The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became parents for the first time when they welcomed their son Prince George, 9, in 2013. Just a few years later, they announced the arrival of their daughter Princess Charlotte, 7, and completed their family with the birth of Prince Louis, 4, in 2018.
Matt Porteous / The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Kensington Palace via Getty The Cambridge family's 2020 Christmas card
While the youngest members of the royal family have already taken on duties in the public eye, William and Kate are working hard to keep most of their lives outside the spotlight. Instead, they're focusing on instilling important values in their children and raising them to be well-rounded community members.
"My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realize how central values like these have been to me throughout my life. That is why William and I want to teach our little children … just how important these things are as they grow up. In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport," Kate once shared.
In August 2022, Kensington Palace announced that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would attend Lambrook School in Winkfield Row, Berkshire. The co-educational boarding school is located just outside of Windsor, where the family is said to be relocating. The move from London will help Prince George prepare for the next stage of his schooling and allow the family to enjoy the kind of countryside life they prefer.
"They are such an outdoorsy family, London just wasn't working for them anymore," a source who told PEOPLE. "The countryside is definitely their happy place."
On Sept. 7, 2022, William and Kate took Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to "preview day" for new students at Lambrook School. The royal trio sported their school uniforms — the boys in navy shorts and white button-down shirts, while Charlotte wore a purple dress.
The children's enrollment marked the first time all three young royals attended the same school. Lambrook is technically a boarding school, but George, Charlotte and Louis are day students.
In October 2022, Middleton visited the maternity unit of the Royal Surrey County Hospital and spoke about the pressure she and William felt in choosing names for their three children. "She just really talked about her own children including how they chose their names," said Amy Stubbs, who showed Middleton around the hospital. "A lot of the new mums and dads are thinking about how to choose names for their babies, and they spoke with her about how Kate and William made their choice."
"She said they were their favorite names and that obviously the world was waiting for them to name their children — and that felt like quite a big pressure!" Stubbs added.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
Here's everything you need to know about Prince William and Kate Middleton's children.
Prince George, 9
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/twitter Prince George
William and Kate's eldest son George Alexander Louis was born on July 22, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital in London. As the couple's first child, he became the third in the line of succession to the British throne. George, who shares his first name with his great-great-grandfather King George VI, received congratulatory messages from around the world, including a note from former President Barack Obama.
George took part in his first royal engagement at just a year old when he joined his parents on a three-week trip to New Zealand and Australia. His royal duties included meeting 10 other babies at a playdate held at the Blandor Room of Government House.
As a toddler, William and Kate expressed that they wanted to give George as normal of a childhood as possible, stressing the importance of spending time outdoors and understanding nature. At the time, they shared that he loved dancing and playing games on his iPad, was obsessed with the air cadets and counted Fireman Sam as one of his favorite shows.
"As far as we are concerned within our family unit, we are a normal family. I love my children in the same way any father does, and I hope George loves me the same way any son does to his father. We are very normal in that sense. There'll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in, in the world. But right now it's just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing as much love as I can as a father," William shared.
The royal couple later enrolled George at Westacre Montessori School. There, George was given the freedom to be creative, thanks to the school's distinctive educational approach that involves personalized learning and embracing individuality.
George also shares a special bond with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, who Kate says he called "Gan-Gan" when he was little. She even shared that the Queen "always leaves a little gift or something" in George's room when the family comes to visit her.
As he got older, William and Kate searched for the perfect early education school for George, eventually landing on Thomas's Battersea School in London. In a statement, the palace said the couple was "confident" in the school's ability to give George a "happy and successful start to his education." While George was initially excited to attend school full time, it didn't take long for him to grow tired of spending the day at school. But by the time he turned six, he got the hang of things, thriving in subjects like math, English, French, science, history, geography, religious studies and ballet.
Pool/Sam Hussein/WireImage Prince George in 2016
George is less of a rambunctious child, with a family friend telling PEOPLE he's "a jolly little person and inquisitive." He gets along well with his siblings, often spending time with his sister Charlotte, who attends the same school as him. George recently also began to learn the guitar and enjoys the time his family spends on their farm. He's additionally become passionate about animal conservation and has gotten the chance to speak with conservation hero Sir David Attenborough on several occasions. He even held a cake sale to raise money for the charity Tusk, which works to protect endangered species in Africa.
In September 2022, George honored his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth at her state funeral. The prince joined his parents and sister Charlotte in the royal family procession, walking behind the Queen's coffin down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. George wore a navy suit and black tie with his blond hair neatly combed.
Later that month, Middleton revealed that George is practicing tying his own tie for his new school uniform. While chatting with children during a visit to Wales, Middleton complimented one boy's school uniform and asked if the child had tied his own tie. The Princess of Wales was very impressed when he said he did. "Well done, you. I've been teaching George because he has got to wear a tie now for school, so I'm having to teach him how to do it," she said. "But well done, you've done a good job with your tie. Nice to meet you."
Princess Charlotte, 7
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Instagram
On May 2, 2015, William and Kate welcomed their second child, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, at St. Mary's Hospital in London. She became fourth in the line of succession to the British throne. Charlotte's name has special meaning for the royal couple, with her first name being the feminine version of her grandfather Prince Charles. Meanwhile, Charlotte's middle names reference her late grandmother Princess Diana and her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth.
Following the birth of Charlotte, or Lottie, as her family calls her for short, Kate expressed that she was thrilled to have a little girl and for George to have a younger sister. She even mentioned that the Queen was one of the family's first visitors.
"It's very special having a new little girl. I feel very, very lucky that George has got a little sister. The Queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington she was one of our first visitors here," Kate shared.
While Prince Charles shared that Charlotte was an "easier" baby than George, by her first birthday, Kate said she was already developing "quite a feisty side." She even joked that she hoped that George would help keep her in line. William also said Charlotte and George were giving them a run for their money, sharing that the duo was always "running around, pushing things, jumping."
In 2016, Charlotte took part in her first royal tour with her family, traveling to Canada for a week-long trip. While meeting with the children of military families, Charlotte spoke her first public words, and was overheard calling William "Dada" and shouting "pop pop!" while playing with balloons. She also spent time playing with her brother George, who William said was becoming a good friend to the toddler.
"The children have good fun together. They are brilliant kids — very playful and cheerful," a friend told PEOPLE.
The following year, Charlotte was enrolled in Willcocks Nursery School, a different school than her brother had attended at that age. The family reportedly chose the church-based school because "they thought it would be an ideal first step for Charlotte's education and they were impressed by the team who work there." Following her first days, sources said Charlotte was "very sweet and very confident" and loved chatting — even speaking a few words of Spanish. They added that she was "so polite, but also fun and energetic" and "has beautiful manners."
At the time, William and Kate revealed that Charlotte loved dancing, art, acrobatics and cooking — and Queen Elizabeth added that the little girl didn't mind bossing around her older brother! Charlotte later followed in her brother's footsteps, joining a ballet class to perfect her dancing skills.
When Charlotte turned four, she was enrolled in the same school as her older brother, Thomas's Battersea School in London. While Charlotte appeared to be nervous on her first day at school, she was reportedly "so excited" to be joining George, who stepped up for big brother duty as he walked with her inside the building.
During the pandemic, Charlotte and George temporarily switched to homeschooling and were taught by both William and Kate. Charlotte also got involved in her family's philanthropic efforts, helping to deliver meals to isolated pensioners and those in need.
Now at age seven, Charlotte's family is continuing to help her have a normal childhood despite her life in the spotlight. Kate instills important financial values in the little girl while William is helping her stay connected with her late grandmother Diana. She loves horseback riding and spending time with her old brother — even if their personalities have grown to be slightly different.
"George is more reserved, and Charlotte is more outgoing. Maybe it's because he's the heir and one day he might be King," an insider told PEOPLE.
Like her older brother, Charlotte joined her parents and other members of the royal family in the procession at Queen Elizabeth's state funeral. The princess wore a black coat with a diamond horseshoe brooch, honoring her great-grandmother's love of horses. The brooch was gifted to Charlotte by Queen Elizabeth herself.
The young royal was also seen in a black hat with a bow at the Westminster Abbey service. Wearing a hat is a custom for British women when attending formal events, and this marked Charlotte's first time participating in the tradition.
Prince Louis, 4
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Instagram
In late 2017, it was announced that William and Kate were expecting their third child, and on April 23, 2018, they welcomed their son Louis Arthur Charles. He became fifth in the line of succession to the British throne. Like his older siblings, his name has special meaning to the family, likely a tribute to Prince Philip's grandfather Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg and Prince Charles' great-uncle and mentor, Earl Louis Mountbatten.
As a newborn, William said that Louis was "behaving himself" and sleeping "reasonably well." Both Charlotte and George immediately took to their roles as doting older siblings and were seen lovingly caring for Louis in several photos. By nine months old, Louis was the "most cheerful, smiley little boy" and had mastered the art of crawling. Just a month later, he was ready to run and keep up with the other children, with Kate sharing that the little boy was definitely keeping the family on their toes.
"Louis just wants to pull himself up all the time. He has got these little walkers and is bombing around in them," Kate explained.
Not long after, Louis began talking, with one of his first words being inspired by Kate's cookbooks. At the time, Kate explained that the little boy could say "Mary" thanks to British chef Mary Berry's cookbook being right at his height in the kitchen.
"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 recognize you if he saw you today," Kate shared with the chef during a holiday special.
By age three, the youngest royal's need for speed hadn't slowed down. Kate even admitted that she had a hard time keeping up with him, especially on his "little scooter" that kept him moving "very quick." That year, Louis also began attending preschool at Willcocks Nursery School, the same place his big sister Charlotte had once attended.
As of late, Kate says that Louis loves "being outside" and even enjoys helping with the gardening. He's taken to growing sunflowers with George and Charlotte — and has had the most success so far. Meanwhile, he's also developed quite the "cheeky" personality, making headlines for his dramatic faces and gestures at recent Platinum Jubilee events. Thankfully, the royal family didn't seem to mind and even poked fun at Louis' antics in a social media post.
"What a fantastic weekend of celebrations. Seeing people across the nation coming together with family, friends and loved ones has been extremely special…We all had an incredible time, especially Louis," William and Kate wrote, adding the eyes emoji.