Monday, June 17, 2013

Royal Baby Facts

In honor of the upcoming birth of William and Catherine's first child, some British royal baby facts:

  • When William and Catherine's baby is born, he/she will be the first royal baby to bear and use the style and title HRH Prince/Princess since Princess Eugenie's birth in 1990.

  • In the unlikely event William and Catherine's baby is born in a royal palace, he/she will be the first royal baby since 1964 to do so. The last baby to be born in a royal palace was Lady Sarah Chatto, daughter of Princess Margaret, who was born at Kensington Palace on May 1, 1964. Prior to her birth Prince Edward was born at Buckingham Palace on March 10, 1964.

  • A royal baby boom occurred in 1964 when four royal ladies were pregnant at the same time. Princess Alexandra was pregnant with her son James Ogilvy, the Queen with Prince Edward, the Duchess of Kent with Lady Helen Taylor and Princess Margaret with Lady Sarah Chatto.

  • Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, was the first grandchild of a sovereign to be born a commoner in more than 500 years. He and his sister, Zara, are the Queen's only untitled grandchildren.

  • Peter Phillips is the first grandson of a British sovereign to be born in hospital.

  • Prince William is the first direct heir to the throne to be born in hospital

  • After attending the birth of his first child, Peter in 1977, Mark Phillips remarked: "It is not every ones cup of tea". After the birth of his daughter Zara in 1981 he commented: "Yes, I was present at the birth but I wouldn't recommend it to other fathers."

  • Contrary to some reports, should Prince William attend the birth of his child, he will not be the first royal father to do so. Other fathers who have attended the birth of their children include Prince Albert, (Consort of Queen Victoria), Prince Albert Edward attended the birth of his first son Prince Albert Victor, Prince George, Duke of Kent attended the birth of his son Prince Edward (the present Duke), as well as Mark Philips, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and Prince Edward.

  • Amongst the baby gifts Charles and Diana received for Prince William was a book of nursery rhymes, containing fourteen well-known characters, entirely in lace. The book was made by a team of lace makers at Beer in Devon and took 10,000 man-hours to create.  

  • Queen Victoria was insistent on being present at the births of her grandchildren

  • Queen Victoria disliked and disapproved of breastfeeding. When she discovered her daughter Princess Alice did so, she had one of the cows at the Royal Dairy named 'Alice'.

  • In 1948, one of the cakes for Prince Charles' christening was made by the students of the National Bakery School. It weighed 130lbs and was 36 inches high.

  • Lord Nicholas Windsor, third child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, was the first royal baby to be born in hospital. He was born at University College Hospital on July 25, 1970.

  • Princess Beatrice's date of birth 8/8/88 is considered to be extremely lucky in the Chinese calendar.

  • Since the 1970s, it has become the norm for royal babies to be born in hospital. Previous royal babies have been born in more illustrious surroundings. To name a few: Balmoral Castle, the Sandringham Estate, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Marlborough House, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and St. James's Palace. 

  • Princess Eugenie of York, daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was the first royal baby to have a public christening. This occurred during morning service at St. Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, in December 1990.

  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born on a dining room table

  • Princess Alexandra, first cousin of the Queen was born on Christmas day in 1936, the year of the abdication crisis. Her grandmother Queen Mary remarked that her birth was 'The nicest thing to have happened this year.'

  • Princess Alexandra's son, James Ogilvy was born on February 29th, 1964.

  • In 1960, Prince Andrew was the first royal baby born to a reigning British sovereign since Queen Victoria gave birth to Princess Beatrice in 1857.

  • In 1930, Princess Margaret was the first royal baby - so close in the line of succession - to be born in Scotland since Charles I in 1600. At the time of her birth she was 4th in line to the throne. Between Charles I and Princess Margaret other royal babies born in Scotland include Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain in 1887 and her brother Prince Maurice in 1891, both born at Balmoral Castle. However they were not as close in line as Princess Margaret!

  • When Princess Margaret was born in 1930, her birth registration was delayed so that her birth certificate would not be numbered 13.

  • When Baby Cambridge is born, it will mark the second time in history where 3 direct heirs to the throne have been born while the sovereign is alive. The first time occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria when her son, The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson, the Duke of York (later King George V) marked the birth of the future King Edward VIII in 1894.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

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