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16 Things You Didn’t Know About Prince George

His parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, keep the life of the future heir to the British throne very private. But check out the tidbits we discovered about the pint-sized prince, who turns eight on July 22.

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Prince George
Eddie Keogh - The FA/Getty Images

Can you believe that the oldest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton is so grown up? As of July 22, 2021, Prince George is eight years old. Where did the time go? You may have glanced at this big guy and thought that Prince George looks exactly like his father, or you may have laughed over Prince George’s funny expressions, but there is so much more to the future king than meets the eye. We rounded up everything from his favorite foods and pastimes to his secret nickname for his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. And if you want to see if any of these tidbits about George are hereditary, compare them with these facts about Prince William.

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He has sibling rivalry with Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte

As with any family, there are squabbles between Prince George and his younger siblings. Duchess Kate recently revealed at a gardening event that the siblings are having a sunflower-growing competition—and Prince George hasn’t exactly been happy with the results. “The children are really enjoying growing their sunflowers—Louis’s is winning so George is a little grumpy about that!” she said. And in typical older brother fashion, he has also wanted to take over his sister’s school assignments. “George gets very upset because he just wants to do all of Charlotte’s projects,” Duchess Kate told ITV. “Spider sandwiches are far cooler than literacy work!” We’re not sure what spider sandwiches entail, although they do sound enticing for a little boy. Make sure you also check out the cutest pictures of Prince Louis that show charm runs in the family.

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He volunteers

Duchess Catherine and Prince William strive to teach the future king of England about the importance of giving back to those in need. Not even a spring rainstorm could stop Prince George and his family from delivering homemade pasta to the elderly and vulnerable near their Norfolk home, in a photo released for Britain’s Volunteers Week. The young prince had even helped prepare the packages himself, along with his siblings. “They got drenched as it was pouring with the rain but I think they just wanted to do their bit,” one onlooker told The Daily Mail. The Windsors aren’t nearly as extravagant as you might think, as evidenced by the surprisingly frugal habits of the British royal family.

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'Legoland Live! My First Festival', Windsor, Berkshire, Britain. - 17 Jul 2011
Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

He loves the British cartoon Fireman Sam

Prince George absolutely adores Fireman Sam, as his parents revealed in a BBC radio interview. “Fireman Sam is taking an awful lot of interest,” Prince William said, noting that he has to watch along with his son. “You have to pretend you’re really into [his shows] because George gets very upset if you’re not showing due diligence to the characters.” The creators of Fireman Sam even gave a nod to the young prince in their 30th-anniversary episode, “The Prince of Pontypandy,” in which an unnamed royal family makes an appearance. American kiddos can catch the show on Amazon Prime. Here are some more things you may not have known about the British royal family.

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Royal Family Attend Christmas Lunch At Buckingham Palace
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

He can be “naughty”

As a toddler, Prince George was something of a handful—so much so that his parents decided to leave him at home when they went on a 2016 trip to India. When asked why the young prince was not with them, Duchess Catherine reportedly replied, “Because George is too naughty. He would be running all over the place.” Maybe now that he’s older, he can accompany them on their next trip there. “The next time we come we will definitely bring them,” the Duchess said. But when they travel as a family, there’s one royal rule Prince William and Kate always break.

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Trooping the Colour ceremony, London, Britain - 13 Jun 2015
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

He has seven godparents

There are some ways Prince George is just like any other “normal” boy—and some ways his royal life is very, very different. For example, at his christening, he received not one, not two, but seven godparents to assist, counsel, and support him in his very important royal role. According to the Prince’s official royal biography, they are: Mr. Oliver Baker, Mrs. David Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Mr. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, The Hon. Mrs. Michael Samuel, Mrs. Michael Tindall, and Mr. William van Cutsem. Just who are these people? They range from childhood and college friends of Prince William and Duchess Catherine to family and other members of the aristocracy. No royals, though, made the cut, possibly so that the young prince will have others to turn to outside “the firm” as he grows up. Here’s the entire royal family tree—explained in an easy chart.

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Reg Wilson/Shutterstock

He loves dancing, like his late grandmother

Prince George’s grandmother, the late Princess Diana, was known for her dancing, such as when she took to the floor with John Travolta at the White House (here’s the true story behind their famous dance). And the grandson she never got to meet has apparently inherited her skills. “George is doing dancing as well, he loves it,” Prince William shared. “My mother always used to dance, she loved dancing.” Prince George’s school, Thomas’s Battersea, includes ballet class for young students, so he can enhance his natural talent.

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King Power Royal Charity Polo Day, Billingbear Polo Club, Wokingham, UK - 10 Jul 2019
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

He tailgates

At a polo match with his siblings and cousin, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince George looked like any boy having a fun outing. While his dad and uncle, Prince Harry, played, Prince George decided he’d rather kick around a soccer ball than watch the game. At one point, his mother, Duchess Catherine, had to take away a polo mallet he was dangerously wielding near Princess Charlotte. Then, he and his sister had an impromptu tailgate, complete with snacks out of the cooler. They hopped up into the back of their SUV as their mom and brother, Prince Louis, lounged on the grass below.

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Trooping The Colour 2017
James Devaney/Getty Images

He’s a picture-posing pro

From a young age, Prince George was a natural in front of the camera. According to a photographer who took his picture for a special postage stamp when the Prince was only two years old, “he was absolutely charming, as you can see from the picture. You only have a short window of opportunity with small children, but Prince George was on good form and everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him enjoy the day.” Duchess Catherine, an avid photographer herself, also recently revealed her son loves having his picture taken. “Get outside with your camera as well—George and Charlotte love it when we do that,” she advised budding photographers at an event. Can you identify these other British royals by their childhood picture?

