The first few years of development are a crucial time for any future monarch. Here are some milestones to watch for:
0 to 6 months
The initial days at home with your royal baby can be a blur of commanding people to feed and change him. But then one afternoon, you find yourself wandering through the southwest wing of the palace and, boom, there’s the nursery. It’d be rude not to drop in, right?
You’ll likely find your royal baby making progress. With substantial effort, he may even be able to lift his head briefly while lying on his stomach, just like Prince Harry on Sunday mornings.
For many newborns, it’s common for crying jags to peak about six weeks after birth, then become less frequent. Whether your royal baby needs a diaper change, a feeding session or simply desires the warm, reassuring sensation of human contact, this rope rings a bell that summons a footman.
By the way, it is certainly allowable in times of stress to help soothe your royal baby by allowing the occasional thumb-sucking. It traditionally falls to the mother to decide which servant’s thumb to use.
Note: If your royal baby doesn’t routinely smile by six months, it could be a red flag that he’s developmentally challenged and/or related to Prince Philip.
7 to 12 months
Your royal baby continues to amaze! He can now sit without assistance, although thankfully, we live in a backward world of inherited privilege where he doesn’t have to.
This is also the time at which your royal baby will begin to get, and subsequently ignore for the rest of his life, his teeth.
With your future monarch gaining mobility, the time has come to focus on child-proofing your castle. Remember to securely cover all electrical outlets and moats.
By now, your royal baby should be able to successfully differentiate among four different colours, six different shapes and up to eight different nannies.
But that’s not all. As your future monarch continues to grow and mature, he will develop and display dozens of facial expressions, which, in keeping with centuries of royal tradition, must be reduced to three: boredom, indifference and pretend-smiling.
By 12 months, your royal baby may take his first steps without support. Be sure to praise him with the kind of flamboyant emotional gesture favoured by royals through the ages—either a disinterested grunt from a distant, comfortable chair or a notarized scroll of fond sentiment.
13 to 18 months
What an exciting time—your royal baby is gaining confidence! He can now follow two-step directions like, “Pick up your teddy bear and bring him to me,” or “This is Uncle Harry and no, you may not go to Vegas with him.”
During these important months, your royal baby will develop a host of new abilities: He’ll learn to walk, to wave and even to hold brief, babbling “conversations.” Don’t worry if he doesn’t master these skills right away—it’s pretty much all he’ll be doing for the rest of his life, so he’ll eventually get the hang of it.
19 to 24 months
At this age, your royal baby wants to do everything on his own. He wants to dress himself, clean himself and feed himself. Essentially, he is displaying all the hallmarks of a strong independent streak. Relax, it’s just a phase. Within just a few months, he’ll have learned to passively allow others to remove his shirt, tie his shoes and pour his G and T.
Tip: Now is a crucial time to praise your royal baby for good choices while steering him away from things you view as less desirable, such as Germans and hugs.
25 to 36 months
This is an important developmental juncture. Your royal baby will learn to accept, in a gracious but detached manner, the fawning accolades of complete strangers without dwelling on the inherent lunacy of full-grown adults objectifying the representative of an antediluvian system of almost comic largesse that confers by birth the lifelong right to play dress-up at absurd public expense.
37 to 48 months
The future monarch will likely still be struggling to say his name. The tricky part is the hard ‘R’ in “Hi, I’m His Royal Highness the prince of Cambridge.” Have no fear—they’ll help him sort it out next year at boarding school.
Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk