Britain's new prince enjoys privacy, for now
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries her new born son, the Prince of Cambridge, who was born on Monday. into public view for the first time. outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, in London, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. The boy will be third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/John Stillwell, Pool)
LONDON (AP) — After the frenzy and the flashguns, Britain's new royal baby and his parents spent Wednesday out of the media spotlight. But for how long?
The 2-day-old prince doesn't have a name yet, but he's the most famous infant on Earth, and as a future British king he faces a lifetime of celebrity.
Palace officials say Prince William and his wife Kate are spending "private and quiet time for them to get to know their son" — and, perhaps, to figure out ways to shield him from intense public and media interest.
At least the relationship got off to a good start. The baby slept through his first photo op outside London's St. Mary's Hospital, while his parents beamed as they chatted easily with reporters. For a royal family that has had a fraught relationship with the media, it was a positive sign.
"I thought, is this an Oscar-winning performance?" said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine. "But I think they were so genuinely overjoyed that they wanted to show off the baby."
After leaving the hospital, the couple introduced their son to his uncle, Prince Harry, and to great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, keen to see the baby before she starts her annual summer vacation in Scotland later this week.
Britain's Prince William, right, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The Royal couple are expected to head to London’s Kensington Palace from the hospital with their newly born son, the third in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Then they headed to see Kate's parents in their village near London — pretty much like any regular family.
There has been so much royal drama in the last few decades that it's easy to forget that William had, by royal standards, a relatively normal childhood.
His parents' troubled marriage may have ended in divorce, but Prince Charles and Princess Diana were devoted parents who tried to spend as much time as possible with their children — albeit with an assist from nannies. The queen was sometimes away on official tours for months at a time when her children were young, but Charles and Diana took William along on a tour to Australia when he was just 9 months old.
The queen was educated at home, in keeping with royal tradition. But she sent her own children to boarding schools, and Charles and Diana did the same with William and his younger brother Harry — choosing Eton, one of the biggest and most prestigious boys' schools in the country.
"William's childhood was normal by upper-middle-class standards— private schools, expensive holidays, McDonald's in a smart part of town as opposed to a grotty part of town," said royal historian Robert Lacey. "I think really one is going to see more of the same."