Queen’s parenting style broke major royal protocols as she forged her own path

The Queen’s parenting style reportedly departed from tradition several times as her family grew.

The Queen's parenting style seen here as she sits with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles and Princess Anne in the grounds of Clarence House
(Image credit: Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The Queen’s parenting style reportedly broke with several major royal protocols as she forged her own path as a monarch and mother-of-four. 


The Queen’s children are now devoted parents themselves, but it seems they could’ve learnt a lot from their mother’s approach to raising them which often broke protocols. The Royal Family are known to have many surprising rules and traditions, from the common foods they’re banned from eating, to the Queen’s Christmas tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day. Though when it comes to the Queen’s parenting style, it seems she was fully prepared to forge her own path as a royal mother.

As reported by The Guardian back in 2013, historian Amy Licence revealed that the idea of royals breastfeeding their children was a “relatively new phenomenon” at the time. According to Amy, the Queen was breastfed when she was born and “chose to continue the practice with her own children”. 

Prince Philip holding Prince Charles and the Queen holding Princess Anne in the grounds of Clarence House

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Across past centuries, Amy continued, royal women were “little more than symbolic figures, delivering child after child to secure a dynasty”. 

“Breastfeeding offers a degree of contraceptive protection,” she claimed. “[S]o with their babies being fed by others, Queens were free to resume their duties and begin the process of conceiving the next heir.”

If the Queen did indeed breastfeed her own children then she completely went against the protocol upheld throughout hundreds of years.

But this wasn’t the only time Her Majesty went her own way and it’s been suggested that reading “women’s magazines” might’ve inspired another departure from royal tradition with the Queen’s parenting style.  

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their baby son, Prince Edward on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

As reported by Express.co.uk, in her book, My Husband and I: The Inside Story Of 70 Years Of Royal Marriage, royal expert Ingrid Seward claimed Prince Philip held the Queen’s hand as she gave birth to Prince Edward. 

"The Duke of Edinburgh was actually holding his wife's hand as their youngest was born on March 10, 1964,” she is said to have written. “The Queen, by then aged 37, had asked him to be there; she'd been keenly reading women's magazines that stressed the importance of involving fathers in childbirth and had become fascinated by the idea.”

Ingrid continued, “Thus Philip became the first royal father in modern history to witness the arrival of one of his children.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their children (right to left); Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

This significant moment is believed to be a huge contrast to the Queen’s other births. Reports have instead claimed that Prince Philip compared Prince Charles to a Plum Pudding after he returned to the palace to meet his son for the first time, when the Queen had given birth at Buckingham Palace without him there.

The Queen’s parenting style certainly seems to have continued to develop and stray from accepted royal tradition over the years. Now she is also a proud grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of twelve, many of which have names which honor this remarkable royal figure in a meaningful way.

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.