If one ever doubted who wore the trousers in Kate and William’s relationship, it is now more clear then ever that Kate calls the shots in this marriage.
The latest indication of this is that after less than 24 hours in the royal palace, Kate bundled baby George up in his car seat and, together with William, headed off to her mom’s house in Bucklebury.
A three-week long parking exclusion zone has been enforced around the house, set in 17 acres, by police - but Kate could be there much longer.
She has made it clear that she intends to live there, surrounded by her family, until William finishes up his job in Wales and comes back to London. And with chatter circulating that William may extend his tour of duty for another year or even two, the pivotal first years of Prince George’s life look like they will be spent growing up more Middleton than Windsor.
This is completely revolutionary stuff for the royal family. A royal prince raised in a home without a titled nobleman in sight? It is unprecedented. The queen may just have to make Carole a Dame and solve the problem that way.
To be fair, the Queen has actually not sought to block any of Kate’s wishes – and William has taken his wife’s side 100% in every argument, demanding she be allowed to conduct her life the way she feels is best. But there are many senior courtiers with significant influence who most certainly are disturbed by the rapid democratisation of the British royal family.
To leave the protective royal embrace has taken extraordinary courage on Kate’s part, and Kate’s greatest achievement is that, so far, she has managed to buck the system, but to do so in a non-confrontational way that has not alienated or irritated her important relatives.
Some are still said to be aghast at Kate’s determination to do without a nanny or maternity nurse, but Kate’s resolve to be a normal, hands-on mom looks set to win the argument. And at Bucklebury, she will be free from all attempts to meddle in her life - and if she needs the odd bit of help will be able to do so in true privacy, without the palace gossips saying, "We told you so."
When you look at Diana’s experience after giving birth to William – as a shy 20-year-old she didn’t then have the assertiveness to argue to be allowed to do things her own way - you can hardly blame Kate for taking things into her own hands.
A nanny and a maternity nurse cared for William, and Diana suffered severe post-natal depression. Often she spent an entire day in bed in a darkened bedroom, and there was very little sympathy for her among the family - who by and large didn’t believe in depression ‘back then’, and felt that what was really needed was for Diana to pull her socks up.
Let’s be clear about the subtext of what Kate is actually saying by relocating to her mom’s. She’s saying that the way ‘normal’ people are brought up is better preparation for being a king than the way the royal family has been doing it for centuries. She’s also saying that this baby belongs to her – not the royal family, not the nation.
And, for the royals, that is an almost revolutionary attitude.