Prince Charles has bemoaned that he hardly ever sees Prince George and that the Middleton's monopolise the 20-month-old's time. But it's only natural if you ask me...

Poor old grandpa Prince Charles. Recent reports tell of his dismay at being left out in the cold by Prince William and Kate Middleton. It’s said he barely sees the bundle of joy that is his royal adorableness, 20-month-old Prince George.

Instead, George is constantly in the company of Kate‘s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton – they spent Christmas together instead of at the Palace and recently holidayed in Mustique for Carole’s 60th birthday.

Indeed they’re so chummy, the Middletons are in the process of buying a house in Norfolk, to cut down travel time to the Kate and William’s new home, Anmer Hall.

And I totally get it.

I’m a mum of two small children and even though my parents live overseas and my inlaws in this country, we all spend waaaay more time with my mum and dad.

I think it’s all down to the clichéd reality that most mums are the CEO of the home. Don’t shout me down, but in the main, mums manage the diaries of everyone else and have the final say on how the children are raised, from how they’re disciplined, to what they eat, where they go to school and what values are important.

Therefore, for inspo and support, if you had a happy childhood as Kate and I did, who do you turn to, but your own parents? More than child rearing books or re-runs of Super Nanny, you want to grill your folks on the best way to do things.

Anybody else’s way just seems weird.

Let me break it down for you. Think about your Christmas Day traditions for example. In my family, we get stuck in to the presents straight after breakfast. My husband’s folks think this is appalling, delaying their unwrapping until after lunch.

Even what they eat freaks me out. They have bread sauce with Christmas lunch. Huh? I’d never even heard of it until I spent Christmas Day with them. And they eat Christmas cake with cheese on top Which I find really loco. I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just not what I’m used to.

Then imagine Christmas Day with the royals… Does the Queen get a stocking with HRH stitched on? Does she steal all the best bits from the crackers like my nan used to? Or get sozzled on sherry during the broadcast of her speech. ‘Ssssh, Philly, here comes my best bit. Doesn’t my hair look nice?’

And that’s just one day of the year.

We’re talking about big hairy LIFE ISSUES. So it just doesn’t ever occur to me to ask my inlaws how to raise the kids, not because I don’t think they know what they’re doing – they must do or they couldn’t have raised their son to be the man I love, but because it’s more natural to ask your own parents.

I’m willing to bet Kate has never turned to Charles or Camilla for parenting advice. Can you imagine? ‘So, HRHFIL, where do you stand on dummies/washable nappies/TV rationing?’ And what would Grandpa C do if George clambered up into his lap/lifted his kilt/did a phenomenally loud fart?
It’s all too awks to contemplate.

Certainly in my case the old adage ‘a daughter is a daughter for life and a son is a son until he finds himself a wife’ is true for my husband’s parents. And it’s doubtless as painfully true for Charles and Camilla too. Who knows how different things would have been were Diana still alive? But I suspect even she would have to live with playing second fiddle to Carole.

So, let’s hope for Kate‘s sake she’s having a baby girl next month or in 25 years time she might find herself out of touch and on the wrong side of the family divide.

Jess Spiring