10 Royal Baby Traditions You Might Not Know About
If you haven't already heard, London just welcomed a new royal baby. Who are we kidding — of course you know that Kate Middleton's third baby has arrived! Before we meet the little lady or lad, however, here's the 411 on 10 royal baby traditions that you should know about, from the town crier's birth announcement to the royal christening ceremony.
Royal Births Are Typically Announced in the 12th Week of Pregnancy
The palace announced Kate Middleton's third pregnancy at slightly earlier than 12 weeks since her morning sickness made her unable to appear at a scheduled event at Hornsey Road Children's Centre in September 2017.
Home Births Used to Be the Norm
Giving birth at home at the royal residences used to be the norm. Royals now give birth in a private room at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's hospital, starting with Princess Diana. In the last few months, there had been rumors that Kate was considering a home birth for her third child. However, it has been confirmed that she will have a hospital birth.
There's a Gun Salute After the Baby's Birth
A 62-gun salute takes place at the Tower of London for around 10 minutes upon the birth of the baby.
Births Are Announced on an Easel Outside of Buckingham Palace
Today, births are now announced on social media as soon as they happen, but the tradition of announcing the birth outside of Buckingham Palace on an easel still remains. The easel includes information about the gender and time of delivery.
A Town Crier Announces the Birth to All of London
An unofficial town crier also announces the birth. This tradition dates all the way back to medieval England when many were illiterate. Tony Appleton was the town crier for Princess Charlotte's birth.
Royal Babies Don't Have Last Names
Royals can have three to four first names, but they don't officially have last names. In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II took on the surname Mountbatten-Windsor for her children to distinguish her own line from the Windsor house. This last name is optional, though, and the royal household rarely uses it.
The Baby Makes Its First Official Public Appearance at the Royal Christening
The royal christening takes place several days to weeks after the birth, with the Head of the Church of England conducting the ceremony. The baby wears a traditional christening gown for the occasion, one that's been used for eight generations of royal babies. This is the first official appearance of the baby in public. In recent years, however, the royal couple makes a soft appearance with their baby when going home from St. Mary's Hospital.
The Royals Need to Officially Register Their Babies, Too
Royals, just like the rest of the English public, need to register their birth with the government within 42 days.
Royal Babies Usually Have Around 6 Godparents
Royal children have around six godparents. Prince George has seven while Princess Charlotte has five. It's important to note that family members cannot be chosen for this role. Sorry, Prince Harry!
The Father Receives Paternity Leave
For both his children, Prince William received unpaid paternity leave from the Royal Air Force.