What Kind of Father Will Prince William Make?

Since the Royal Family announced in December that Kate Middleton was indeed pregnant, the duchess has taken on most of the public scrutiny during her pregnancy. But what about dad-to-be Prince William? Outwardly not much has changed; it’s not like the press can comment on his choice of clothing as Kate’s belly swells. And yet, just as much as she, he’s preparing to become a father to the Royal Baby.

So what do we know so far? Of course the press loves to point out when Wills is partying with his wilder younger brother Prince Harry, especially when they can claim he left Kate at home. But why begrudge him one of his last nights out for a while? The latest pseudo-drama, according to Now magazine, is that Kate is scared that Will won’t be at the birth due to his Royal Air Force duties. However, word from a few months ago is that the prince plans to quit the RAF.

Whether or not that rumor is true, what is inarguable is that William is readying himself to be a father–a responsibility he wholeheartedly embraces. In the past few weeks he’s made goodwill visits around the country: Playing table tennis and trying homemade flapjacks at a hostel; taking to video to declare that “every child should learn to swim”; and opening four new Help for Heroes veteran centers with his playboy brother. He’s working to make the world into which his child will be entering a stronger one.

Both young men were recently spotted visiting their grandfather Prince Philip in the hospital. This Father’s Day, The Telegraph ran a stirring editorial about Prince Charles’ parenting style and how it might affect Wills’ decisions as a first-time father. Because William and Harry suffered through their parents’ bitter divorce and their mother Diana’s shocking death at such a young age, it may be that the press has always assumed that they would have difficulty with their own families when the time came. Indeed, theTelegraph writer acknowledges that Charles was always regarded as a rather cold father who didn’t know how to handle his grieving teenage sons.

But as the piece reveals, Charles made up for the lost time with his sons by opening himself up more in private time with them. William has already proven himself to be animated and thoughtful in public, so there doesn’t seem to be a worry about how he’ll relate to the Royal Baby in front of his subjects. Furthermore, he seems fully supportive of Kate’s parents’ influence on the baby’s life as grandparents despite the fact that they’re neither royal nor aristocratic.

What kind of father will Prince William make? A fine one, by all accounts.