It is 20 May and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is about to leave Anmer Hall for Portsmouth, to open the new Tech Deck Education Centre at the 1851 Trust. This is something to do with inspiring young people to sail, which Kate thinks is fantastic. It’s also to do with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) which Kate has been fully briefed about and also thinks is fantastic. She is very much looking forward to her third visit to Portsmouth but, as she and William share breakfast in bed, she is worried about leaving George and Charlotte. The family enjoyed a secret Mark Warner holiday last week, masquerading as an ‘ordinary’ family. George learnt to sail and she is tempted to bring the children along today. William, however, is not keen.
“Darling, I do think George would be good if he came to Portsmouth with me. He’s keen on STEM, what with helping Gan Gan tinker with those old engine parts from Brittania. And there’s Charlotte’s chrysanthemum, so …”
Kate eats her boiled egg while she waits for William to applaud her witty reference to the bloom named after their daughter, but he is busy lining up his soldiers.
“Will, please reconsider? George and I could wear matching outfits. By the way, I cannot find my new deck shoes. Do you think Maria’s Norland shoes would do? Shall I ask her if I can borrow them?”
“You know that would go down terribly with What Kate Wore.”
“I don’t think it would. They’d probably think I’d had a ‘minor domestic’ with the children like they did with the red jacket I wore last weekend,” she sighs.
“Well, it’s probably better they don’t know that actually Lupo thought your necklace was a gravy bone, lunged and tore a hole in the lace.”
“Yes, probably,” she says. “Anyway. Can George and Shouty come or not?” (Charlotte, constantly wound up by George and teething, is often referred to as ‘Shouty’). “They were both SO good on the Mark Warner holiday. Do you remember when Georgie even told the instructor that water ‘felt like crushed satin?'”
“Yes,” says William. He thinks, privately, it is probably best that Kate doesn’t know he spied his son stealing Pom Bears from another child as he was walking past ‘Mini Club’ on his way to the beach in Greece. Maria doesn’t allow them at home so he turned a blind eye. He did, however, give him a stern talking to on the private plane home about the dangers of sodium-enriched potato snacks on his father, Charles’ advice.
“I think NOT,” says William, kindly. “You are a patron of the 1851 Trust and turning up with the children will just blow the whole point of your visit out of the water.”
Kate puts on a brave face, though she is upset. She gets out of bed and trips over to the wardrobe to put her dressing gown on. “I’ll just go and say goodbye, then,” she sighs.
She creeps up to George’s bedroom door, where she listens to him talking to Maria about their holiday. (Charlotte’s shouting has died to a mere dull roar, as she has just had Calpol).
“… and then I buried a plastic tiger in the sand,” says George.
“That sounds like fun,” says Maria. “Because here, you only have precious metal lions, don’t you?”
“Yes. And I gave Charlotte the plastic tiger to bite and I think she liked it more than gold.”
Kate’s heart swells with pride.
“Good boy,” says Maria, approvingly. “Now, let’s practice knots, like you did on holiday.”
“I’m NOT king yet. I’m NOT three yet. I’m NOT …”
“Yes, very clever.” Maria sounds a little worn. “What did it feel like when you went sailing?”
“Really? No, silly! What did sailing feel like?”
“No, I want ice cream.”
“I want ice cream ..?”
“No, I want ice cream!”
Kate steps into the room and George runs to her. “Darling, Maria wants you to say ‘I want ice cream please.’
“I know,” he says simply. “But I already said it to Daddy and he said ‘no’ so I thought it would work with Maria if I did NOT say ‘please’.” He gives his mother and nanny a princely grin.
Kate takes a long, hard look at her toddler and remembers that he did manage to practice his knots rather well at the sailing club in Levante, tying her trapeze to the beach umbrella so she was forced to stand upright, trapped for almost an hour while Will took the children on the ‘crazy sofa’. Her Clarins sun cream was just out of reach, so the strappy tan lines have required some serious wizardry. On the positive side, she knows it has done wonders for her posture.
“Georgie, darling, I am going to Portsmouth this afternoon to look at some boats and I’m afraid you can’t come.” She steels herself for a meltdown but, surprisingly, George looks composed.
“That’s ok, Mummy. I will practice my knots on Shouty,” he says, smiling sweetly with a mouth she knows will soon be smothered in Carte D’Or.
Right Royal Mother is a FINALIST for ‘Best New Blog’ in the 2016 MAD Blog Awards – the UK’s biggest and most exciting awards for parent blogs. Just six out of 8,000 blogs are selected, so I am over the moon about it. If you like RRM, I would LOVE you to give ‘ordinary royalty’ your vote!