It may seem a long way off, but one day the young Cambridge children will be working royals.
Prince George, seven, and Princess Charlotte, five, will be able to have a relatively normal school life first at Thomas’s Battersea, where they will likely be joined by their youngest brother, two-year-old Louis.
However, their parents will no doubt be conscious of the future that lies ahead for them.
While they’re growing up, George, Charlotte and Louis will make lots of public appearances, at big royal events and possibly even on future tours.
As they already have done, William and Kate will take a cautious approach to their children’s exposure, as illustrated by how Kate is often the one behind the camera when official portraits are released.
This approach means that even in an age of social media, the young royals have been protected from excessive intrusion.
William and Harry were able to expect some privacy when they were at school as well, often in exchange for photo calls.
Prince William attended Eton College, and then took a gap year before going to university. He did his best to take on normal experiences, not shying away from household duties when he stayed in Chile, volunteering to teach children for 10 weeks.
William and Kate will probably be keen for their children to also experience the real world, and the flexibility William was given to spend time abroad is something he might want for George, Charlotte and Louis.
After a relatively quiet university life, William enrolled in Sandhurst military academy in 2006, and became Lieutenant Wales.
One of William’s first royal roles was becoming Counsellor of State at 21. Being appointed to this role meant he could carry out duties on the monarch’s behalf.
That could indicate George may expect to be appointed to that role in 2034, when he will be 21.
In 2003, to mark his 21st birthday, William went to Wales with his father, on an official visit. A similar joint engagement might be carried out with George, who is likely to be second in line to the throne when he turns 21.
Over the next few years, William represented his grandmother at a few events around the world, but he also carried on with military training.
The Royal Family and the military have a long history, and so it is a natural fit for younger royals to have some training in either the Army, Navy or Air Force.
William trained as a pilot and was in the RAF for several years as a search and rescue pilot, before transferring to the East Anglian Air Ambulance in 2015.
He was paid, but his salary was donated to back to the charity.
After two years with the EAAA, William left the role to take on full-time royal responsibilities. He was 36.
Though he had carried out some royal tours at this point, he was given time to build up to them slowly, and to keep working in order to increase his experience of the wider world.
That could be a model he passes on, as he and Kate prepare their children for their work. It would mean Prince George wouldn’t become a full-time working royal until 2047.
For Charlotte and Louis, there may be a different approach, as they are further down the line of succession.
They could model their futures on their uncle Prince Harry’s path or on the paths of their great-aunt Princess Anne, or their great-uncles, Andrew and Edward.
Harry also took a gap year, but when he came back he chose to go into the military, not to university like his older brother had.
He completed his training at Sandhurst and even served in Afghanistan and Iraq - the first time a royal had served in a war zone since his uncle Prince Andrew had flown helicopters in the Falklands War.
Even though he was in the Army, Harry did make some official trips during his 20s and early 30s. Once he left, he carried out more and more royal duties, even taking on some patronages from his grandmother on her 90th birthday.
In 2020, Harry and Meghan sought to carve out their own role for themselves and said they wanted to be able to earn money and carry out duties for the Queen.
However, that was deemed impossible and the pair decided instead to step back from their senior royal roles.
It remains to be seen how the Royal Family, in particular Charles and William, will approach the duties of those lower down the line of succession as a result of Harry and Meghan’s stepping back.
Charles has reportedly wanted a slimmed down working monarchy, though he almost certainly saw his younger son as part of it before the Sussexes left their roles.
In the generation above, however, there are several other examples of royal life that Charlotte and Louis can look to.
Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, has retained a strong commitment to the crown despite her position in the line of succession moving down because of her younger brothers and their children. She carries out hundreds of engagements and is regularly said to be one of the hardest working royals.
As well as this, she runs a farm at her home in Gloucestershire and keeps horses. She was a skilled rider, an accomplishment her daughter has also taken on.
Charlotte could look to this model of to carve out a path in the Royal Family as the eldest daughter of a future monarch.
Or she and Louis may choose to take a similar route to their great-uncle Prince Edward and great-aunt Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
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Both of them had their own careers and did not carry out working royal duties for many years while they were married. Edward ran a production company, though this was not an entirely successful business. Sophie also worked, but she faced some criticism after she was stung by the fake Sheikh.
Sophie had to apologise to then prime minister Tony Blair, as well as former Tory leader William Hague and her brother-in-law Prince Charles, after she was recorded making disparaging remarks about them, including saying Blair was “ignorant of the countryside”.
Edward and Sophie do now carry out royal duties, having given up their working life during the Queen’s Jubilee year in 2002.
While Charlotte and Louis won’t want to follow exactly in their great-aunt and great-uncle’s footsteps, they will be able to see multiple routes through royal life, and know that they could keep some options open.
After the fallout of Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back as senior royals, Charles and William might be willing to offer more flexibility to Charlotte and Louis to make sure something similar doesn’t happen again.
There is no set timeframe for the three children to become full time royals, with the pressure more likely to be on George, as he is the highest in the line of succession of the three siblings.
Back in 2016, ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday, William said: “As far as we're concerned, within our family unit we are a normal family.
“I love my children the same way any father does and I hope George loves me the same way any son does to his father, so we are very normal in that sense.”
He added: “I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important. But if I can't give my time to my children as well [as work], I worry about their future.”
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