Tue, 21 May, 2019
How the royal births have changed throughout the years
Giving birth is an intimate, personal and life-changing event, but it wasn’t always that way for members of the Royal family.
As the United Kingdom’s oldest institution have lived by rules, regulations and protocols that members of the Royal Family are expected to follow rigorously, including from how you speak, how you dress, even down to how you wave, it should come as no surprise that there are protocols for giving birth as well.
The world has seen many interesting royal traditions come and go when it surrounds the Royal family. Here are just a few.
Queen Victoria, who hated being pregnant and that “an ugly baby is a very nasty object – and the prettiest is frightful when undressed,” according to History Extra was about to change everything surrounding childbirth.
When Queen Victoria gave birth to her first child, she wasn’t allowed anaesthetics (ouch!). She also gave birth in a room that was packed full of witnesses, including ladies-in-waiting, midwives, servants and doctors, according to The Guardian.
However, after giving birth to her second and third child, Queen Victoria made sure that she was administered a form of drug called chloroform to lessen the pain. She also ruled that just the Home Secretary be required as a witness at the birth of a royal heir instead of Ministers and Privy Counsellors attending the birth. This was done in 1894.
The tradition carried on until the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. When Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles, she was in labour for 30 hours, which ended in a caesarean. Following tradition, the Queen opted for a home birth, which is how all four children were delivered.
When Charles and Princess Diana announced the arrival of Prince William, Diana decided to forgo the traditional homebirth and deliver in a hospital. She was also induced due to the widespread interest of the baby, which is definitely a long way from not being able to have drugs whilst giving birth like Queen Victoria.
Diana was also the first Princess to make a new royal tradition, which was the royal baby photo call. As she stepped outside of the Lindo Wing with husband Prince Charles, this was the photo that birthed a new tradition.
When Duchess Catherine gave birth in 2013 and welcomed Prince George into the world, she followed in her late mother-in-law’s footsteps with the traditional photo out the front of St Mary’s Lindo Wing. Duchess Catherine and Prince William would do the same for the birth of their other two children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The Duchess of Sussex completely forgoed tradition, and chose to keep the birth of Baby Archie private until they, as a family, spent time with the new bub. Choosing to reveal their first-born within the walls of Windsor Castle.