At age eight, Prince George is by all accounts a happy-go-lucky kid, who's obsessed with soccer and hunting for insects in the garden with his siblings.
But royal sources say the young man – who is already nearly as tall as his mum, the Duchess of Cambridge – is becoming aware that his future doesn't quite look like other boys his age.
Buckingham Palace insiders have exclusively revealed to Woman's Day that the Queen has begun preparing her great-grandson for his destiny as King George VII, with the current monarch "already taking private audiences" with the boisterous youngster.
This follows reports that Kate and Prince William, both 39, informed George on his seventh birthday that he will one day be sovereign.
"George is a bright child and has long seemed aware that he's treated differently from the other kids at school, no matter how much his parents have encouraged a normal life," says a source.
"But he's surrounded with so much love and support from his parents, grandparents and especially his 'Gan-Gan' [his nickname for the Queen], that it really feels like he's being set up for great success."
Indeed, Her Majesty has insisted on spending more time with George than she ever did with William at his age – or indeed her own son, the next king, Prince Charles.
"The Queen waited until William was 13 and at Eton before she invited him over for tea and private audiences with her on weekends, where she began coaching him about what's expected of him one day," says our insider.
"But at 95 years old, with George, she doesn't feel like she has the luxury of waiting for him to reach senior school.
"She's taking a soft approach with him, reading him her old diaries from when she was a princess, showing him films of when she became Queen, encouraging him to follow in the footsteps of his father, who will one day be a great king too, that sort of thing.
"George is a character and it's rather obvious he thinks some of it is a terrible bore, but he was raised to have great respect for his granny and takes it all in his stride.
"William and Catherine are very proud."
Our insider says the Queen has insisted to Wills and Kate that if they have any questions on raising an heir to the throne, her door is always open.
"It's not hard to see her motivation," says a source.
"She's watched things go horribly wrong with Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and in many ways, Prince Charles.
"She's anxious that George has the best possible start in his long journey to the throne – and so far, so good."