Holding hands, embracing in public, they are a couple in love comfortable with showing their intimacy in public, something unthinkable just a few short years ago.
"The Middletons have had a huge influence on Prince George's upbringing and will have a huge influence on his little brother or sister's upbringing," said ABC News' royal contributor Victoria Murphy.
Prince William has admired his in-laws, even embraced their solid, middle-class values, and the warmth that permeates Kate’s family life. Along with William's royal relatives, Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, will have a significant role in the new baby’s life, just as they have with Prince George.
Some royal watchers are even suggesting that the little prince-who-will-be-king, Prince George, is being raised as a Middleton instead of as a Windsor, with Prince Charles taking a backseat to Kate’s parents.
William's parenting style towards Prince George, who will turn 2 in July, has been influenced by watching and embracing the close-knit, middle-class Middleton family.
“Mike and Carole have been really loving and caring and really fun. They have been really welcoming towards me so I've felt really a part of the family.” Prince William said while announcing his and Kate’s engagement in 2010.
The royal family has learned from their mistakes in making sure Kate hasn’t felt the isolation that Princess Diana felt marrying into the royal family as a young woman at 20 when she married Prince Charles in 1981. This time it’s been different. The Middletons have been embraced by the royal family - indeed welcomed into the fold - so they too have a major role in their daughter's life and their grandson, Prince George, has the love of his non-royal grandparents.
“William is very close with the Middleton family, He apparently calls Michael Middleton, 'Dad,'" said Murphy.
When Prince George was born in 2013, the Middletons, the owners of a mail-order party supply company, Party Pieces, were the first to visit their new grandson at the hospital in London. They spent a little more than an hour at the hospital and told reporters outside their first grandchild was, “absolutely beautiful.” William and Kate returned to Kensington Palace after Prince George's birth and, a few days later, the couple and their newborn decamped to Bucklebury to spend time with Kate’s parents.
William and Kate, with Prince George in tow, often spend carefree weekends in Berkshire at the Middleton’s $7 million Georgian home, surrounded by open fields, dogs and the privacy that William and Kate enjoyed in Anglesey, Wales, during the early days of their marriage.
So eager is the royal family to make Kate feel comfortable for the first time that Pippa, James - Kate's younger brother- Carole and Mike joined Kate and William for the royal family's Christmas festivities at the Queen's Norfolk estate. James Middleton was invited to join Prince Harry for the annual Christmas Eve soccer match that William sat out to nurse a reportedly injured ankle.
The Duke and Duchess attended the traditional Christmas service with the Queen and the royal family, but, in a departure from tradition, enjoyed Christmas lunch with the Middletons at Kate and William’s home, the 10-bedroom Georgian mansion on the Sandringham estate that Queen Elizabeth II gifted to them after their wedding.
“The royal family have gone out of their way to be welcoming to them and not keep them at arms' length,” royal commentator Roya Nikkhah told ABC News. “I think that's been William's wish.”
Part of that effort includes making sure the Middletons - particularly Kate’s mom, Carole - play a major role in young Prince George’s life.
“Of course Carole is the grandmother, the only grandmother, to this baby, so she has quite a unique, important relationship with this new baby and with Prince George,” Nikkhah said. “With the absence of Princess Diana it's a very significant role.”
Kate was raised in a secure, loving environment, something William missed as he witnessed the breakdown of his own parents’ marriage that saw their fairy tale wedding end in bitter divorce.
“Just like Kate, William is very keen for his children to have the upbringing that she had. She had a very happy childhood. She's very close to both of her parents who are still together and still very much in love. It's a very secure family unit," Murphy said. "And I think that's what she and William want to give their children. They want to try and shut out all the craziness of royal life and give their children a little cocoon."
Princess Diana was the first royal mother to attempt to give her children a normal, ordinary life and William and Kate are attempting to do the same with their children.
Prince William has taken part in George’s life like many fathers around the world, giving him his night time bottle at the end of the day, being around for bath time and reading him a bedtime story. Although Kate and William have hired a nanny to help, both are hands-on parents making every effort to make sure their children feel loved and shielding them from the prying eyes of the public.
Patrick Jephson, Princess Diana's chief of staff for eight years until her death in 1997, could not agree more.
“Well, if it means that there's a welcome blast of fresh air and, you might say, good middle-class attitudes in the nursery, and that's all to the good," Jephson said. "Kate's parents came from humble origins. They made themselves prosperous. They were aspirational. They were successful. Those are all good lessons for a baby born into the ultimate privilege.“
"They're [a] very hands-on, very tight-knit family and I think that George and the new baby are going to be welcomed into that," Duncan Larcombe, royal editor of the U.K.'s The Sun newspaper, said of the Middletons. "One of the things that William loved about Kate was her family and this close relationship with that family unit that he didn't have in his own."
A modern approach toward child rearing from a couple committed to creating a truly modern monarchy.