Prince George at 5: Queen Elizabeth Believes Royal Children 'Should Stay Out of the Limelight'

Prince George has no idea about his royal destiny — and that's exactly how his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth wants it

Prince George has no idea about his royal destiny yet — and that’s exactly how his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth wants it.

Prince William told the BBC in 2016 that they’re a “normal family” and his son will learn about his place as third in line to the British throne when it’s appropriate.

“We are very normal in that sense. There’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in, in the world,” the father of three said. “But right now it’s just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing as much love as a I can as father.”

Before George starts his duties as a full-fledged royal — William was taken on his first official engagement at age 8 by his mother, Princess Diana) — he still has a few years left to enjoy just being a kid.

“The Queen doesn’t like too much, too early. Her belief is that they are children and should stay out of the limelight,” Ken Wharfe, Diana’s former bodyguard, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “George will know exactly who he is, and William and Kate will want to make sure that his moment of entering royal glory is kept away as long as possible.”

Trooping The Colour
Chris Jackson/Getty

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For now, George is just a regular 5-year-old boy. In September, he began school at Thomas’s Battersea in London, where he’s known not as “Prince George” but as “George Cambridge.”

“Our aim for him, as well as for all of our pupils, is to provide a safe and secure and happy environment where he feels supported by a kind and loving community,” Ben Thomas, former headmaster of Thomas’s Battersea and now the principle across several sister-schools, told reporters. “That’s something we will be trying to achieve for him.”

He added, “There won’t be any special treatment at all. In fact, what his parents would like for him, as any parent would like for their child, is they have a wonderful, fulfilling and private childhood in a place which is secure.”

Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire

Outside school, George might be seen running around with his sister and his cousins. One day after attending Trooping the Colour, Kate Middleton took George and Princess Charlotte to cheer on their dad at a charity polo match. While Charlotte seemed to steal the show by rocking pink sunglasses and doing headstands, George was also in on the fun.

“He leapt right into it. They first thing they did when they left the car was slide down the hill on his bum,” an onlooker tells PEOPLE. “He was peering over some hoarding around the side of the pitch, grinning at the others, who were messing around with him.”

Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty
Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy
Karwai Tang/WireImage

George, who usually appears to be on the quieter side (he hid behind dad William outside the chapel following Prince Harry’s royal wedding), was full of energy and excitement as he darted off as soon as his feet touched the ground.

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