After spending a day at Buckingham Palace doing ‘grown-up’ things like standing for hours on the balcony as the military passes by, little royals deserve time to be a kid. Playing outdoors and making believe like kids all over the world do and have done for centuries. But, when a four-year-old future King of England decides to play with a certain toy, the internet loses its mind.
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon in Gloucestershire, England, and the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, competed for the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club. Duchess Kate thought it would be great fun to make it a family outing and brought their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, along to watch dad play.
If you’ve ever taken a four-year-old and a three-year-old to a spectator event, then you know what I am about to say it true: The youngsters can be expected to pay attention for only so long before they revert to bring children and move on to something a bit more exciting - like playing with other kids!
And that’s exactly what George and Charlotte did on that sunny day. Both mini-royals found great joy in rolling down the hill, jumping over obstacles, and even racing mom around the field.
Charlotte made a game of trying to fit inside her mother’s handbag before attempting to perfect her front somersault.
Prince George occupied himself with a favorite boy-pastime, shooting his friends with toy guns!
Just having come from witnessing the parade of Britain’s military - weapons and all - just the day before, it seems only natural that the kids would be inspired by what they saw. Imaginations ran wild as the boys dodged each other as they pursued their enemy.
All good, clean fun, right? Well, not everyone would agree. Social media accounts exploded with horror at the idea of William and Kate allowing their son to play with a toy gun and even accused the couple of being irresponsible parents for their neglectful parenting.
“Prince George playing with a toy gun! Unbelievable! #Kensington Palace shame!” And another incensed Twitter follower posted this:
“This isn’t okay anymore... My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA, but my British side agrees. No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real. (And I LOVE Prince George, don’t get me wrong!)”
Not everyone on social media shared these users’ opinions. Others took to defending the Royals.
"Prince George sitting out in the sun playing with toy guns and water pistols like every other normal child in the world is not the problem, it’s the freaks who actually think it’s newsworthy enough to pass comment and who are dying to be offended by it who are the problem."
And another put it this way: “People are complaining because Prince George had a plastic gun 🙄 I had a plastic gun when I was little guess what I grew out of it I didn’t grow up to be a mass shooter or become obsessed with guns I hate guns now so just leave the boy alone and let him be a child.”
To me, it seems as though children are young and innocent for such a short period of time. Can’t we just appreciate the fact that on this day a bunch of kids were outdoors getting exercise and playing instead of indoors staring mindlessly at their electronic devices?
For something a little lighter, enjoy this look back on adorable Prince George's third birthday in the video, below.