Sadly, Prince George will never meet his maternal grandmother, Princess Diana. She died in a car crash in 1997, when George’s father William was still a child himself. However, Diana in a sense lives on in the actions of her family. People have long remarked that both of her sons display parts of her character – and now it seems Prince George has begun to emulate her as well.
The now five-year-old Prince George of Cambridge will almost certainly be King one day. However, as any royal learns once they’re old enough, the crown comes with a price. George will only take the throne once his great-grandmother, grandfather and father have either passed away or abdicated.
Apparently, though, William and Kate Middleton have opted not to tell Prince George that he’s a future monarch. According to royal biographer Catherine Mayer, they want their eldest son to have as normal a childhood as possible. “They are trying to delay that moment of realisation and give him normality before they thrust this on him,” Mayer told E! News.
The decision was influenced by William’s experiences growing up as a prince, she said. Throughout all his childhood he knew he was destined to be monarch. Allegedly, the young William once told Diana that he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up, only for the even younger Harry to pipe up and tell him he couldn’t, he had to be king.
However, William was given as normal a childhood as was possible under the circumstances, thanks in no small part to Diana. She ignored royal rules about how to raise children and instead took the initiative herself. Diana employed her own nanny for them, took them on trips, and made sure her schedule was coordinated around their schooling.
As a youngster William was free to partake in activities he enjoyed. These included swimming, skiing, rowing and horse riding – and he got to continue them into adulthood, too. Now he’s patron and supporter to several sports charities, and he still goes on skiing holidays, this time in the company of his wife and children.
William appears to be following in his mother’s footsteps when it comes to parenting. His eldest children George and Charlotte seem to be treated like normal kids as much as possible, albeit perhaps ones with more wide-ranging hobbies than many. Prince George is very involved in a lot of different activities and classes.
Seeing as how both his parents are sporty types, George has been given instructions in all sorts of sports. In 2016 Kate Middleton attended Wimbledon and told former British tennis ace Greg Rusedski that George had already “got a racket and he enjoys playing tennis.” Although he was too young to understand the game, she said he still “wants to whack a ball.”
George has also been given horse riding lessons at Windsor, according to Hello magazine. In 2018 they published a quote from an anonymous insider who claimed, “William and Kate were really keen to get George riding – it’s something all the royals do and the whole family adore animals.”
However, it turns out that George has another, perhaps more unexpected hobby. His father shared the news in October 2018 while hosting a reception for the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards at Kensington Palace. Speaking to one of the young people there who had a background in dance, he revealed that Prince George also loves dancing.
The video of Prince William’s conversation was uploaded to the official Kensington Palace Twitter account. “George is doing dancing as well, he loves it,” the Duke of Cambridge said. “And it’s kind of… my mother always used to dance, she loved dancing. And if it’s something you love, you do what you love. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it.”
Princess Diana did indeed love to dance. In 2017 dancer and choreographer Wayne Sleep spoke to The Guardian about Diana’s dancing ambitions. “Our paths first crossed when she approached me for dance lessons in the early 1980s,” he said. “Diana loved ballet, but she also wanted to learn jazz, tap and contemporary.”
Diana ended up performing a private show at the Royal Opera House, as a surprise for Prince Charles. “The audience gasped when Diana appeared, as if they’d all taken one huge breath,” Sleep recalled. “The routine had a bit of everything: jazz, ballet, even a kickline. At one point, I pirouetted and she pushed me down; then I carried her across the stage.”
“She loved the freedom dancing gave her. A few days later, I got a letter. She wrote, ‘Now I understand the buzz you get from performing.’” Sleep continued. Diana would dance again, most famously with actor John Travolta at the White House in 1985. The dress she wore for that event became so famous it’s now known simply as “the Travolta dress.”
Diana, of course, never got to pursue her dancing dreams further. But maintaining the hobby was a source of comfort to her. “She had dance in her soul. I realized the pure enjoyment that it gave her,” her ballet teacher Anne Allan told The Sun in 2017. “She loved the freeness of being able to move and dance.”
So it’s rather poignant, then, that Prince George is following in her footsteps. And that’s not even the only thing he has in common with her. Royal fans have compared the two frequently. When official photographs of Prince George’s fifth birthday were released, Instagram users commented that he and Diana had the same smile. And, of course, they also share the same coloring.
According to People, Prince George currently attends 35-minute ballet lessons at his primary school every week. The classes there are a cut above most people’s – they feature a live pianist, for a start – and are designed to “develop students’ physical skills, stamina, creative, expression and musicality.”
What’s more, those lessons might be paying off, because Prince George was spotted doing a little dance at a wedding in September. While attending as page boy to his mother’s friend Sophie Carter, he performed some marching moves, to the delight of all who were watching. It was almost enough to steal the show.
And apparently, George’s little sister Charlotte might be learning to dance as well. Back in March 2018, during a Commonwealth Day reception, William spoke to the Prime Minister of Malta and his wife about the couple’s daughters going to a stage school. During the chat William reportedly said, “My daughter Charlotte loves dancing.”
However, it seems that the love and talent for dancing might actually skip a generation. At the Kensington Palace reception, William discussed breakdancing with the young dancer with whom he’d shared the tidbit about Prince George. And it turned out the Duke wasn’t a fan himself. “Break dancing, literally where I break myself!” William said. Ah well, maybe George can give it a try instead.