Whether they’re the future Queen consort or the average American mom, every mother has their own methods of parenting and caring for their children. After marrying Prince William in 2011, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince George in 2013 and is now a mother of three. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex married Prince Harry in 2018 and welcomed their first child, Master Archie in 2019.
Both women married into the British royal family, but they’ve parented the Queen’s great-grandchildren in very different ways. While the Cambridge children are close in the line of succession to the throne, Meghan and Harry’s son is a private citizen with dual citizenship. From baby strollers to nannies, here are the parenting styles of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, compared.
Kate’s Three Children Make Official Appearances
Kate knew that when she married Prince William she would be taking on important duties as part of the British royal family. The members of the royal family have an incredible amount of official engagements around the world — around 2,000 each year, including royal tours.
Senior members of the royal family dedicate their lives to be of service to the people of the Commonwealth. While this also includes Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, who are in the line of succession to the British throne, the family tries to keep their lives private while they’re still young.
Meghan’s Son is Rarely In The Public Eye
Meghan says that she wants to protect Archie from the negativity she experienced after stepping into the limelight as a member of the British royal family. Prince Harry is also sensitive to negative press and is very protective of Archie and his wife after seeing the press go after his late mother, Princess Diana.
Meghan and Harry said in a statement that they had “no other option” but to step away from the spotlight after welcoming Archie, in order to avoid “intense scrutiny.”
The Cambridge Children’s Christenings Were Made Public
Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis were all christened wearing a replica of Queen Victoria’s christening gown. The Queen was in attendance for George and Charlotte’s christenings, but not for Louis’, for unknown reasons.
All of the Cambridge children were christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. The guest list was limited to the family on both Prince William and Kate’s sides and professional photos were taken on the big day for each of the three children.
Archie’s Christening Was Traditional, But Private
Harry and Meghan’s son Archie Harrison had his christening at a private chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple elected to have a private ceremony with 25 guests. Although the Queen was not in attendance, other members of the royal family were, including Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate.
Like Kate’s three children, baby Archie was also christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. Archie also wore a replica of the Royal Christening Robe. Afterward, an official family photograph was taken and posted on the Sussex Royal Instagram account.
Kate’s Children Are Close In The Line Of Succession To The Throne
Following Queen Elizabeth II, the next in line to the throne is Prince Charles. Prince William follows him, as second in line to the throne. Next is Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, as third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
It’s likely that in his lifetime, Prince William will be given the opportunity to become the king. Just as his grandmother had, he will be prepared for the duties he’ll take on, and one day, it’s likely that at least one of his kids will do the same.
It’s Highly Unlikely That Archie Would Take The Throne
Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne, therefore he is highly unlikely to ever be named king. Following him is Master Archie Harrison, seventh in line to the throne. The couple chose to not give Archie a royal title, designating him as “Master” instead.
BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond commented that the decision to forego a royal title was a strong indication that Harry and Meghan did not plan on raising Archie as a formal royal family member.
The Cambridge Children Are British
Born in London, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge has been a member of the British royal family since birth. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was born in Berkshire, England, with family ties to the British aristocracy. In fact, William and Kate’s families were introduced to one another long ago, as far back as 1926.
The couple’s three children are from an authentic British background with deep roots. It’s expected that the Cambridge children will live in Britain for their entire lives.
Meghan’s Son Is British-American
Prince Harry was born in London and also a member of the British royal family at birth, while Meghan was born in Los Angeles, in the U.S. Together, the couple decided that they wanted to raise their son as a “global citizen.”
Archie is officially a citizen of both the United Kingdom and the United States and has lived in England, Canada, and the U.S. within the first year of his life.
Kate Takes Her Kids To Theme Parks And McDonald’s
In interviews, Kate speaks lovingly of her childhood and wants to make sure that her children get to experience some of the “normal” things that other kids get to. She doesn’t want them to miss out because of their royal status or her busy schedule.
Parenting expert Cai Graham said, “Admittedly, Kate has learned the importance to showing her children a ‘normal life’, as Diana did so very well, in queuing in theme parks or having the occasional trip to McDonald’s!”
Meghan Is Raising Archie As A Private Citizen
Once Meghan and Harry knew they were expecting, discussions began of how they wanted to raise Archie. After all of the negative press and hounding both Meghan and Princess Diana faced, the couple decided to forgo giving Archie a royal title.
Instead, they announced he would be “Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor,” also opting to select one middle name instead of the customary two middle names in Britain. Stepping down as senior royals also gives Meghan and Harry an opportunity to be “normal parents” living a more private life.
