Ever since Kate Middleton and Prince William announced their first pregnancy in 2012, the British Royal Family has been booming with babies. From welcoming precious Prince George in 2013 to celebrating the birth of the adorable Princess Charlotte in 2015, Kate and William’s additions to the royal line were celebrated worldwide. Following their lead in 2019, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, adding another adorable member to the castle. While the Royal Families little kiddos have often behaved like normal little kids (both hilarious and mischievous), their upbringing—specifically their births—bordered on unique. Kate and Meghan’s interesting pregnancies drew on the traditional birth customs that the Royal Family have held in esteem for generations. Traditions are a massive part of the royal family, especially when it comes to the birth of royal babies. These are some of the fascinating and widely unknown birth customs that the British Royal Family practices when welcoming a new royal into the world!
Being Born On Royal Grounds
While this tradition may not be set in stone, royal mothers were once expected to give birth on royal grounds. The tradition was applicable for the birth of Queen Elizabeth II, who was born on the private royal property in London. Eventually, Queen Elizabeth went on to deliver all four of her children on royal grounds. She gave birth to Charles, Andrew, and Edward in Buckingham Palace. She gave birth to her daughter, Anne, at a private royal property referred to as Clarence House. The tradition was broken by Princess Diana when she gave birth to both of her two sons, Princes Harry and William, in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital. Kate Middleton followed suit, also giving birth to her children at St. Mary’s. Meghan Markle, who is frequently compared to Princess Diana due to how often she breaks royal protocol, gave birth to her son, Archie, at the Portland Hospital in London. While the tradition of palace births may be dying off, Kate Middleton was considering a home birth for her third child, Louis.
A Traditional String Of Birth Announcements
The Internet is a surefire place to get informed about any events involving the Royal Family. However, the palace hasn’t strayed from tradition when it comes to announcing the birth of a royal baby. Buckingham Palace plants a glass-paned sign outside of the palace with information about the time of birth, the gender, and the state of the mother and baby. Besides putting out a fancy physical announcement, the family also seeks help from a “town crier.” They are expected to dash through the crowd waiting beyond the palace’s gates to announce the birth of a royal baby. They can be found wearing full (nearly Medieval) royal garb and carrying a hand-painted announcement sign. This dates back to Medieval Times in England, as verbal birth announcements were necessary for illiterate citizens in surrounding areas.
No Rest For The Royals
It’s no secret that giving birth is a fairly exhausting experience. Rationally, any new mother would love to rest and relax after they’ve safely delivered their child. However, the mothers in the Royal Family don’t get the chance to chill out after giving birth to their kiddos. Instead, they must quickly clean up, get dressed, and bring their baby out of the hospital to meet the public. Considering that the extent of their pregnancies is broadcasted across the globe, it’s not terribly surprising that they’re expected to show off their new child as soon as possible. Still, there’s no doubt that it must be tiresome to make themselves glamorous and photo-ready after the exhaustion of spending hours in labor. After their public photo-op with their little princes and princesses, they hopefully get the chance to rest up back at the palace.
The Newborns Are Treated Like Royalty
Even before their children know how important they are, the newborns truly receive the royal treatment. The children of royals are expected to leave the womb with a stunning three names, often drawn from the names of previous royals. George Alexander Louis, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, Louis Arthur Charles, and Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor have a royal ring to them, don’t they? Before their births, the babies also receive a plethora of gifts from across the globe, from snazzy stuffed toys to luxury shawls. While the Royals are rich enough to afford their own baby supplies, glamorous gifts from both world leaders and random citizens still flood the castle. Just after the royal babies are born, they are swaddled by expensive wool blankets from G.H.Hurt & Son. To top it all off, the Tower of London performs a 62-gun salute to celebrate the birth of the baby, paired with a 41-gun salute at Green Park. All that hype for a newborn may sound excessive, yet when it comes to the royal babies, nothing is too grand.
The Queen Is The First To Know
Who isn’t eager to tell friends and family after finding out that they’re expecting a child? Well, members of the Royal Family must bite their tongues until the news is delivered to the queen. Queen Elizabeth II was the first to hear about the pregnancies of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. In fact, Prince William had to use an encoded cell phone to deliver the news of Kate’s first pregnancy to Elizabeth in case anyone could potentially be listening in. Once the queen is informed, the Royals can tell everyone and their dentist about the pregnancy, yet the queen must be the first to know. While this rule may seem strict, Queen Elizabeth II certainly seems to have earned the honor. Elizabeth II is a dedicated grandmother to four adults and great-grandmother to six children. From reading to them to taking them on special outings to making her grandkids giggle at formal events, she definitely deserves to hear the news before the rest of the world.
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