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Meltdowns, Giggles, & More: 20 Great Photos Of Royals Just Being Kids Over The Years

Sometimes a kid has to act out a little.

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Being a kid in the royal family is a bit of a mixed bag of tricks. On the one hand, you get to live in palaces and go on vacations with Queen Elizabeth and ride ponies and such. On the other hand, they have duties that other children never have to worry about. Heading off for royal tours of other countries, being photographed constantly, standing on a balcony waving while millions of people stare at them. They’re just little, and sometimes the royal kids get photographed acting out as regular kids so often do. Which somehow manages to be just about the most endearing thing you ever did see. Unless, of course, you’re a royal parent dealing with a public meltdown.

In recent years, the royal children have been kept out of the spotlight a bit more, with the Duchess of Cambridge masterfully taking control of the way her children are photographed by taking the pictures herself. But much like their father Prince William and uncle Prince Harry when they were little boys, 8-year-old Prince George, 6-year-old Princess Charlotte, and 3-year-old Prince Louis have had their fair share of photos taken. Some of them candid, all of them classic.

Because the world loves a royal kid, especially when they’re breaking that stiff upper lip protocol.

A Take Charge Future King

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When Prince William turned 2 years old in 1984, he took charge of a photocall at Kensington Palace by walking right up to photographers and getting in their faces. Fortunately he seemed very charming.

Is Harry About To Pull His Hair?

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Prince Charles was the one who put baby Prince Harry on Prince William’s shoulders in 1985, but Prince Harry looked like he was about to pull his hair. They’re like the original “Charlie bit my finger” kids.

Playing For Real

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In 1986, Princess Diana kept a close watch on her sons as they played on their slide at Highgrove Estate, but Prince William looked to be ready for some mischief by catching his little brother at the bottom.

He’s Over It

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Prince William could not have looked more bored at the 1988 Trooping The Colours at Buckingham Palace.

Harry Finds His Way

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Prince Harry at the same event, found his own way to make his feelings about being all dressed up at Buckingham Palace heard. He stuck his tongue out.

Leaving The Little One Behind

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On a ski holiday in Klosters, Switzerland in 1995, Princes William and Harry didn’t seem very gentlemanly as they left little Princess Eugenie behind. Her big sister Princess Beatrice wasn’t looking back either.

Pay Attention To Meeee!

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At a dinner in 1990, Prince William was doing his best to distract his mom Princess Diana. We’ve all been there.

His Royal Picky Eater?

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It’s tough to tell for sure in this photo of Princess Diana and Prince Harry on a ski holiday in 1994, but her body language tells me he was being a picky eater. Crossed arms at the table are usually the mom sign for irritated.

A Nice Light Snack


Prince William’s oldest son with wife Kate Middleton Prince George gnawed on his mom’s hair during his first royal tour of Australia in 2014. Admittedly, everyone loves her hair.

The Escape Artist

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Prince George was ruining his mom’s epic look as they disembarked in Australia in 2014, but nothing was going to stop his escape. Other than her one arm.

Running Off Her Feet

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Prince George looked like he was running his mom Kate Middleton off her feet during his dad Prince William’s polo match in 2015.

Double Trouble

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Kate Middleton was trying to deal with a bit of a moment with Prince George in Victoria, Canada in 2016, but she also had her arms full with an escaping Princess Charlotte. That’s real world parenting.

No More Sweaters

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Princess Charlotte did a very relatable thing with her sweet cardigan at a party in Victoria, Canada in 2016; she balled it up and refused to put it back on. That’s toddlers for you.

Princess Charlotte Is Not Having It

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A 2017 tour of Germany saw Princess Charlotte lose her temper on the tarmac in Hamburg. Kate Middleton had it all dealt with pretty quickly, and in heels which is extra impressive.

George’s Delight

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Just like any regular kid, Prince George could barely contain himself during a visit to a helicopter in Germany in 2017.

The Middleton Mom Crouch

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Kate Middleton had really perfected her crouch and scold position by the time she was at her sister Pippa’s wedding with Princess Charlotte in 2017.

Cousins, Am I Right?

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At the 2018 Trooping The Colours, Prince George’s royal cousin Savannah Phillips stole the show when she covered his mouth to prevent him from singing. And she had a real look about her when she did it too.

The Class Clown Has Arrived

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Kate Middleton was cracking up over her youngest son Prince Louis’s shenanigans in 2019. It looks like he’s going to be the clown of the group.

All In The Family

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Much like her uncle Prince Harry, Princess Charlotte has favored the good old raspberry time and again. Here she is sticking her tongue out at a sailing regatta, and her mom is clearly trying not to laugh.

Always The Snack Mom

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In perhaps the most quintessential photo of royal kids acting like regular kids, Prince George and Princess Charlotte rifle through the trunk of their car looking for snacks while Kate Middleton sits on the ground with Prince Louis. Prince George even has his head in the bag.

That’s it. That’s the shot.

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