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If Princess Kate welcomes a baby girl in the coming days, the little princess can expect a life of ponies, pretty dresses – and a boisterous and protective older brother looking out for her.
Prince William, 32, and Kate, 33, will have their own ideas about running their family life and are fiercely protective and private. But some insight and clues about what could be ahead lies in the lives of current princesses in the family.
A Horse, of Course
Inspired by Queen Elizabeth, horses feature prominently in the Windsor household. And one young princess, Lady Louise, 11, who was a bridesmaid of William and Kate in 2011, rides most weekends at Windsor. She and her brother, James, 7, have had ponies since they were small.
Beatrice, 26, and Eugenie, 25, also had ponies from a young age. Their mum, Duchess of York Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, paid for their riding lessons and stable upkeep near their home in the Berkshire countryside, not far from Windsor.
For any Princess Cambridge growing up at Anmer Hall in Norfolk – the country retreat on the Queen’s Sandringham Park estate – she, along with her brother George, now 21 months, will only be a mile from the fabulous stables and stud that the Queen runs there. Though the horses are mainly racehorses, the culture of ponies will be prominent, and a little set of ponies will surely be provided for them to learn on.
Following the education tracks of Prince William and Prince Harry, a princess would likely attend school near Kensington, London. Another possibility would be a school in Norfolk, near Anmer Hall, as royals often consider their country houses “home” rather than London.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie went to Upton House School in Windsor for their elementary schooling, not far from their then-family home in Sunninghill Park. While they typically headed to school in their Sunday best, they were also seen in frilly dresses with bows in their hair, royalwatchers recall.
The Life-Sized Toy House
Another Windsor treat is something Beatrice knows all about. She is arguably best-placed to introduce any little relative to the toy house in Windsor, which is owned by Queen Elizabeth.
A gift from the people of Wales to then-Princess Elizabeth when she was 5, Y Bwthyn Bach (the Small House) stands in the grounds of Windsor Great Park and has been played with by generations.
Beatrice unveiled her redecoration of the house in 2012 during the Golden Jubilee of the Queen’s reign. The Queen would “play here growing up. We have been lucky enough to play here as cousins. It’s a big family treat,” Beatrice told the BBC in Our Diamond Queen, as she described the refurbishment she led.
A little princess will surely get a tiara and be showered with jewels, right? Wrong, says Leslie Field, an expert in royal jewels and the writer of the definitive The Queen’s Jewels. Field says there is no tradition of passing on baubles to young princesses.
“It is more likely that the royal family’s love of horses will mean she gets a pony. And a little boy might get a miniature car. But jewelry, no,” Field tells PEOPLE.
“The royal family doesn t have a tradition in modern times of passing on particular jewelry. The last one was Queen Victoria giving each of her daughters a starter pearl necklace. That meant that there was a pearl on a chain and at each chain a new pearl was given to add to it so that by the time she would be 16 or 18 she would have a lovely pearl necklace,” she explains.
But a princess can still look forward to special treats on birthdays.
“It is very Victorian to suggest that certain things will be given at certain birthdays. Modern life is different. They are more apt to be given a new iPad or something than they are to be given some new pearl earrings,” says Field.
Of course, jewels can, and likely will, come in time. Perhaps Kate’s daughter, if she has one, should start lobbying now for the stunning Cartier diamond halo tiara she wore on her wedding day.