Prince George and His Pistol: Let the Lad Be a Kid

I asked myself a few times if I should whip up a piece on Prince George and his water pistol at Sunday’s polo match as it caused such a fracas on social media.

After seeing many comments on both sides, I decided why not? I am sure someone will get cheesed if I pick a side, but on social media, especially Twitter what else is new?

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Last Sunday The Duke of Cambridge was taking part in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire.

The charity match was organised to help raise funds and awareness for the Royal Marsden, for which William is President and Centrepoint, for which HRH is Patron.

It turned out to be a lovely day for polo. The Duchess of Cambridge took Prince George and Princess Charlotte out to frolic and watch their father participate in the match.

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As the photos were posted on Twitter, everyone was aflutter and Charlotte in sunglasses, George running around and Charlotte tumbling and just having a grand old time.

Clothes were identified by the keen eyes on Twitter and websites that tell us what the Cambridge’s wore. Everyone was thrilled with the photos of the children enjoying their day out.

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Then the photo was posted. It seems George won a water pistol at the match. Some photos show what looks like to be a set of toys to play policeman with.

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But it was the photo of the Prince holding the pistol and playing that set some on Twitter over the edge.

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The Duchess of Cambridge was raked over the coals for allowing the future king to have such a toy. It got worse when he was pointing and shooting.

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The comments were brutal. Some accused Catherine of being insensitive to gun violence. Others commented that it should have been taken away from George. There were some who even went a step further and noted how playing with a toy gun can turn someone into a killer. Yes, they went there!

I get it. I do. I teach in the United States, enough said. Gun violence is a daily occurrence in this country. I also know that a water pistol is NOT going to turn a four-year-old into a killer. It was innocent. But some claim this was planned. Some rambled on how this just shows how out of touch the Royal Family is. It was a toy. He was playing and being a kid!

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, that is what is great about our society. But, think about what your children may be doing. How many are playing violent video games or watching violent programmes? How would you react if people lambasted your choices?

The polo match was a family event. It was not an event where George and Charlotte were there for the masses to photograph every move and critique. Photographer James Whatling hit the nail on the head with his Tweet:

So many Royal followers moan about the lack of photos, yet when they are photographed out somewhere the mood suddenly changes with some piling on about clothing, parenting, if Catherine did or did not smile, that the kids seem unhappy, or they are happy but still find some little nugget of negativity to sneak in.

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Let them be kids. If George wants to play with his toy that probably was broken before he made it back to Kensington Palace, so be it. If Charlotte wants to tumble and make cheeky faces, let her. They are going to live the rest of their lives under scrutiny and media attention. Can’t we just give them a bit of leeway to be children and have fun?

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