Why Will and Kate’s littlest prince is capturing our hearts

All hail Louis the lovable! He’s impish, oozing confidence, and bursting with charisma: Why Will and Kate’s littlest prince is capturing our hearts

You know who stole the show this week when the younger royals gathered for a polo match?

Nope, not little Archie, who, as is your privilege when you’re two months old, slept during the whole thing. Besides, you couldn’t see much of him beyond the back of his head. The star of the whole event was, of course, Prince Louis, who, at a year old, is already up for larks.

He sucked his thumb, put on sunglasses to show off, ran out of his mother’s arms in a bid for liberty and, while blowing kisses to Auntie Meghan, tried to make Archie laugh. He was confident, perky and in charge of all he surveyed. He was, in short, what the Irish call a dote.

The UK population took one look at the pictures and went ‘Aaaw!’ You could practically feel the gross domestic happiness index take a nudge up.

Sunny outlook: Louis, trying on his mum’s glasses, puts the older royals in the shade. He sucked his thumb, put on sunglasses to show off, ran out of his mother’s arms in a bid for liberty and, while blowing kisses to Auntie Meghan, tried to make Archie laugh

A toddler who has learned to play is the happiest creature on earth. J.M. Barrie observed in one of the Peter Pan books that ‘it’s all downhill from the age of two’.

So Louis is in his prime, then, with no trace of self-consciousness, no notion of being bothered by cameras: just a happy little creature. And being happy himself, he spreads happiness around him.

His mother, Kate, has never looked so effortlessly cheerful as when she was pulling faces to make him laugh. She is in the enviable third child situation: she’s produced the heir and the spare with George and Charlotte; Louis has no dynastic purpose beyond being himself.

So Louis is in his prime, then, with no trace of self-consciousness, no notion of being bothered by cameras: just a happy little creature. And being happy himself, he spreads happiness around him. His mother, Kate, has never looked so effortlessly cheerful as when she was pulling faces to make him laugh

He has a disarming effect on the whole Royal Family. Prince Charles looked besotted at his 70th birthday celebrations last year when Louis leant forward in the family photo to grab his face. On the balcony at Buckingham Palace last month, he melted when his grandson waved at him

And Kate has maximised his cuteness, with the old-fashioned clothes and those fabulous T-bar shoes. Some observers take a dim view of a royal child-style that is apparently unchanged since the Sixties. 

Well, it suits chubby Louis, who looks gorgeous in rompers and a mini polo shirt. It’s a socially conservative style, but he is terrifically photogenic.

He has a disarming effect on the whole Royal Family. Prince Charles looked besotted at his 70th birthday celebrations last year when Louis leant forward in the family photo to grab his face.

On the balcony at Buckingham Palace last month, he melted when his grandson waved at him. A toddler has no sense of who is grand and who isn’t; he just sees his Grandpa. And it has a humanising effect on a Prince who often seems painfully self-conscious.

He was confident, perky and in charge of all he surveyed. He was, in short, what the Irish call a dote. The UK population took one look at the pictures and went ‘Aaaw!’

The same goes for William, who can come across as prickly and guarded; not when your little boy reaches over to jump into your arms when you’re in full military dress. 

Or when you see your youngest child waving at the crowd like a pro during Trooping the Colour. It could be said, that toddler Louis shows the older royals how it’s done: don’t scowl, don’t look as if you’re doing anyone a favour — just respond to an enthusiastic crowd as if you like them.

That’s easy, when you’re a year old. When he ran and jumped through his mother’s garden at the Chelsea Flower show, he showed what a garden is for: playing in.

This may, in fact, be the function of the modern Royal Family, to amplify the joys, and sorrows, of family life. Anyone looking at little Louis will identify with the innocence of childhood and the pride of parenthood.

Prince George, nearly six, will, one day, have to project himself as a king, but Louis can be more carefree.

And that, perhaps, can be a useful lesson to his Uncle Harry. He has been naturally protective of his new baby Archie, but Louis’s behaviour shows it is possible to be in the public eye and still be wholly yourself.

What a shame his paternal grandmother, Princess Diana, isn’t here to enjoy him.

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