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Princess Charlotte’s moment of defiance is far from a royal first


Have a look at the photos on this page. For decades, royal children have been caught on camera acting like, well, children. The moment that Princess Charlotte stuck her tongue out while accompanying her parents to the King’s Cup in aid of eight of their charities and patronages has become a major talking point. But she’s actually just added another chapter to a royal story already filled with similar snaps.

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First let’s get the act itself out of the way. Sticking out your tongue, a small act of defiance, is a very natural way for a child to behave. Parents and guardians can quickly correct it and as a behaviour, it should disappear as a young person matures. However, for a very young child it can also indicate an ability to handle and process emotions. No doubt Charlotte was given a gentle reminder behind closed doors that it’s not something to be repeated. But in reality, it’s hardly unexpected behaviour from a four year old.

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Charlotte’s not the first royal child to give us a taste of what being a pre schooler is really like. Throughout the 1980s, the Queen’s grandchildren provided endless opportunities to chart cheekiness as they poked their tongues out at everything from royal events like Trooping the Colour to family days out at the polo. The talent has passed to the next generation with the Queen’s great grandchildren carrying on where their parents left off.

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And, let’s face it, where older generations, too, wandered. The idea that royal children of yesteryear sat around in pristine white cotton frocks waiting to look pained in official portraits is a non starter. They were ripping it up like the rest of them, they just didn’t get caught on camera doing it. We know the Queen was a happy and confident child and it’s more than likely that she indulged in the behaviour her look alike great granddaughter is being talked about for now. The only difference is, there are no photos of it.

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It’s one luxury royals don’t have these days. Charlotte’s actions have been videoed, photographed, zoomed in on and turned into GIFs within 24 hours of her performing this very brief act of defiance. That’s slightly less annoying than the seemingly endless analysis of her behaviour. The question being asked seemingly constantly right now is – was she being cheeky or was she being rude? The answer is, she was being four.

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It’s another photo for the royal album marked ‘this one will embarrass you when you’re older’ and that’s about the long and the short of it. I, for one, hope Charlotte and her generation continue to act their age. For children being children, royal or not, is one of the great joys of our world.



About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.