Aslightly nervous mom, a reassuring dad and a soundly sleeping baby: When Princess Kate and Prince William stepped out of St. Mary’s Hospital in London on May 2 to introduce their 10-hours-old daughter Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, there was something sweetly universal about the scene—even amid the wild fanfare of hundreds of cameras and millions of eyes upon them. “She’s fast asleep,” Kate said to William, gazing at her snoozing newborn as a spring breeze blew the baby’s shawl. “Do you think she’s cold?” As she stepped down with the couple’s 8-lb. 3-oz. cargo, William gently supported her arm, advised her to “be careful” and gave his wife an encouraging smile. The threesome left for their nearby home at Kensington Palace soon after, settling in for their first night as a family of four alongside big brother Prince George, 21 months. Between changing diapers, welcoming guests and ensuring George gets plenty of attention, a close Palace source tells PEOPLE, “they have been enjoying nice, private family time.”
She will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in the history books, but at home with her ecstatic mom and dad, she is simply Charlotte, dreamed-of daughter and George’s sister. Yes, the monarchy now has another “heir and a spare”—after the new succession laws were recently ratified, a girl can inherit the throne even if she’s followed by a boy—but for William, 32, and Kate, 33, the real gift is a healthy baby and a bustling family. “It’s a terribly exciting time for them,” says a family friend.
As she did through nine months of pregnancy, the new mom made childbirth look like a sunny garden party. She toasted with champagne alongside William and her medical team after the ultrasmooth delivery; then it was time for the pink-cheeked little sister to meet George, who had remained at Kensington Palace with his nanny Maria Borrallo during the birth. Scooting aside to make room for a new sibling “is hard, but George will adjust,” says Sarah Dixon, a maternity nurse who has worked with friends of the royal couple. “From what we have seen so far, I can’t imagine George letting anyone push him out of the picture too much!”
In the days that followed, the couple welcomed a parade of visitors, including Kate’s chief midwife, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, and both sets of grandparents, Carole and Michael Middleton and Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla. They will head next to Anmer Hall—their 10-bedroom home some three hours northeast of London, where William will soon resume his new job flying air ambulances nearby. “They are very settled, his job is set, they have their house, and the status quo hasn’t changed in the royal family at large,” says the family friend. “So they are looking forward to a period of calm.”
Kate has told friends she plans to take a longer break from her duties than the eight weeks she had off following George’s birth. “She wants to have that mother time,” says a royal source, “and enjoy it with George and the new baby.” She and William are eager to settle into the “golden” period of their lives, says the pal—with several close sources predicting the new baby won’t be the last. “They enjoy family life, and seeing it among their friends’ families and the Middletons, they’d like to re-create that,” adds the friend. “They are looking forward to the coming months enormously.”
With Monique Jessen, Philip Boucher, Joanne Fowler, Jennifer Heyde, Elizabeth McNeil, Emily Strohm and Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
Her Heels JIMMY CHOO
From a hospital bed to 3.3-in. heels—seriously! Kate proved superhuman and stylish by donning nude round-toe Jimmy Choo “Gilbert” pumps to descend the hospital steps and wave to waiting fans.
HOW KATE DID IT
From Delivery to Dazzling!
Just 10 hours after giving birth, the new mom was looking pristine and photo-ready. Here’s how she pulled it off
Most new moms would find the thought of facing a crowd of cameras just hours after childbirth more painful than labor. Not Kate. Poised and polished beyond belief—what royal witchcraft is this?—she kept her post-baby curves hidden behind a strategically-draped shawl. Of course, she had some help from her trusted glam squad—and the most perfect accessory swaddled in white.
AMANDA COOK TUCKER
As she did after George’s birth, Kate turned to her go-to hair pro, who has traveled with the princess overseas, to create her signature waves. Tucker is “really well-liked and trusted,” says a source.
Choosing for a second time to introduce her baby to the world while wearing a dress by British designer Packham, the new mom selected an elegant knee-length shift adorned with buttercups in an ombré design.
Big Bro Steals the Show!
With a royal wave to make Great-Granny proud, George turned up to meet his new baby sister for the first time—and promptly owned the spotlight
LITTLE BOY BLUE’S CLASSIC STYLE
TWO OF A KIND
The piping on George’s shirt matched his short pants. The set, from British designer Rachel Riley’s Heritage collection, retails for $159. “Lovely to see such a traditional British look, and that he was matching his father,” Riley tells People exclusively.
The cardigan ($60) is sold out from the winter collection of Amaia kids’ boutique in Chelsea. (But the long socks can be had there for $10.50.) “Kate likes when the collar is closed all the way up,” says designer Amaia Arrieta. “She bought three of those last week!”
There’s only so much adorable the world can take in one photo call, so it’s lucky 21-month-old George and his baby sister made separate appearances outside St. Mary’s. Hair neatly parted and with a model-worthy range of charming expressions, he proved he has no intention of letting little Charlotte outshine him. Patrick Jephson, who worked for Diana, sees the siblings uniting—which means double the cuteness and camaraderie. “Now that George has a sister,” says Jephson, “together they will form a strong team.”
It’s Good to Be Charlie!
From castles to tiaras, the spoils of this princess’s life will be the stuff of fairy tales
A favorite summer retreat for the royal family, Balmoral Castle is situated along the scenic grounds of Scotland’s River Dee.
She can travel in a chopper like the Queen’s Flight—or Cinderella-style in one of Her Majesty’s golden carriages.
JEWELS! JEWELS! JEWELS!
Charlotte has the world’s best jewelry box from which to borrow. Options? The 1936 Cartier Halo tiara (with 888 diamonds!) and Robinson Pelham earrings Kate wore on her wedding day in 2011.
Girls Who’ll Rule!
These little ladies are set to take over the big task of being queen
PRINCESS LEONOR, 9
The first child of Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia became the youngest European heir in 2014.
PRINCESS ESTELLE, 3
She is the first female in Sweden who can inherit the crown without the possibility of losing it to a younger brother.
PRINCESS ELISABETH, 13
Belgian law was changed to make the daughter of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde first in line to the throne.
PRINCESS INGRID, 11
She is in line to become Norway’s second female monarch, following 15th-century Queen Margaret.
PRINCESS CATHARINA-AMALIA, 11
The oldest of the Netherlands’ three royal sisters, including Alexia and Ariane, who are known as the “Triple A’s.”
The Original Hands-On Mom
In her down-to-earth parenting, Kate follows in the footsteps of William’s mother and Charlotte’s namesake
WHEN HER OLDEST CHILD, Prince Charles, was just 5 years old, Queen Elizabeth returned home from a six-month tour abroad and greeted him with a handshake. A generation later Princess Diana would kick off her shoes to run barefoot at 5-year-old William’s school sports day. From lavishing her boys with hugs and kisses to taking them on secret trips to McDonald’s, Diana radically overhauled royal parenting—and paved the way for her future daughter-in-law to enjoy motherhood on her own terms.
Test Your Princess IQ!
Can you match these royal women (not all strictly princesses!) to their childhood photos?
ANSWERS: A-7, B-3, C-4, D-2, E-6, F-1, G-5, H-8