Parent like the royals: 3 ways the Duchess of Cambridge gets Princess Charlotte to listen
Princess Charlotte, like any other preschooler, tends to give her mom a hard time now and again. But the Duchess of Cambridge has a very particular way of speaking to the 3-year-old that seems to get her to cooperate.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with daughter, Princess Charlotte, before departing from Hamburg airport on the last day of their official visit to Poland and Germany. (Getty Images)

In the past, Kate Middleton has opened up about the challenges she faced after becoming a mother, because, while she may have more help than most, she admitted that parenting is hard, even for a duchess.

“Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It’s full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together,” she told Elle magazine.

“There is no rule book, no right or wrong,” she continued, “You just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family.”

Kate seems to have gotten the hang of it though. Darren Stanton, a body language expert, analysed the gentle yet assertive way the Duchess of Cambridge spoke to Charlotte, and in turn got her little princess to cooperate, when she threw a mini-tantrum on the tarmac at Hamburg Airport in Germany. See the video above for Kate's parenting body language and one below for Charlotte's adorable little tantrum.

1. Getting down to their eyeline

“Princess Charlotte is obviously quite reluctant to go towards the aircraft,” he says of one occasion. “And then what we see is Kate bend down to Princess Charlotte’s eyeline, and this is to, what we call, build rapport.”

2. Using reassurance gestures

“We also see several reassurance gestures, which is putting the hand on the back, putting her arm around her, which, I guess, any mother would do to reassure the child.”

3. Making that “finger-wagging gesture”

“We’ve got Kate, bending down to Princess Charlotte, who is clearly not happy, having a bit of a cry – having a bit of a strop – and then Kate’s making this finger-wagging gesture.

“A little bit more assertive in terms of body language on this one than the rest. She’s basically being told by Kate, in quite a stern manner, to maybe just calm down a little bit.

“I think it’s clear that she’s very nurturing,” says Stanton, concluding that she puts her children up front and centre as we all actually do.

So Duchess of Cambridge or mommy from Kaapstad, we're probably all employing these exact same parenting techniques, without even knowing it, and doing the very best we can.

How do you get your toddler or preschooler to listen and cooperate with you? Any tips you'd like to share? Tell us by emailing and we may publish it.

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