Royal baby to grow up in "African bush"

In a CNN interview, Prince William revealed he wants his son to grow up as if he’s in the African bush.

Prince William and his wife Catherine, with their newborn baby boy, Prince George of Cambridge, Tilly the retriever (L), a Middleton family pet and Lupo, the couple's cocker spaniel (R) at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, in early August, 2013. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - In an exclusive interview with CNN, new father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, says he plans to decorate his son's room to make it feel like the African bush.

William has long been fascinated by Africa's natural beauty and has campaigned to save endangered animals, often taking the lead from his father, Prince Charles.

He sees his relationship with his own son going in a similar direction, he says.

"At this rate", William explained, "I'll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room, cover it in lots of bushes and things like that and make him grow up as if he's in the bush."

He and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their new son Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge into the world on 22 July.

During the interview with CNN's Max Foster, which will air in full on 15 September, William detailed the emotional experience of being new parents and having millions eager to see their son.

"I think I was on such a high anyway, and so was Catherine about George that really we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him. As any new parent knows, you're only too happy to show off your new child and, you know, proclaim that he is the best looking or the best everything."

But he was glad George behaved himself on his first public appearance.

"I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through."


William, the eldest son of the late Princess Diana who struggled to maintain her privacy until the day of her death in 1997, spoke about his efforts to remain as independent as possible.

"Where I can be, I am as independent as I want to be, same as Catherine and Harry. We've all grown up differently to our other generations and I very much feel, if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself. There are times when you can't do it yourself and the system takes over or it's appropriate to do things differently."

He then spoke of George's developing character, saying, ""He's a little bit of a rascal … he either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I'm not sure."

But George is "doing very well," says William, though the infant does require frequent nappy changes and doesn't sleep as much as his parents might like.

Catherine, though, is "doing a fantastic job," says William, despite getting less sleep than her husband, who is none-the-less eager to return to his job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot in the hopes of a better night's sleep.

His family is his greatest focus now, he says, including Lupo, their dog.

But he only wants him to sleep more and need less nappy changes.

"The last few weeks have been a very different emotional experience. It's only been a short period but a lot of things affect me differently now."