When you’re giving birth to a future king, the rules of the road are a bit different, as it was for Princess Kate when she gave birth to her oldest child, Prince George, 10 years ago today. George was only the second future monarch born in a hospital—his dad, Prince William, was also born at St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing—and made his appearance at 4:24 p.m. weighing 8 lbs., 6 oz.
The first such rule? Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth had to be the first to know about George’s birth, The Mirror reports. Another rule that most don’t have to follow—an easel had to be displayed at Buckingham Palace with details of George’s birth, and a town crier had to announce the news to the public. Another rule that doesn’t follow the births of the rest of us? The hospital staff had to be sworn to secrecy about the details surrounding the birth.
Though those rules were out of her control, Kate herself introduced a tradition into her birthing that was a little unusual: Hypnobirthing, which the then Duchess of Cambridge chose to do after her well-documented struggles with hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of morning sickness that forced Kate to announce her pregnancy with George earlier than she intended.
On the “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” podcast, Kate stressed that hypnobirthing wasn’t for everyone, but that it worked for her. “It was through the hyperemesis that I really realized the power of the mind over the body,” Kate said. “I’m not going to say that William was standing there sort of chanting sweet nothings at me. He definitely wasn’t. I didn’t even ask him about it, but it was just something I wanted to do for myself.”
Hypnobirthing seeks to reduce fear, pain, and anxiety during childbirth and involves learning calm breathing techniques, guided meditation, visualization, and positive affirmations. “It was hugely powerful,” Kate said, adding she “quite liked labor,” primarily because she knew it was going to end. Before giving birth to George, “the couple were understood to have had a number of lessons from experts,” The Mirror reports.
Now that George is 10, Kate is protective over her oldest, The Mirror reports. Though he may be a future king, George is unaware of his “elevated station” because of Kate’s protective nature, Majesty Magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward said.
“Popular amongst his peers, George seems unaware of exactly what his elevated station means,” Seward said. “And he has none of that unattractive self-assurance that little rich kids can so easily adopt. In public, George is restrained and appears unwilling to be pushed forward. In private he is rumbustious, loves music and football, cricket and tennis, but has the sensitivity to let off his super energy only when the cameras are not focused on him.”
Seward continued “The princess has been careful. Kate knows what children can be like when they see someone’s parents command so much attention and is very protective. George, Charlotte, and Louis all attend the same Lambrook School as day pupils, which means both parents can be there on sports days and open days. Family is their priority. They share the school run and, if traveling, ensure they are home in time for the weekends.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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