As one of the world's most famous families, with support and resources most parents could only dream of, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge don't always exactly seem super relatable. In addition to being actual palace-dwelling royalty, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children always seem to look effortlessly beautiful and happy, complete with perfectly-timed curtsies and waves. Every now and then, though, the royals do have otherwise-totally-normal family moments that feel refreshingly average, and Duchess Kate's recent last-minute Christmas shopping trip with her kids was no exception. In fact, Kate Middleton revealed Princess Charlotte's nickname inadvertently while they were browsing, according to the Daily Mail, and it was just so adorable.
The duchess was spotted taking her two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, along with her on a trip to discount retailer The Range in King's Lynn, Norfolk, a few days before Christmas. From the sounds of it, the royal mama was stocking up a on a few items to keep the kids occupied, like arts and crafts and "dinosaur slime," according to the Daily Mail, while The Sun reported that Duchess Kate had also piled her cart full of children's books. But one shopper told the Daily Mail that she happened to overhear the duchess' sweet nickname for Princess Charlotte.
When Kate was asking her daughter to get up off the floor where she'd been sitting, she reportedly said, according to the Daily Mail: "Get up, poppet."
As unexpected as it likely was for the other shoppers to see Kate with her kids, imagining her there picking out coloring books with her little ones, and gently encouraging them to get up from sitting on the floor (probably for the millionth time, because kids usually have zero patience for shopping), seems so delightfully normal.
Then again, when you consider that Kate likely chose to stop at The Range as it was only a short drive from the Queen's Sandringham estate — aka where the royals celebrate a very fancy and formal Christmas each year — it also seems that much more surprising. Given that Kate was set to attend a black-tie Christmas Eve dinner with Her Majesty The Queen in two days, after all, it definitely would have seemed highly unlikely she'd simply pop up at a local store, standing in line to pay for her craft supplies at the cash register like any other shopper.
As down-to-earth and normal as Kate can clearly be though, it wasn't long until she was back in official duchess mode, as she joined her husband, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for the family's annual walk to church on Christmas morning. As usual, she looked predictably amazing in a long, red coat and black heels, but though she and Prince William have brought their kids to church on Christmas in the past, this year, they opted instead to leave them at home (which, let's be honest, had to have been so much less stressful).
Even with the formality of having to appear in public on Christmas Day though, it sounds like, once again, the duchess was able to maintain a good sense of normalcy for her kids. After the Sandringham church service, the royals stopped to say hello to the crowd of well-wishers, and one royal fan couldn't help but ask about the youngsters. 71-year-old Jill Lee said she asked the duchess whether Prince George and Princess Charlotte had woken up early for Christmas that morning, according to Hello! Magazine, to which Kate replied they'd indeed been up "very early."
Being a modern working royal like the Duchess of Cambridge must be a pretty strange balancing act — while you're a public figure who must master royal protocol and etiquette at all times, you're also a mom-of-three whose just trying to keep your kids busy during Christmas vacation amid all the excitement over toys and treats and Santa.
But while part of raising the monarchy's next generation includes teaching them to bow and curtsey and live in the spotlight, Kate does seem like she's also still just a regular loving mom (and one who likely has a ton of other little sweet nicknames for her kids). So while most of us may never know what it's like to be a duchess, chances are there's still a lot Kate has in common with the rest of us.
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