When it comes to the Royal Family, Prince Louis often manages to fly under the radar. Sure, there are times when he hilariously acts out in order to get attention. For the most part, though, it’s his aunt and uncle, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, that are busy generating all the scandalous headlines.
But what if flying under the radar was more dangerous than anyone ever imagined? Recently, royal expert Tom Quinn opined that Prince Louis, youngest of William and Kate’s children, is “the child most in danger from life in the gilded cage.”
Just what does this mean, and is there any truth that Prince Louis may be facing a very different kind of danger than his siblings? Keep reading to find out!
Why Prince Louis is a “double spare”
One reason that Tom Quinn thinks Prince Louis may have some unique struggles ahead of him is the idea that the young prince is considered a “spare.” This goes back to the old saying that royals should always have at least two children: an heir and a spare who can take the throne if someone happens to the heir. As the title of his pouty memoir indicates, Prince Harry was always a bit rankled at the idea that he was the spare while his brother, the future king, received more positive attention from just about everyone.
As for Louis, he is technically a “double spare” as both Prince George and Princess Charlotte are ahead of him in the line of succession. Quinn confided to the Daily Beast that sources have told him that others are already starting to treat George, William’s heir, differently than his other children. And he thinks the differences in how the children are treated by others is why Louis is constantly trying to get everyone’s attention.
Louis has been compared to Prince Harry
Earlier, we discussed how Prince Louis doesn’t generate that many headlines compared to royals like Prince Harry or Meghan Markle. The one exception to this is during events such as Trooping the Colour. With the eyes (and cameras) of the world on the Royal Family during major events like this, Prince Louis usually wastes no time making an assortment of funny faces and gestures. While these activities are harmless, they have often made others wonder if William and Kate need to discipline their children more behind closed doors.
Tom Quinn told the Daily Beast that the reason Louis does these antics is to get attention, and in this way, he is a lot like Prince Harry. “Louis already seems remarkably like Harry—the joker,” he said. “And it may be that he will struggle as much as Harry did to find a role in the royal family.” Given what a disruptive rebel Harry turned out to be, the very idea of Louis taking after his uncle is enough to cause major concern.
Harry has expressed his own concerns about Williams’ children
While Prince Harry didn’t call Louis by name, he has already expressed his own worry that his youngest nephew would take after him. Shortly after his memoir was published, Harry gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph in which he expressed concerns about the upbringing of Louis. “I still feel a responsibility knowing that out of those three children, at least one will end up like me, the spare,” he said. “And that hurts, that worries me.”
It’s worth noting that Harry’s memoir contains many stories of drugs and partying that he used as coping mechanisms while growing up. Understandably, he’d like to avoid his nephew turning to such coping mechanisms if at all possible.
The dangers of being a lost spare
The best defense Louis has against not feeling like an unwanted spare is the fact that Prince William and Kate Middleton love him very much. After William’s own less-than-ideal childhood, he has done his best to shower all of his children with love and affection. But history has shown us that this might not be enough.
For example, another royal expert, Christopher Andersen, told the Daily Beast about how Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip ignored and bullied then-Prince Charles, respectively, while “Elizabeth doted on, pampered, and indulged Andrew and Edward.” Considering how Prince Andrew turned out, we can’t help but wonder if simply giving Louis plenty of love, affection, and attention will prevent him from becoming another lost soul with a famous family name.
Louis is caught between a rock and a hard palace
To hear Tom Quinn tell it, Louis is going to grow up to experience the worst of both worlds. According to Marie Claire, Quinn said that Louis, “Like all royal children…will quickly become aware that he has a life of luxury.” At the same time, “he can’t really escape it and have an ordinary life, but he’s also not the number one.”
Depending on who you talk to, this is one of the reasons Prince Harry fled to America: so that he can have a life of his own. That option won’t be available to Louis, but he’s also in little danger of becoming the monarch himself. Caught between a rock and a “hard palace,” only time will tell what kind of royal this young man grows up to become.