50 Royal Baby Traditions You Had No Idea Existed
It's not every day a royal baby is born, so
At-home births used to be the norm.
For decades the royals gave birth at home. Queen Elizabeth II was born at a private family home in London and gave birth to her sons Charles, Andrew, and Edward at Buckingham Palace. Her daughter Princess Anne was born at another royal property called the Clarence House.
However, Princess Diana started a new birthing tradition.
Both Prince William and Harry were born at St. Mary's Hospital in the private Lindo Wing. Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George and Princess Charlotte here as well. Though it's reported that Kate Middleton is thinking about switching up the tradition and giving birth to her third child at home.
A witness used to be required in the delivery room.
When the Queen was born in 1926, the home secretary was present in the delivery room. The centuries-old tradition required someone to be present to confirm a royal birth was actually happening. The custom ended before the birth of Prince Charles in 1948.
And up until the birth of Prince Charles, fathers were not allowed in the delivery room.
For centuries, birthing was known as an all-female event and the males would remain outside of the delivery room.
Royal babies used to be typically homeschooled.
Queen Elizabeth herself was homeschooled. However, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge have chosen to enroll Prince George and Princess Charlotte in school--starting in 2016 with Prince George's nursery school, the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk, England.
Public schools are typically unheard of.
Prince George recently started primary school at Thomas's Battersea School, an elite private school in London. Prince William and Prince Harry both attended private school growing up.
Princess Diana was first to break this "no public school" tradition.
Prince William became the first heir to the throne to attend public school.
Non-royal grandparents were often disregarded.
However, this has changed with modern times. In the past royal children were often prevented from having a close relationship with their maternal grandparents if they didn't descend from British royalty.
The mother's clothes are carefully chosen in her first public appearance post-birth.
Kate Middleton mirrored a similar polka-dot dress to Princess Diana after giving birth to Prince George. It's considered a sign of respect and tribute to the late Princess.
Midwives are typically present for the births.
The birth announcement is displayed on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to announce Prince George's birth via email and Twitter before the easel had been posted--seemingly breaking tradition.
The announcement used to be handwritten, but now it's typed.
The doctors at the hospital sign it and then it's delivered back to the palace by car.
People line up outside of the palace to see the easel in-person.
We totally would too.
When the baby is born, there's a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London.
According to the Royal Parks, it's given as a sign of respect or
There's also a 41-gun salute from Green Park.
And it's located near Buckingham Palace.
Royal babies typically have three to four first names.
Prince George's full name is George Alexander Lewis and Princess Charlotte's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Prince William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis.
They usually combine names of previous monarchs and relatives.
People are already predicting baby #3 names.
Royal babies don't require a surname.
Up until the early 20th century, royal babies actually had no last name at all. Instead, they were known by the names of the county of which they ruled.
But if they do have one, they go by one surname in school.
This year, Prince George will simply be known as George Cambridge.
Royal babies also have an ~official~ title.
The correct title when referring to the royal baby is His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess (name) of Cambridge.
The birth is announced by an unofficial town crier.
The current town crier is Tony Appleton and he has announced the births of both Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The position originated in medieval times since the majority of the townspeople in the country could not read or write.
Crowds wait outside of the hospital for the birth to happen.
They have even been known to sleep there overnight.
The Queen must be one of the first people informed of the birth before an official announcement is made.
Protocol dictated that Prince William call his grandmother on an encrypted phone upon Prince George's birth.
has always been preferences for males in the Royal succession.
Thankfully, this was abolished in 2013.
There's a designated royal OB-GYN who performs the royal births.
His name is Marcus Setchell and he postponed his retirement to deliver Prince George. He is also the Queen's obstetrician-gynecologist. In the past, Sir George Pinker delivered Prince William and Harry.
Breastfeeding is a traditional practice for royal mothers.
Queen Elizabeth II breastfed her children, and so did Princess Diana. It's been reported Kate Middleton has done the same, though it's not officially confirmed.
However, the practice used to be completely off-limits.
According to The Telegraph, "Queen Victoria found the idea of breastfeeding repellent, considering it the 'ruin' of intellectual and refined young ladies." Today it remains a personal decision.
Due dates are not necessarily announced right away.
The Duchess of Cambridge's illness caused her to announce her third pregnancy early, and the family has still not confirmed a due date.
Neither are the babies' names after giving birth.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced Prince Harry's name the day he left the hospital whereas Prince William's name was not made public for several days.
Paternity leave is expected.
Prince William received unpaid paternity leave from the Royal Air Force for the births of both of his children.
Royal babies have their own pets.
Here, Prince William is pictured with his Shetland pony at Highgrove House in Doughton, Gloucestershire in 1986.
Gifts are sent across the world from foreign leaders as well as the public.
When Prince George was born back in 2013, the New Zealand government sent a shawl made from fine merino wool--the same gift the Duke of Cambridge received over three decades ago.
Royal babies often used traditional cloth diapers.
Prince William was reportedly the first royal baby to break away from this tradition when Princess Diana opted for disposable diapers instead.
They must attend the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony.
It's for their grandmother's birthday, after all. The traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony is also known as the Queen's official birthday celebration. Here, the entire Royal family watches the Royal Air Force fly above from the palace balcony.
Royal births are normally announced after the 12th week of pregnancy.
However, exceptions have been made with Kate Middleton due to her acute morning sickness. News broke about baby no. 3 after the Duchess couldn't attend an event at the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London.
The gender is not revealed before the baby's arrival.
Even Prince William and Kate haven't broken this tradition yet. It's rumored they didn't even know Prince George's gender themselves.
The royal parents have to officially register the birth with the country.
England and Wales
Nannies have traditionally been the central caretakers.
And they're taught everything from defensive driving to security protocols to Taekwondo. Maria Borrallo is the current nanny for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Royal babies are christened several days to weeks after they are born.
And this is when they often make their official first public appearance. Prince George was christened at St. James's Palace in London and Princess Charlotte (above) was christened at Church of St. Mary Magdalene on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate.
The christening is typically done by the official head of the Church of England.
His name is Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. In addition to the church, previous generations of royals have held the event at Buckingham Palace, where Princes Charles and William were christened in the Music Room. The queen and her sister were baptized in a private chapel that was destroyed during World War II.
Media access to the christening is often restricted.
An official portrait is traditionally released after the event.
You can see Prince George's official christening photographs here.
The christening gown has historical significance.
For the past eight generations, the same gown has been worn as a replica of the one used in 1841 during Queen Victoria's reign. Sixty-two royal babies have worn this original gown.
The public gets to join in on the celebration.
Princess Charlotte's christening was the most public christening in royal history. There's a designated viewing area for thousands of spectators.
Royal babies usually have around six (!) godparents.
But family members are not chosen for the role.
And certainly not the immediate family. (Sorry, Prince Harry.)
The Home Secretary must notify officials of the birth.
Including significant figures such as the Lord Mayor of London, the Governors of Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
For the past 58 years, there have only been two royal babies born within each royal family.
The Duke and Duchess are the first of the Queen's immediate family to have three children. The last time there were over two royal children within an immediate royal family was when the Queen gave birth to her own four children.
Meetings with world leaders are not typically the norm for royal children.
Back in April 2016, Prince George "was allowed to stay up late" to meet the Obamas at Kensington Palace.
But despite all of the royal traditions, sometimes it's okay to break them.
We are all Prince George.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.