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Although it is unknown whether Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s children will attend the Queen’s funeral, parenting expert Gifty Enright spoke to Express.co.uk about the parenting rules the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex may have to follow.
Gifty explained: “When it comes to kids and death, parents need to be as honest and transparent as possible.”
However, the expert warned they should be using “age-appropriate language so that the kids are not frightened or confused”.
“Death is a part of life and parents need to normalise it as much as possible for their children,” Gifty explained.
She added: “When children see their parents cry because of the loss of a loved one, it gives them permission to express their own feelings.”
Prince William and the Princess of Wales are expected to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral with their three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the other hand, may be attending with their two children, Archie and Lili, although the Sussex children could be too young.
Gifty explained that “for Kate and Meghan, there will be a lot of pressure on them”.
“Especially to keep their kids in line during all the formalities that they will have to sit through as a result of the funeral.”
The parenting expert explained that “the worst thing they can do is pretend everything is fine”.
What is the reason behind this and how are they expected to act with their children?
Gifty said: “Children pick up on when their parents are stressed or sad and either try to be ‘extra good’ to make things all right for their parents or play up if they don’t understand what is going on and feel they are not getting their parents’ attention.
“This will make it a tricky time for Kate and Meghan as they will have to walk the tight rope of managing their own emotions when they might not be feeling that great themselves.
“At the same time, they have to ensure that the kids still feel safe. To achieve this, they will have to be as honest and transparent as possible with the children. This is so they understand what is going on.
“The children need to be given time to say goodbye to their great grandmother and space to express whatever emotions they are feeling before they are subjected to the formalities,” Gifty explained.
But is it is considered appropriate to take children to a funeral? There is no right or wrong decision on whether children should or should not attend a funeral and child psychologists suggest that most children have an understanding of death when they reach eight years old.
However, younger children can have an awareness of death in some form too and may also be comfortable attending a funeral.
For today’s occasion, Her Majesty’s family will be wearing black, including the royal children.
The wearing of mourning bands is another tradition within the Royal Family.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has become King and Camilla Queen Consort while William and Kate are now Prince and Princess of Wales.
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