Less than eight months later, the children appeared poised during a show-stopping appearance at the Grammy awards, where they accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of their father. Prince gave a brief speech, thanking his father's fans and God and his grandparents for watching over him and his siblings.
"Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity, through all his hard work and dedication he has helped through many charities and donated to all of them," Prince said. "Through all his songs, his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world."
In April, video clips of Paris and Blanket appeared on YouTube before Jackson family members had them taken down. The clips showed the children goofing around like any other kids. In one, Paris raps for the camera; in another, Blanket re-enacts a scene from "Star Wars" with a pretend lightsaber.
The clips likely came from older brother Prince's foray into filmmaking. An aspiring cameraman and producer, according to his grandmother, he has been making movies starring his siblings and cousins.
"They have props and sets, and one of them acts as director. They all have roles," Streisand, Katherine's lawyer, told AP.
It was the kids' moviemaking that brought child protection workers to the Jackson compound in March. Jermaine Jackson's 13-year-old son Jaafar reportedly purchased a stun gun on the Internet as a prop for one of the kids' movies.
According to a statement released by Streisand, Jaafar opened the package alone in the bathroom and tested the gun on a piece of paper. When household security men heard the stun gun they immediately confiscated it.
"Blanket Jackson never saw or heard the [stun gun]," concluded the attorney's statement. "Neither did Paris Jackson. Prince saw the [stun gun] in the possession of security. There is no second [stun gun]."
No one was injured but questions about Katherine's ability to care for her son's children were raised.
Biographer Brown said he has no doubt Katherine is capable. "She's the one that makes that engine go," Brown said referring to the Jackson family. "I think she's still running that family with an iron hand."
Brown said if anyone knew Michael's wishes regarding his children it was his mother.
"If he was still with us, this would be his course of action," he said about the children entering school.
Brown said Michael strived to keep his children grounded, not letting them know until the Jacksons' 30th anniversary concert that he was such a big star.
And his strong guiding hand remains evident in the recently revealed details of his trust. Michael set it up so the kids would gain control of their inheritance in stages, from age 30 to 40.
Despite Michael's best efforts to keep his children out of the public eye, they could well follow in his footsteps. In addition to Prince's interest in moviemaking, Paris, who has built a shrine to her dad out of his photographs, shows a budding musical talent.
"Paris has that lovely way, just like him, and I see his talent in her," Katherine said. "Whatever she does, she is very good at it. She's a good artist, she plays the piano and she wants to be an actress."