Kate Is A Humble Parent And Well Aware Of Her Privileges
Born into an upper-middle-class family and married into the British royal family, the Duchess of Cambridge openly acknowledges that she receives a lot of help and access to child care that the average mother doesn’t have the privilege of having.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Kate said, “Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge, even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not. Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother.”
Meghan Admitted She Struggled With Mental Health In Early Motherhood
In a surprisingly candid interview with Today, Meghan expressed her personal struggle with maintaining her mental health during early motherhood. She said, “Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant– you’re really vulnerable. So that was made really challenging. And then, you have a newborn, you know? It’s really a lot.”
Taking up residence on beautiful Vancouver Island in early 2020 gave Meghan the privacy and peace that she was seeking to settle into motherhood.
Kate’s Favorite Kids’ Brands Sell Out In Minutes
As heirs to the throne, Kate’s children are expected to dress properly whenever they’re out in public. She selects classic outfits for her kids, from brands like Rachel Riley, Amaia Kids, Papouelli, and Pepa & Co.
It’s common for kids’ jackets and outfits to sell out within minutes after one of the young British royals is spotted wearing them. In 2016, before the birth of Prince Louis, London-based consulting firm Brand Finance estimated that the two eldest royal kids will contribute a combined $7.7 billion to the UK economy during their lifetimes.
Meghan Dresses Archie in H&M
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to South Africa, they brought along Archie for his first royal visit. Five-month-old Archie was pictured wearing H&M overalls, priced at just $20. The outfit quickly sold out.
Fans of Meghan and the royal family were amazed at how frugally-dressed Meghan and Prince Harry’s son was. When she visited a women’s shelter in Cape Town, Meghan brought along with her clothing that Archie had outgrown, to donate.
Kate Middleton’s Nanny Graduated From A Top College
In 2014, when Prince George was around six months old, Kate and William hired a nanny to help them. Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo has been working for the family ever since, also caring for Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis without additional assistance. Borrallo graduated from the prestigious Norland College, which offers exceptional child-rearing classes.
Hello magazine reports that she typically sees the kids to and from school, as well as to the park to play. She’s also been seen helping with the children at royal weddings.
Meghan Has Kept Her Nanny’s Identity Private
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hired a nanny when Archie was born, but she was let go soon after for a “lapse in professional duties” according to ET. Meghan then found a nanny who has been “a blessing” as the family of three traveled to France and toured South Africa.
Archie’s nanny’s identity has not been revealed, as Meghan wants to keep her privacy protected. But she trusts her so much that she left eight-month-old Archie in her care while she and Harry traveled to the UK to discuss their royal transition with the Queen.
Kate Teaches Her Kids Gardening and Art
Kate grew up spending a great deal of time with members of her family who taught her helpful skills while building a meaningful relationship. In an interview with Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast with Giovanna Fletcher, Kate said she wanted to provide the same kind of childhood experience for her kids. “I had an amazing Granny who devoted a lot of time to us– playing with us, doing arts and crafts, and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us.”
She continued, “I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.”
Meghan Loves Cooking for Her Family
Leading up to Archie’s birth, a source told ET that Meghan planned to be a very “hands-on, engaged mother.” Meghan loves to spend time at home cooking, which is probably part of the reason the couple chose to stay at a friend’s Vancouver Island home that boasted a gourmet kitchen.
Meghan’s close friend Daniel Martin told Gayle King, “I’m sure the baby’s going to be raised clean and green. She loves to cook, eating organic whenever she can. I totally see her marking her own food. Totally!” Meghan also takes Archie on a 1-2 hour walk each day.
Kate’s Silver Cross Balmoral Pram
Priced at $3,999, Kate Middleton has been photographed pushing young Princess Charlotte in a Silver Cross Balmoral Pram. The carriage is described as “the Rolls Royce” of prams.
The vintage carriage prides fashion and luxury over function and practicality, but what more could you expect when selecting a pram for a Princess? The Silver Cross brand has been used by the royal family for more than a century. The Queen herself used to be pushed in one as a baby.
Meghan Broke Family Tradition With A Bugaboo Fox
Rather than follow the royal family tradition of purchasing a Silver Cross pram, Meghan opted for a Bugaboo Fox carriage for baby Archie. The stroller is priced at $1,500 but was a gift that a friend of Meghan’s presented to the couple when they were expecting.
The Bugaboo Fox is a practical choice for Meghan and Harry’s lifestyle, as the couple enjoying hiking with Archie and their dogs and need a baby stroller that can handle the task. (Pippa Middleton and James have the same one!)