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Duchess of Cambridge RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, London, UK - 19 May 2019
Matt Porteous/PA/Shutterstock

He goes on spider hunts

Speaking of getting outside, Prince George loves being in nature, as his mother opened up about during a visit to a “forest school.” According to the head of the school, the Duchess “said she often takes her children on spider hunts in their garden, which they love. They can spend hours out there.” At another garden visit, Duchess Catherine talked about how much her children love to learn by exploring the outdoors. “That’s where George and Charlotte would love to be is learning outside of the classroom, not inside,” she said. And Prince George’s grandfather, Prince Charles, has said the youngster is “one of those characters who naturally, instinctively likes to be outside.” Here are more secrets the royal nanny won’t tell you.

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AARON CHOWN/Getty Images

He helped design his mom’s garden

With his love of nature, it’s not surprising Prince George actually helped Duchess Catherine design her woodland-themed, play-and-learn garden for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). “We made the stepping stones because Prince George wanted them,” the landscaper the Duchess worked with told Hello!. “The kids loved jumping across [the stream].” Plus, the official Kensington Palace Instagram revealed, “over the past months, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis have helped the Duchess gather moss, leaves, and twigs to help decorate the RHS Back to Nature Garden. Hazel sticks collected by the family were also used to make the garden’s den.” The Duchess said her kids “played [in the garden] last night in a way I hadn’t imagined. They were throwing stones. I hadn’t actually thought that that was what they would be doing. They kicked their shoes off, and wanted to paddle in the stream…using it in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.” Check out these photos that show how Kate Middleton is just like us.

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The Duke And The Duchess Of Cambridge Undertake Engagements In London
WPA Pool/Getty Images

He makes pizza dough

What kid doesn’t like pizza? Prince George is no exception and even likes making his own personal pies. At a community center lunch, Duchess Catherine said, “I’ve done that with George and Charlotte, making pizza dough. They love it because they can get their hands messy.” At a recent event where she actually made pizzas with children, Kate said of her own kids, “they would love to come and do this with you. They’ll be very sad that I’ve been out here making pizzas with all of you and they haven’t been!” The budding chef also likes to make cookies, although the Duchess has said, “when I try to do this with George at home, chocolate and the golden syrup goes everywhere. He makes so much mess. It’s chaos.” So relatable!

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Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 13, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK - 14 Jul 2019
Ella Ling/BPI/Shutterstock

He plays tennis—with Roger Federer

Another of the sporty Prince’s interests is playing tennis—but not too many eight-year-olds get to take lessons from one of its top stars. At Wimbledon, Duchess Catherine said that Prince George has actually played with his favorite player, Roger Federer, according to the tournament’s Wimbledon Morning Coffee. And as reported in The Daily Star, Federer is also a fan of Prince George: “He’s a cute boy. I love to see they’re into tennis or into sport,” noting that George has “a good swing.” The tennis champ also said about being the Prince’s favorite, “I think I have a little advantage that I actually spent some time with him, so maybe I’m the only player he’s ever met. Then you have a little head start into who is your favorite player!” Find out more bizarre perks of the royal family.

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Rear View Of People Walking On Road With Umbrella
Daniel Limpi/Getty Images

He loves thunderstorms

When the Duchess of Cambridge visited a children’s hospital for Pancake Day, a four-year-old boy asked her about Prince George who was busy at a Montessori nursery making pancakes (one of his favorites!). When the little boy made sure the Duchess knew about a thunderstorm on the way, she replied, “Yes, I know all about those. George likes storms, too!” For even more cuteness, don’t miss these photos of Princess Charlotte that will capture your heart.

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AFP Contributor/Getty Images

He loves airplanes

Did you know that Prince William formerly worked as an air ambulance pilot? Well, like father, like son, because Prince George has a fascination with aircraft. According to Duchess Catherine, “He is now obsessed with the air cadets and wants to join.”

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Queen Elizabeth II Attends The Royal Windsor Cup 2021
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

He has an adorable nickname for his great-grandmother

Lots of children have cute nicknames they like to call their grandparents other than grandma and grandpa—usually instilled at a young age. Prince George is one of them, even though his great-grandmother happens to be the Queen of England. During an interview with Duchess Catherine at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration, she admitted that her son loves to call her “Gan-Gan.”

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England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16
Eamonn McCormack - UEFA/Getty Images

He knows he may be king one day

Although Prince George’s parents want him to have as normal of a childhood as possible, it’s pretty obvious that he is growing up a little differently than most children. Now that George is getting older, Prince William and Duchess Catherine are slowly trying to introduce George to the idea that he may be the future King of England one day. They are trying to prepare him in a fun and childlike way as not to overwhelm him with the idea of so much power. Next, learn the British royal family net worth—you’ll be shocked who is worth the most!

Tina Donvito
Tina Donvito is a regular contributor to RD.com’s Culture and Travel sections. She also writes about health and wellness, parenting and pregnancy. Previously editor-in-chief of Twist magazine, Donvito has also written for Parade Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Parents Magazine online, among others. Her work was selected by author Elizabeth Gilbert to be included in the anthology Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir. She earned a BA in English and History from Rutgers University.