It has just been announced that Princess Letizia of Spain and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands are expecting new arrivals in Spring 2007. This will be the second child for Letizia and the third for Maxima.
In 2005 we had a royal baby boom when it was announced within a week of each other, that Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and Letizia were expecting new arrivals in October. Also expecting in 2005 were Maxima, Mathilde of Belgium, and Mette-Marit of Norway. The birth of a royal baby is always a joyous event but when these events occur in such quick succession one has to wonder whether there's something in the palace water.
There hasn't been a birth in the British royal family since 2004 when the family welcomed Estella Taylor, the youngest child of Lady Helen Taylor. It seems that they are lagging behind, but in the past they have had their share of baby booms. The first one in 1817 after the death of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the future King George IV, and her son in childbirth. Surprisingly enough, amongst the 15 children of King George III, once Princess Charlotte died, not a legitimate grandchild existed. A race ensued to produce a legitimate heir to the throne, his middle aged sons forgoing their mistresses and illegitimate offspring to marry suitable brides. Eventually this effort culminated with the birth of Princess Victoria of Kent who as Queen Victoria would become the longest reigning sovereign in British history.
The second baby boom occurred in 1964 when the Queen, Princess Alexandra, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent were all expecting at the same time. Princess Alexandra delivered her son James first, followed by the Queen with Prince Edward, the Duchess of Kent delivered Lady Helen Taylor (nee Windsor), and finally in May, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret arrived. It is said that the four ladies made quite a sight waddling together. No succession crisis provoked these arrivals. Maybe there was something in the water?
This year Japan welcomed it's first male heir to the throne in 40 years, and a new baby princess arrived in the Italian royal family. As well, the youngest son of Queen Beatrix had his third child and another princess in the Dutch royal house is expecting a baby in November. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if Princess Mary of Denmark announced an impending arrival. She and her husband welcomed Prince Christian in October 2005 and have made no secret of wanting more children.
Regardless, let us hope that these future children arrive safely and are happy and healthy.
© Marilyn Braun 2006
Postscript: It was announced on October 26th that Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is expecting her second child in May. Am I psychic or what? ;)
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