The Cambridge Children See Their Grandparents Often
Kate has a close relationship with both of her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. The grandparents of the Cambridge children often stay with the family in Bucklebury, West Berkshire, according to Hello magazine.
Often times, it’s the Middletons who watch over the Cambridge children while Kate and William have official engagements to attend or are on a royal tour. Kate is the eldest of three, and the Cambridge children were their first three grandchildren. Kate’s younger sister Pippa welcomed her first child six months after Prince Louis was born.
Meghan And Harry Are Buying Property In LA, Near Meghan’s Mom
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland was in London for the birth of her first grandchild. She stayed with Meghan and Harry at Frogmore Cottage for a few weeks to help with baby Archie.
After stepping down as senior royals, Meghan and Harry announced that along with Archie, they would split their time living between North America and Britain. In 2020, the couple began looking for property to buy in Los Angeles, where Archie’s grandmother lives, buying her more time with her only grandchild.
The Engagement Rings
The engagement ring that Prince William presented to Kate Middleton once belonged to William’s late mother, Princess Diana. Now valued at $400,000, the 12-carat ring features an oval blue sapphire with cut faces. It’s circled by stunning solitaire diamonds.
Meghan’s engagement ring also features jewels from Princess Diana’s collection, with two of her diamonds framing a center stone that Prince Harry purchased from Botswana, where the now-married couple first fell in love. Meghan’s engagement ring is worth an estimated $350,000.
Leading Up To The Big Day
Leading up to the big day, British tabloids painted a harsh portrayal of Meghan Markle. Labeled as an American actress with a family background unsuitable to marry into the British royal family, Meghan struggled to enjoy her engagement to Prince Harry.
Within two years of their wedding day, Prince Harry and Meghan made the decision to step away from their duties as senior royals. Some people who’ve closely followed the royal family point to differences in Kate and Meghan’s weddings as an early sign that Meghan wouldn’t fully commit to her new role.
Waving To The Crowd
Upon officially joining the British royal family, Duchesses Kate and Meghan are expected to demonstrate the perfect regal wave. After the wedding ceremony, royal brides are expected to wave to the crowds during the carriage ride, as a sign of appreciation for the people that have gathered to celebrate.
Kate keeps her fingers close together for her wave, while Meghan has her fingers a bit more relaxed and spaced out. Both ladies use minimal movement while waving to the crowds.
Prince Charles’ Two Outfits
While Prince Charles’ second wife Camilla Parker wore similar outfits to both royal weddings, the father of Prince William and Prince Harry wore noticeably different attire for two of the biggest days in his sons’ lives.
For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, Charles donned his royal uniform, complete with all its regalia. For Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Prince Charles wore a simple grey suit that paired well with Camilla’s light pink dress and hat.
Walking Down The Aisle
It’s hard to fathom the amount of pressure on Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle as they each walked down the aisle on their big days with the entire world watching. The Duchess of Cambridge was accompanied by her father, Michael Middleton, on her big day.
Unfortunately, the Duchess of Sussex’s father was experiencing health issues during the month of her wedding date, preventing him from traveling to London for the big event. Meghan walked down the aisle solo before being met by Prince Charles halfway.
The Two Wedding Reception Dresses
After their royal weddings, each Duchess changed dresses and headed to the wedding reception that Prince Charles organized for each of his sons and their new wives. Kate wore a classic white Alexander McQueen dress for her reception.
Meghan’s dress was designed by Stella McCartney and cost a reported $157,000. She was spotted wearing the stunning gown as she held hands with Prince Harry while he helped her into a blue vintage Jaguar.
Millions of viewers tuned in to witness the first kiss of the newlywed royal couples. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge had their first kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the wedding ceremony at Westminister Abbey.
Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex displayed their first wedded kiss right outside of St. George’s Chapel following the wedding ceremony. Both couples beamed with happiness as the crowds cheered them on.
The Middletons’ Attire For Both Weddings
Michael and Carole Middleton, the parents of Kate, are elite members of British society. The family has a long history of prominent lawyers and are very well-educated. They’re no strangers to the British royals, as the two families have shared ties for quite a number of years.
For their daughter’s royal wedding, Michael donned a suit and top hat, while the Mother of the Bride wore a light blue dress. Both wore similar outfits when they attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018.
The Two Tiaras
Nothing about a royal wedding is average, which is part of why so many people tune in to watch. One aspect that sets royal weddings apart from the rest is the incredible headwear that the brides don for the event.
