It's not every day a royal baby is born, so when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were expecting a second child (!!!), we went a little nuts on the royal-infant front. After guessing baby names and trying to figure out the due date, we decided to dig a bit deeper into what really happens when a royal baby arrives. Like...
For decades the royals gave birth at home. Queen Elizabeth II was born at a private family home in London and gave birth to her sons Charles, Andrew, and Edward at Buckingham Palace. Her daughter Princess Anne was born at another royal property called the Clarence House.
Both Prince William and Harry were born at St. Mary's Hospital in the private Lindo Wing. Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis here as well. While Princess Diana was the first royal to give birth at the Lindo Wing, it was Princess Anne who was the first royal to opt for a hospital birth in 1977.
When the Queen was born in 1926, the home secretary was present in the delivery room. The centuries-old tradition required someone to be present to confirm a a royal birth was actually happening. The custom ended before the birth of Prince Charles in 1948.
For centuries, birthing was known as an all-female event and the males would remain outside of the delivery room.
Queen Elizabeth herself was homeschooled. However, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge have chosen to enroll Prince George and Princess Charlotte in school—starting in 2016 with Prince George's nursery school, the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk, England.
Prince George recently started primary school at Thomas's Battersea School, an elite private school in London. Prince William and Prince Harry both attended private school growing up.
Prince William became the first heir to the throne to attend public school.
This tradition has certainly changed with modern times. In the past royal children were often prevented from having a close relationship with their maternal grandparents if they didn't descend from British royalty. That hasn't been the case with the Middletons, however.
Kate Middleton mirrored a similar polka-dot dress to Princess Diana after giving birth to Prince George. It's considered a sign of respect and tribute to the late Princess.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to announce Prince George's birth via email and Twitter before the easel had been posted—seemingly breaking tradition.
The doctors at the hospital sign it and then it's delivered back to the palace by car.
We totally would too.
According to the Royal Parks, it's given as a sign of respect or welcome upon various important royal occasions.
And it's located near Buckingham Palace.
Prince George's full name is George Alexander Lewis and Princess Charlotte's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Prince William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis.
This rule for royal baby names comes down to where they land in the line of succession (ahem, to the throne). As future King and Queen Consort the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had no wiggle room for picking non-traditional names, hence George, Charlotte, and Louis. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle broke the mold by naming their firstborn son Archie Harrison.
There's a big pool of royal family members to draw from and predicting the royal baby's name has basically become a national past-time. Not long after a pregnancy is announced betting sites begin taking wagers on all sorts of name.
Up until the early 20th century, royal babies actually had no last name at all. Instead, they were known by the names of the county of which they ruled.
While attending school, Prince George will simply be known as George Cambridge.
The correct title when referring to the royal baby is His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess (name) of Cambridge.
They have even been known to sleep there over night.
Before any official announcement is made, the Queen must be told the happy news. With the birth of Prince George, it was reported that Prince William used an encrypted phone to call his grandmother.
How adorable is Princess Charlotte's little wave on her way to meet Prince Louis? The Cambridge's aren't the only royal siblings to visit mom and baby in hospital—Prince William was photographed visiting Prince Harry when he was born in 1984.
Thankfully, this was abolished in 2013. This was why Princess Charlotte retained her position as fourth in line to the throne when her younger brother, Prince Louis, was born in 2018.
His name is Marcus Setchell and he postponed his retirement to deliver Prince George. He is also the Queen's obstetrician-gynecologist. In the past, Sir George Pinker delivered Prince William and Harry.
Queen Elizabeth II breastfed her children, and so did Princess Diana. It's been reported Kate Middleton has done the same, though it's not officially confirmed.
According to The Telegraph, "Queen Victoria found the idea of breastfeeding repellent, considering it the 'ruin' of intellectual and refined young ladies." Today it remains a personal decision.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced Prince Harry's name the day he left the hospital whereas Prince William's name was not made public for several days.