(LONDON) — His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge may be the third in line to the British throne, but when it comes to being a newborn, he’s just like every other baby, according to his dad.
“He wriggles around quite a lot and he doesn’t want to go to sleep that much, which is a little bit of a problem,” Prince William told CNN’s Max Foster in an interview. “He’s a little bit of a rascal.”
“He either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger. I’m not sure,” William said, referring to his younger brother, Prince Harry. “He does like to keep having his nappy changed.”
William and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, both 31, won raves for the down-to-earth-way they handled the arrival of their first child in July.
The couple brought George outside of St. Mary’s Hospital on July 23, the day after his birth, to greet the throngs of media and the public who had been assembled outside the London hospital for weeks clamoring to get the first look at the new royal heir. The attention, William says, was overwhelming but appreciated.
“It’s not somewhere I enjoy being but I know that in the position I’m that’s what’s required of me to do and it’s nice that people want to see George,” William said. “The thing is, I think I was on such a high anyway, and, so was Catherine, about George that really we were happy to show him off to anyone who wanted to see him.”
“As any new parent knows, you’re only too happy to show off your new child and proclaim that he’s the best looking or the best everything,” he said. “I was just glad he wasn’t screaming his head off the whole way through.”
William knew the media attention around George’s birth would mean that he would face the daunting task of loading his newborn son into the family’s car, worrisome for any new father, before millions of people watching the first glimpse of baby George around the world, and so he prepared.
“Believe me, it wasn’t my first time,” he said of leading the carseat into the car. “I had to practice. I really did. I was terrified that he was going to fall off or it wasn’t going to close properly. I had actually practiced with that seat, but only once before.”
William then surprised everyone by getting behind the wheel of the car himself, eschewing the royal tradition of relying on a chauffeur to escort his family of three back to their home at Kensington Palace.
“I think driving your son and your wife away from hospital when you’ve just had a [boy] was really important to me and I don’t like fuss so I just did it myself,” William explained. “Where I can be I’m as independent as I want to be, and the same as Catherine and Harry.
“We’ve all grown up differently to other generations and I very much feel that if I can do it myself I want to do it myself. There are times when you can’t do it yourself and the system takes over or it’s appropriate to do things differently,” he said. “I’m just doing it the way I know and if it’s the right way then brilliant, if it’s the wrong way then I try to do it better. I’m reasonably headstrong about what I believe and what I go for and I’ve got fantastic people around me who give me great support and advice.”
William took a two-week paternity leave from his duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force (RAF) when George was born. He made his first official royal engagement last week at a county fair in Anglesey, Wales, where he is based, and is now looking forward to escaping overnight baby duty.
“As a few fathers might know, I’m actually quite looking forward to going back to work [to] get some sleep,” he said. “I’m just hoping the first few shifts I go back on don’t have any night jobs.”
William is also thinking about the future for his son, who, like him, will carry the weight of the British monarchy on his shoulders, but not too far into the future.
“At the moment the only legacy I want to pass on to him is sleep more and maybe not change his nappy quite so many times,” William said.
Proving he really is a modern-day royal and Renaissance dad, William says it was him, not Kate, who changed George’s first diaper, even if it wasn’t necessarily by choice.
“I did the first nappy,” William said. “I wasn’t allowed to get away with it. I had every midwife staring at me going, ‘You do it. You do it.’”
“I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience, something I never thought I would feel myself, and I find, again it’s only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now,” he said.
Sugam Pokharel and Tim Hume, CNN
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN
Stephanie Halasz, Jason Hanna and Livia Borghese, CNN