At her wedding, Kate wore a Cartier tiara that was given to Queen Elizabeth II on her 18th birthday. Meghan also wore a tiara that belonged to the Queen. The Diamond Bandeau Tiara was designed in 1932. For her wedding day, Meghan swapped the sapphire center stone for a diamond.
Star soccer player David Beckham and his wife, fashion designer and former pop star Victoria Beckham, attended both royal weddings. David wore a grey morning suit and top hat for Prince William and Kate’s wedding while Victoria wore a sleek navy dress and hat.
For Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the couple wore similar colors with David sporting a close haircut and beard instead of a top hat. The famous couple reportedly donated their outfits from the wedding to raise money for charity.
The Royal Wedding Cakes
Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake was made by Fiona Cairns and featured an incredible eight tiers. The couple selected fruitcake as their flavor and had a second cake made that was chocolate, for guests who didn’t like fruitcake, costing a total of $160,000.
Prince Harry and Meghan opted for a lemon sponge cake with elderflower syrup and Amalfi lemon curd for their big day. Made by Claire Ptak, the cake reportedly cost between $60,000 and $75,000.
A Closer Look At The Beautiful Bouquets
The wedding bouquets that Kate and Meghan held at their respective weddings look quite similar but have important differences between the two. Middleton’s delicately small bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and features all-white flowers, each representing something that the couple wishes for their marriage, including happiness and steady love.
Designed by Philippa Craddock, Meghan’s bouquet included flowers that were handpicked by Prince Harry and symbolized hopes for their marriage, including dedication and love.
Kate Had A Maid Of Honor, Meghan Had Page Boys
As expected, Kate Middleton asked her younger sister Pippa to act as her Maid of Honor and carry her train down the aisle at Westminster Abbey. The two sisters are very close and lived together before Kate’s wedding day.
On the other hand, Meghan didn’t select a Maid of Honor, although she had several of her best friends in attendance at her royal wedding. Two page boys carried the train of Meghan’s dress at St. George’s Chapel.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry served in the military and wore their uniforms on their wedding days, as it’s tradition for royal grooms to marry in military dress. William, a Colonel, wore a red Irish Guards uniform. He was the first royal groom to wear red since Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.
Prince Harry wore a Blues and Royals military uniform on his wedding day. He opted to wear a Major’s uniform, even though he was appointed as Captain General of the Royal Marines.
Duchess Catherine Of Cambridge’s Dress
The world waited with bated breath to see what dress Kate Middleton would wear as she married the future King. The Duchess of Cambridge selected a gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The dress was widely popular as viewers noted the blend of tradition and modern elegance, costing a reported $450,000.
Kate’s dress featured lace that was handcrafted by the Royal School of Needlework and a nine-foot train. The back of the dress was extremely detailed with no less than 58 organza-covered buttons and Rouleau loops.
The Duchess Of Sussex’s Wedding Dress
Some Thought Kate Wore White To Meghan’s Wedding
Traditionally, no one except the bride is supposed to wear white to a wedding. However, at first glance, many thought that the Duchess of Cambridge bent the rules on this one. Looking closer in different lighting, however, Kate’s elegant Alexander McQueen coat was a primrose yellow.
Having just given birth to Prince Louis three weeks prior, Kate looked stunning, pairing the stylish light yellow coat with a Philip Treacy hat.
The Mother Of The Bride
Carole Middleton didn’t want to take the shine away from her daughter, the Duchess of Cambridge, on her big day. Her pale blue dress, designed by Catherine Walker, was the perfect shade for the spring wedding. The Mother of the Bride looked elated on Kate’s big day.
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland flew in from Los Angeles to show her support for Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding. She wore a light green Oscar de la Renta dress, looking happy as ever as Meghan married her prince charming.
Not Everyone Was Invited To The Evening Wedding Receptions
Following each royal wedding is the evening reception. Not everyone who attends the grandiose weddings is invited to attend the evening receptions. Most guests changed outfits after the wedding for the magical night, which wasn’t shared publicly.
Prince William and Kate Middleton held their evening reception at Buckingham Palace, while Prince Harry and Meghan held their reception at St. George’s Hall in Windsor Castle. Both events followed tradition with speeches, toasts, and well wishes to the newly-wed couples.
The Price Tag Of Each Wedding
It’s no secret that both royal weddings cost well above the average wedding for a commoner. Every detail of the event is given proper attention, as the weddings of the British royal family become a part of history. The incredible guest list alone will have the numbers skyrocketing.
In total, Prince William and Kate’s 2011 wedding hosted 2,500 guests and cost $34 million. In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding had fewer guests (600) yet cost a reported $55 million.
