At one of her first royal outings without her brothers, Princess Charlotte sat tall in her chair with her hands folded demurely in her lap. Echoing her mother, Princess Kate, she shook hands with well-wishers and listened attentively as they spoke.

At 8, Charlotte, Kate’s middle child with Prince William, is becoming more of a mama’s girl. “Now that she’s getting older, she leans on her mom more,” a royals insider exclusively tells Closer. “Kate and Charlotte have such a close, cute relationship, much like Kate and her own mom, Carole.”

For Kate, 41, who grew up in a middle-class British family, emulating the close-knit home life she knew as a child has been extremely important. She hopes to balance her children’s royal titles and privileged life with wholesome morals, a sense of gratitude and a deep feeling of connection and belonging within their family.

Kate’s childhood was shaped by her mother’s love and her tight relationship with her younger sister, Pippa Middleton, 40. “She realizes that Charlotte doesn’t have a sister to confide in or do things with, so she tries to do fun things with her,” says the insider.

Mother and daughter have attended the London ballet and even enjoyed a sleepover at a hotel together. “It was just the two of them,” confides the insider. “They ordered room service and watched movies together while eating candy.”


While Charlotte, whose parents sometimes call her Lottie, physically resembles her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, she is very much her mother’s daughter. “Kate sees a lot of herself in Charlotte — they’re both fiercely competitive, confident and eager to try new things. Charlotte never wants to sit on the sidelines, she always wants to jump right in,” says the insider, who notes that in addition to dance classes, Charlotte plays rugby and soccer at school. And her mother approves! “It’s really good to see youngsters, particularly girls, playing these types of sports now,” says Kate, who also shares a love of anything having to do with water with her daughter. “Swimming, sailing, boating — they joke that they’re happiest on the water,” says the insider.

Although Charlotte’s not afraid to get dirty with her brothers, Prince George, 10, and Prince Louis, 5, she has a feminine side as well. She likes baking with her mother and doing arts and crafts. “They enjoy making homemade gifts for the neighbors for the holidays,” says the insider.

Dressing up is also very exciting for Charlotte. “She probably loves to dress up more than Kate,” the insider says. “She loves watching her mom get ready for a big event.”

While it’s hard for them to go shopping together like a typical mother and daughter, Kate likes to include Charlotte in her fashion choices. “Kate always shows her sketches before her special event clothes are made, to try and involve her in the process,” says the insider, who adds that they enjoyed wearing complementary ensembles to King Charles’ coronation last May. “There aren’t many times that they can match, so Kate decided to go all out.”

Of her three children, Charlotte also seems most at home in public. “Charlotte actually likes the walkabouts,” says the insider. “She enjoys the crowds, meeting people and talking to young girls her age who come out to see her.”