The world is celebrating with the Royal Family as they welcome their new baby to the world. With the birth of Prince Harry and Ms. Megan Markle’s baby, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the world is reminded that the Royal Family does things a bit differently than the rest of us. Following traditions that have been around for centuries, this family consistently preserves the past while bringing in the future.Plenty of couples choose not to find out what the gender of their newborn is until they’re born, and royal families are no different. Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t reveal the gender of any of their children, and it’s believed that the decision was of their own doing. Most of the time, though, the public never finds about the gender until the birth of the royal baby has been announced.
When a royal baby is born into the world, there is one person who is supposed to know before anyone else can be told. The Windsor matriarch Queen Elizabeth II is told about the birth of a new royal baby before anyone else, including the baby’s grandparents. According to several different sources, Prince William used an encrypted cell phone to call his grandmother to inform her that Prince George had been born. Once the Queen is told, then the parents can inform their family and friends.
These days, it’s common for new families to place an announcement of the birth on social media. While “normal” people just write a line or two for a Facebook post, royal families have to do a bit more. The first thing they do is notify the press as soon as the mother goes into labor, and once again when the baby is born. An official printed announcement is also placed on a fancy easel outside of Buckingham Palace with the details of the baby’s weight, name, and birth date.
While most families take post-birth pictures, the royal family goes above and beyond. As we said before, new royal mothers typically make their first appearance just hours after the baby is born. It goes without saying that a lot of planning goes into what the royal mother will wear for the first pictures. After George was born, Kate Middleton decided to pay respects to Princess Diane by wearing a polka-dot dress, which is what Princess Diana wore after she gave birth to Prince William. The Duchess of Sussex bucked the long tradition by declining to present the newborn’s photo to the media immediately after birth. Instead, the proud father made the exciting announcement to the world of his son’s birth.
While most women are a hot mess after they’re done delivering a baby, royal mamas aren’t so lucky. Soon after a royal mother delivers, they’re expected to be dressed and glammed up to pose outside on the hospital steps for pictures. This is when the world gets to see the royal newborn for the very first time.
It’s tough for any couple to choose a name for a child, but when that child might grow up to be king one day, the pressure to come up with the perfect name is a bit more intense. Prince William and Kate Middleton put lots of thought into choosing the names for their children. Prince George is apparently named after the Queen’s father, King George VI, Charlotte is named after Prince Charles, and Louis is named after Prince Philip’s uncle, Louis Mountbatten.
While it seems like common sense that staff at the royal home aren’t allowed to speak to anyone about what goes on in the palace, it’s a bit more complicated for this family. If the Queen doesn’t want her staff to share the scoop about what goes on in her home, then confidentiality contracts must be signed. Reportedly, in 2004, the Queen paid out thousands in legal fees to keep her staff silent.
Even though it’s a perfectly normal thing to do, breastfeeding is a relatively new experience for royal mothers. For hundreds of years, royal families relied on wet nurses to properly nourish their children. These wet nurses would step in to feed the children, who were usually only visited by their parents. The first royal to be breastfed was the current Queen when she was born in 1926. She did the same for her own children, and as of today, royal mothers are encouraged to do so, as well.
Even though there have been rumors of royal baby showers, there isn’t any concrete proof that there has ever been one. While these parties are obviously popular in the United States, they aren’t expected in England. So Kate Middleton most likely received gifts from her close friends, but there wasn’t any kind of baby shower to speak of. The lack of a pre-baby party is most likely because they can more than afford everything a baby needs, so throwing a party for gifts would be in poor taste.
Thanks to modern times, royals are posting emotional pictures of their new children on Instagram. Even though the Royals aren’t allowed to have personal accounts – Megan Markle had to actually delete her social media platforms before she married Prince Harry – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have an official Instagram account, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex@sussexroyal. Kensington Palace @kensingtonroyal is the official Instagram account for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Because of a law from 1717, the Queen’s children and grandchildren don’t have full legal custody of their own children. This law, which gives the Queen legal custody of any of the royal children, was introduced by King George I because he didn’t get along with his son. He made the declaration that the “right of supervision extended to his grandchildren and this right of right belongs to His Majesty, King of the Realm, even during their father’s lifetime.”
Having your sister or brother become your child’s godparent is a pretty common practice among families, but the royal family does things a bit differently. Choosing to keep close family members out of that role, Kate and Will didn’t ask Harry to be a godparent because he is already an uncle. Of course, other royals can be asked though, like Laura Fellowes (Princess Diana’s niece), Kate’s cousin Adam Middleton, and Will’s cousin Zara Tindall.
It’s obvious that the House of Windsor likes to stick close to their traditions, and clothing plays a huge role in those traditions. As you saw before with the christening gown, royal babies are also wrapped in a very special blanket made by GH Hurt & Son Ltd. Providing that the company made the blanket that Prince William left the hospital in, they have a very long-standing with the royal family. In fact, they’ve made blankets for all three of Prince William’s children.
As soon as a royal baby is born, the event is marked by a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London. Gun salutes are extremely common in England in order to mark significant occasions, just like military plane flyovers, which we do in the United States. Earlier this year, the Red Arrows flew over Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s birthday.
Did you happen to notice the christening gown that Prince Louis wore while he was being baptized? Considering that the detail was so elaborate, the gown was pretty hard to miss. Like most things, the christening gown is all about tradition. Ever since 1841 when Queen Victoria used it, every single royal baby has worn the same christening gown. Prince Charles and Prince William were able to wear the original when they were christened, a replica was made in 2008 in order to preserve the original from 1841.
When Prince George started kindergarten, people were so consumed by the cute pictures that no one noticed that entourage following him. Prince George might be like any other little boy, but his private security detail sets him apart. With two personal bodyguards by his side, George is following the rule that any heir in line to the throne must have a personal guard with them at all times.
It may seem unnecessary, but royal mamas get to go on maternity leave, too! After Kate gave birth to Louis, she was given a six-month break from her duties. It might not be your typical office job, but being a member of the royal family comes with a whole lot of work. On the other hand, Prince William was only given two-week paternity leave from his duties when George and Charlotte were born, but he went straight back to work when Louis was born.
It is one of the strictest royal rules that no direct heirs to the throne are allowed to travel by plane together. One exception to the rule was made in 2002 when William, Charles, and Harry were allowed to travel on the same flight after the Queen’s mother died. This reason for this rule is clear: if something should go wrong and all of the direct heirs are killed at one time, it destroys the royal lineage.