The Way Queen Elizabeth Found Out About Prince George’s Birth is Wild

She had to be the first to find out about his arrival, outside of those actually in the delivery room, who were sworn to secrecy.

Queen Elizabeth in a lavender outfit
(Image credit: Getty)

As Marie Claire reported on yesterday, Princess Kate—then the Duchess of Cambridge—had to follow some pretty interesting rules when giving birth to the heir to the throne, Prince George, 10 years ago yesterday. One at the top of the list? Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth had to be the very first person to know about George’s birth, and, as The Daily Express reports, she was the first to know—and found out about the arrival of her first great-grandson in a very interesting manner.

Royal protocol dictates that the monarch be the first call after a future monarch’s birth, and the late Queen heard the news via a specially encrypted phone from a call from yet another future monarch—Prince William, the brand new, first-time father. George was born at 4:24 p.m. at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, clocking in at 8 lbs., 6 oz. The news of his sex was announced via a town crier, and his birth statistics were placed on an easel outside of Buckingham Palace to mark the happy occasion. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince George at the Platinum Jubilee

(Image credit: Getty)

But that wasn’t where Her late Majesty’s involvement in George’s early days ended. Because George is a direct heir to the throne, Queen Elizabeth would also have been asked to give her royal approval of his name, which two days later was revealed as Prince George Alexander Louis.

Prince William and Kate Middleton introduce baby Prince George to the world

(Image credit: Getty)

“After the call to George’s great-grandmother [the Queen], William would have had to call some of the Middleton family members to let them know the happy news,” The Daily Express reports. “Later in the day, the public was informed that the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had welcomed their first child.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

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.