Chelsy Davy’s Royal Wedding Outfits
Before Meghan Markle, Prince Harry had an on-again-off-again relationship with Chelsy Davy, a businesswoman from Zimbabwe, that spanned seven years. Harry and Chelsy dated from 2004 until 2011, and she was invited to both Prince William and Prince Harry’s weddings.
At the time of Prince William’s wedding, Harry and Chelsy had just broken up. Parade magazine reports that the enormity of the event kept Harry and Chelsy apart for good, as Chelsy realized the royal family life wasn’t for her. She wasn’t invited to Prince Harry and Meghan’s evening reception.
From Light To Bright: The Queen’s Royal Wedding Attire
Queen Elizabeth II is known for wearing bright outfits. She’s been quoted as saying, “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.” For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, the Queen wore a primrose yellow long sleeve dress with a matching hat.
In 2018, when she attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the Queen opted for a brighter green coat over a purple dress. She paired it with a matching green hat with purple feather ornamentation.
The Royal Wedding Veils
While Kate’s wedding dress train topped Meghan’s, it was Meghan’s veil that stunned guests and everyone watching from home. Kate’s veil was a top-secret project of the Royal School of Needlework that paired elegantly with the tiara borrowed from the Queen.
Clare Waight Keller designed Meghan’s 16.5-foot-long veil that featured the wildflowers of 53 countries after Meghan made a request that all the Commonwealth’s nations be represented in her veil design.
Pippa Middleton’s Outfits Caught Attention
The younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton was the Maid of Honor at her sister’s wedding in 2011. Pippa’s gown featured a design that complemented her sister’s and the bridesmaids’ dresses while also standing apart. Her reputation grew after the event as viewers were captivated with Kate’s younger sister.
Pippa, who got married herself in 2017, attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding wearing a light green floral dress with a hefty price tag of $650,000.
The Bride’s Earrings
On her wedding day, the Duchess of Cambridge selected a pair of Robinson Pelham diamond earrings. Costing a reported $20,000, the earrings featured a teardrop shape that complemented her diamond tiara.
Meghan wore Cartier earrings when she wed Prince Harry. The diamond and white gold earrings paired well with her tiara, which was borrowed from the Queen who inherited it from Queen Mary in 1953. Meghan also wore a Reflection de Cartier diamond bracelet.
Princess Anne Wore Different Shades of Purple
We mustn’t forget about Princess Anne. The daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Princess Anne attended both of her nephews’ weddings in style. For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, she wore a purple and green collared coat paired with a bright purple hat, choosing colors similar to her mother’s.
For Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Princess Anne wore a deeper purple coat with a wrap style. She accessorized the look with a purple-hued hairpiece and clutch.
The Crowds On The Big Day
Prince William and Kate’s wedding had far more guests and a far larger crowd than Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding. It makes sense, as one day Prince William will most likely be named King. The couple also had the bigger wedding venue, bringing nearly 2,000 people to catch a glimpse of the action at Westminister Abbey.
On the day of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, an unknown number of people flocked to Windsor Castle to be in the presence of the newlyweds. However, not as many people were able to gather at the smaller venue of St. George’s Chapel.
The Phillips’ Attire – Prince William And Harry’s Cousin
The eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, Peter Phillips attended both royal weddings with his wife Autumn. The couple has two daughters together, Savannah and Isla. Autumn Kelly wore a stunning purple collared dress with a flared skirt to Prince William and Kate’s wedding.
When she and Peter attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Autumn wore am elegant long-sleeved royal blue dress with a teal hat and her hair down.
Lady Kitty Spencer’s Elegant Dresses
The absence and memory of Princess Diana was strongly felt at both Prince William and Prince Harry’s weddings. Each of her sons paid tribute to their late mother in their own ways, keeping her memory close on their big days.
Lady Kitty Spencer, the niece of Princess Diana and cousin of Prince William and Prince Harry, attended both of her cousins’ weddings. She wore a light, tightly-fitted beige dress to William’s wedding. For Harry’s, Kitty wore a green square neck dress with a colorful floral design on the skirt.
Prince Philip’s Attire
Prince William and Prince Harry’s grandfather Prince Phillip was a proud man on both of their wedding days. Prince William wore red on his wedding day while Prince Philip attended the event wearing his red Grenadier Guards Uniform.
However, to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Prince Philip opted to leave his uniform behind and wear a formal suit with a blue tie. He might have preferred the more casual suit over the uniform due to his recent hip surgery that could add extra discomfort.