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In this week’s cover story, an insider tells PEOPLE that guests at Anmer Hall are typically greeted by Kate herself at the door, with newly 2-year-old Princess Charlotte in her arms and 3-year-old Prince George “clinging to her ankles.”
“There was no formality at all,” says the insider. “It really was like any other family sitting down to lunch, with George and Charlotte eating their homemade food in their high chairs and toddling around with their toys.”
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And although they have plenty of help from nanny Maria Turrion Borrallo, it’s often just the family of four at home.
“You’d think that Kate and William would have an army of staff to help them out, but it really was just them and the children,” notes the insider.
Activities include arts-and-crafts with mom Kate, kicking around a soccer ball and watching episodes of the children’s show Peppa Pig. (Though in an interview with BBC Radio 1, William admitted that George is past the Peppa Pig stage now.)
“The children have good fun together,” says one friend. “They are brilliant kids — very playful and cheerful.”
And when the family isn’t at home in Norfolk, they can often be found 170 miles away, in Kate’s hometown of Bucklebury, where her parents, Mike and Carole Middleton, still live. They’ll head to the town later this month, for Pippa Middleton’s May 20 wedding to financier James Matthews, where George will be a page boy and Charlotte a bridesmaid.
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For residents of the town, an occasional royal sighting is practically expected — and the family, as well as the locals, are casual and friendly when the occasion arises.
A Bucklebury local says as much of an instance a few weeks ago, when they passed Kate (carrying Charlotte in her arms), George, Carole, Mike and their dog on a walk.
“They just said, ‘Lovely day. Nice to see you.’ And off they went,” says the local. “I suppose Charlotte must have been a little bit tired. Her cross-country endurance is not quite that of an adult yet!”