so is her royal husband, who promised the Middletons
that joining the royal family did not mean Kate would give up her birth
family. Nicholl quotes a 31-year friend of the Middletons, George Brown,
who says it was a "condition" at the time of the royal wedding in 2011
that the Middletons would be a part of the grandchildren's lives.
a natural with children, and she will be a wonderful grandmother, and I
imagine she'll want to be very involved," Brown told Nicholl.
in fact, she has been. Reports have surfaced already that she's the one
who's best able to soothe fussy Georgie to sleep, and even followed the
couple to their Welsh farmhouse to help with the baby as the Cambridges
spend their last weeks there before moving back to London.
Nicholl's new book has been serialized in The Mail on Sunday, where she is the royal editor, leading to headlines about some of the tidbits she reports, such as Kate's choosing St. Andrews in Scotland for college because that's where Will had chosen to go.
paints an idyllic scene of the first weeks at the Middletons' house.
The couple had their own wing, including a nursery and a private living
room. George slept in their room in a "Moses" basket (Kate and Carole
were pictured buying this basket months before the birth) by Kate's side
of the bed. Carole would make fruit smoothies and healthy meals for
them, and kept visitors to a minimum except for her other children,
Pippa and James.
Will and Kate were eager to do most of the baby
care themselves, Nicholl says. They even opted against bringing in a
maternity nurse, which most new parents in Britain get through the
National Health Service.
"William said he didn't want a nanny or
nurse coming in and doing shifts. They were agreed on that. They wanted
to do the early days themselves."
The October issue of VF is on newsstands now.