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Royal Childhoods, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George, Princess Charlotte

Melissa Hebeler / E! Illustration

When it comes to the Royal family, tradition means everything. Tradition gives life in Buckingham Palace meaning and order and a sense of purpose. Tradition is not optional if your last name is Windsor (or, technically, if you're so famous you don't even need that last name.)

That's why, years ago when Prince William and Kate Middleton announced they were expecting their first child, everyone pretty much knew how things were going to go. They knew that Kate would serve out her Royal duties pretty much as long as she felt well enough. They knew that the baby would be born at the private Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital in London, because it's the exact same place that Princess Diana gave birth to Will and Harry.

They knew that, once the baby arrived in the world, a palace employee would put an official birth announcement on a gilded easel in front of Buckingham Palace. Never mind the fact that the entire world had already heard the news on the Internet—it's tradition.  

But, that doesn't mean that Will and Kate were going to do everything the way of Queen Elizabeth II. It's the 21st century, and sometimes you don't want a cadre of household staff circling around you. Sometimes you just want to carry your newborn baby yourself, get into your car, and drive yourself home from the hospital. That's what makes comparing the early years of George and Charlotte to those of Will and Harry so fascinating—it's very much the same, but very much different. 

Timeline of the Royal Childhoods

Melissa Hebeler / E! Illustration

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