Se­ri­ous Char­lotte: Is be­ing the mid­dle child tak­ing its toll?

Could ‘mid­dle child syn­drome’ be tak­ing its toll?

Best - - CONTENTS - WORDS: SHEL­LEY MARS­DEN

The Duchess of Cam­bridge is ac­cus­tomed to her daugh­ter, three­year-old Char­lotte, melt­ing hearts with her adorable, mis­chievous be­hav­iour – while big brother Ge­orge, five, ei­ther sulks or acts shy in the back­ground.

Un­til a few months ago, Kate, 36, wasn’t used to the con­cerned looks the lit­tle princess has been of­fer­ing up to the world’s press.

There have been a few oc­ca­sions now, since baby Louis was born in April, where Char­lotte has acted a lit­tle out of char­ac­ter.

At a polo match, just weeks after her younger brother was born, Char­lotte was seen with a se­ri­ous look on her face and cling­ing to her mum. At one point, she looked like she was hav­ing a mas­sive tantrum.

Then, at Harry and Meghan’s wed­ding in May, Char­lotte’s face in the of­fi­cial photo was a pic­ture – in stark con­trast to her nor­mally sullen big brother’s wide grin.

Most re­cently, we saw an ir­ri­tated Char­lotte ap­pear to be tick­ing off Ge­orge at the Nor­folk coun­try wed­ding of her god­mother, So­phie Carter.

Look­ing unim­pressed with Ge­orge’s shenani­gans, flower girl Char­lotte seemed to be telling him off from the arms of her watch­ful mum, as the prince joked around for the cam­eras. Talk about a to­tal sib­ling role re­ver­sal!

And in July this year, a grumpy Char­lotte lost her tem­per with pho­tog­ra­phers at Prince Louis’s chris­ten­ing – sternly telling pa­parazzi gath­ered out­side the church, ‘ You’re not com­ing!’

It was a dif­fer­ent child that melted ev­ery­one’s heart in April, when she ar­rived at the Lindo Wing to meet her baby brother, beam­ing and wav­ing to the crowd.

But why the long face? Could it be that Char­lotte is deal­ing with a touch of clas­sic ‘mid­dle child syn­drome’, and feel­ing a bit ne­glected?

Psy­chother­a­pist Luke Reynolds (wren psy­chother­apy.com) told ‘ When a new baby comes along, it can be dif­fi­cult for the youngest child, who of­ten gar­ners the most at­ten­tion as the “baby” of the fam­ily. Dur­ing this time, you may see a child strug­gle with the new fam­ily dy­namic.

‘Frus­tra­tion at not be­ing the fo­cus of at­ten­tion can present it­self in many ways, such as with­draw­ing or act­ing out, of­ten as a way to get oth­ers around them to pay them more at­ten­tion.’

What­ever’s go­ing on in that lit­tle head, we hope Char­lotte’s giv­ing us that megawatt smile again be­fore long!

‘When a new baby comes along, it can be dif­fi­cult for the youngest child’

No smiles from Char­lotte on Un­cle Harry’s Big Day Where’s that con­fi­dent lit­tle princess gone?

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