William and Kate are making sure their kids have a “normal” childhood, an aide tells PEOPLE

By Erin Hill
December 25, 2019 07:32 AM
Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are following in their parents’ royal footsteps.

On Wednesday, the royal siblings attended their very first Christmas Day church service alongside Kate Middleton, Prince William and other members of the royal family, including the Queen. After the 11 a.m. service, they greeted members of the public who excitedly gathered outside the church to see the family.

George and Charlotte walked outside of the church with their parents to wave to the Queen as she left in her car. George held his dad William’s hand and Kate momentarily crouched down to explain something to Charlotte. Kate brought Charlotte over to say hello and thank the clergyman.

William and Kate then took their children over to members of the public for the first time.

Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty
Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte
| Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty
Prince William and Prince George
| Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty

Charlotte, who wore a green coat by Amaia and clutched her mother’s hand, met other young kids as Kate stood with her. Kate momentarily put her arm around her daughter’s back as she took in the attention.

Charlotte lightly gripped the back of her mom’s coat at one point. The 4-year-old royal gave a sweet hug to one woman in a wheelchair as she held onto an inflatable pink flamingo that was given to her as a Christmas present. Several of the well-wishers brought gifts for the children. William walked with George as they smiled and talked those who had gathered to wish them well.

A woman who gave Charlotte a doll told Sky News: “She came over with her mom, she liked the doll. Her manners are outstanding — but she’s cheeky, she wasn’t at all scared.”

The woman said Prince George’s manners were also “perfect.”

Princess Charlotte
| Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty
Credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

After church, the royals will gather at the Queen’s Sandringham home for a lunch of roast turkey followed by steamed fruit pudding, before they all sit down to watch the Queen’s annual televised address to the nation at 3 p.m. (Along with a few surprisingly silly traditions!)

William and Kate prioritize outings with their children, including a pro soccer game in October, where George could be seen exuberantly cheering on his dad’s favorite team Aston Villa. The royal parents also brought their older children on one of their first royal outings this summer when they attended William and Kate’s sailing race.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte
| Credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

As they prepare their children for their own future royal roles, William and Kate are also making sure their kids have a “normal” childhood. George and Charlotte attend the same school with other kids their age, where they are simply known as George and Charlotte Cambridge. They also have the same interests and hobbies as many other school kids. Charlotte loves unicorns and ballet, while George is a big soccer fan and loves to draw.

“They know what’s coming [as they near the throne] and want to give their kids as normal a start as possible,” an aide tells PEOPLE.