Prince Louis’s future as ‘double spare’ uncertain but Kate keen to ensure he’s not ‘lost’
Prince William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, will learn from the past and make “enomous efforts” not to make Prince Louis feel like a “lost soul” when he grows up, a royal commentator believes. Tom Quinn, author of the newly-released book Gilded Youth, thinks the youngest child of the prince and princess is the most at risk among the Wales’ youngsters of suffering from his position within his family.
Other royals before him, such as Princess Margaret and Prince Harry, were affected by growing up in the same gilded cage exposing them to the public eye as the future sovereigns while not having the same well-defined paths in front of them as their elder siblings, Mr Quinn said.
Princess Charlotte could also be considered a spare in the Firm, but Mr Quinn believes she may play the supporting act for her elder brother, much like Princess Anne is for King Charles.
Louis, on the other hand, is a “double spare” with no clear future role at the moment, Mr Quinn said.
Mr Quinn told Express.co.uk: “Like all royal children, he will quickly become aware that he has a life of luxury but he can’t really escape it and have an ordinary life, but he’s also not the number one, he’s not going to be, or it’s very unlikely, that he’d ever become the monarch.”
Mr Quinn, however, believes Buckingham Palace and the Prince and Princess of Wales in particular have learnt the lessons from the past and will take provisions to avoid their younger son ending up feeling like a “lost soul” as other spares before him.
He said: “I think because the Royal Family now is so aware of the mistakes that they’ve made in the past, especially with bringing up children, I think they will make enormous efforts to make sure that Louis doesn’t feel like a lost soul.
“And I think it will be easier for Kate and William to ensure that that happens, partly because the world has changed so much, even since William and Harry were young the world’s changed a great deal.”
The fact that Kate is an outsider who had an upbringing more in line with everyday Britons than Prince William and other royal wives before her also gives her an advantage in the support she can provide Louis and her two other children, Mr Quinn said.
While arguing the Princess of Wales has perfectly fitted in the Firm despite coming from a different world, Mr Quinn said: “Because Kate doesn’t come from this very restricting very traditional, very inward looking Royal Family, she’s in a position to do more to make sure Louis has the kind of self-belief that comes from emotionally bonding with your actual parents.”
The author explained that even Princess Diana, despite her efforts to get her children to know the real world outside the palace walls, still partially adopted the same upbringing methods she herself had received as a member of an important aristocratic family.
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He said: “In previous generations, even Harry and William, they were looked after by paid staff who might leave at any time.”
Diana, he added, “grew up in a world and with traditions where you employed paid staff to look after your children”, and employed people to look after Prince William and Prince Harry as a consequence.
While Kate and William also rely on a nanny – Norland College trained Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo – to help them with childcare, they are known to strive to be as present as possible in the daily lives of George, Charlotte and Louis and carry out the school runs themselves.
They reportedly scheduled their departure for their tour to Pakistan in 2019 to be able to send off their children to school first, and returned in time from their Caribbean tour in 2022 to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Mr Quinn concluded: “And I think Kate will, because she’s an outsider, be in a much better position to make sure that she sees a lot of Louis – and of course the other children – and that she emotionally bonds with them because she’s aware of the history of the Royal Family and how, how dysfunctional it is.”
The plight of the royal spare was described by Prince Harry in his memoir, released in January, which included a number of claims and examples showing the competition between himself and his brother.
In an interview with the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon which accompanied the launch of the book, Harry also mentioned her concern for other spares.
He said: “Though William and I have talked about it once or twice, and he has made it very clear to me that his kids are not my responsibility, I still feel a responsibility knowing that out of those three children, at least one will end up like me, the spare. And that hurts, that worries me.”
Gilded Youth by Tom Quinn, published by Biteback, is available in hardback at £15.