Apparently Prince William and Kate Middleton don’t have custody of their own children


Huh? What’s that about?

The British royals have to adhere to quite a lot of strict (and sometimes old-fashioned) rules. For example, women are always supposed to wear pantyhose underneath a dress or skirt, royals aren’t allowed to take selfies with a fan and they’re not allowed to keep on eating when the Queen is done. A couple of these strict rules are somewhat old-fashioned. But this 300-year-old rule is straight up bizarre.

So many rules would make our heads spin.


The gorgeous Kate Middleton has given birth to three adorable children: Prince George (2013), Princess Charlotte (2015) and Prince Louis (2018). Yet apparently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge don’t have custody of their own children. So, how does that work? Royal historian and founder of the blog Royal Musings, Marlene Koenig, explains to what this is all about: “The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren,” she explains. “This goes back to King George I, and the law’s never been changed.” King George ruled at the start of the 1700s, so this rule is over 300 years old!


King George I ruled in the early 1700s and he instated this law because had a bad relationship with his son, the future King George II. He passed a law that said the King got custody over his grandchildren and thus became their legal guardian. This law was passed in 1717 and legislated once again in 1772. And since then, in all those years, it’s never been changed.


What does this entail exactly? It means that Queen Elizabeth had custody of her grandsons, William and Harry, when they were still underage. It’s not entirely clear whether the Queen also has custody of the children of Prince William and his wife, though, since these are her greatgrandchildren. King George I never mentioned those in his law.

This law certainly influences the way the royals parent their children. Want to know in what way? Go to the next page!

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