And that bond is more important than ever for the two little royals – because playdates with non-royal children are, apparently, hard to pin down.
“They are close in age, and they spend so much time together,” the source said. “Playdates [with outsiders] can be tricky, so they learn to lean on each other.”
That phrase, “lean on each other”, really is key to describing any brother-sister, brother-brother, or sister-sister relationship. If you have a sibling, like I have, or multiple children yourself, you’ll know that leaning on each other (physically and emotionally) is what it’s all about.
One of the enduring memories of my childhood is re-enacting WWF wrestling moves, in which my younger brother and I were The Legion of Doom – complete with red foam shoulder pads and homemade spikes. We did a lot of leaning on each other in the ‘ring’ (our living room).
Now that we’re much older, and live in different parts of the country, our ‘leaning’ is predominantly emotional – and conducted on the phone, or via WhatsApp. We confide in each other, give unfiltered advice, laugh about our parents and even hang up on one another when we disagree (which we do, frequently). None of it matters, though. Our bond is too strong, and everlasting.
I see this kind of indescribable bond acted out by my children already – even though they’re just three and seven. My daughter, just like me, has a brother four years younger than her.
[Read more: Fostering Siblings Changed Our Lives]
My son calls his older sister “my little darling”, mimicking her favourite nickname for him. I’ll sometimes go into her room in the morning to find them snuggled up in bed, arms wrapped tightly around each other – because he had a bad dream, or woke early and toddled in to find her.
They role-play ‘mummy and baby’: she helps him get dressed, brushes his teeth and gets breakfast for him. She’ll even change his nappy – when he lets her. And once, she left this note on my pillow – a heart-melter, if ever there was one (as well as proving my point that when you’re a parent, you can still maintain a social life – even if you are called out by your kids because “the time you came home last night was very late”).
They squabble, too... boy, do they squabble. As those who’ve been there know, there’s nobody on earth who can irritate you in quite the same way as a sibling. That thing where someone puts their fingers really close to your face and waggles them while singing, “I’m not touching you”? My brother was a big fan of doing that when we were kids. I was slightly less enthusiastic about it.
I’m sure Prince George, six, and Princess Charlotte, four, irritate each other, just like everybody else. I’m equally sure that their parents, Kate Middleton and Prince William find themselves saying over and over again, like I do, “Stop arguing!”
But none of that really matters, when you have a brother or sister you love. After all, you’re stuck with them for life. You might as well get along – or just get really, really good at leaning.