The news of a baby makes people think about how they will raise their child. For instance, you probably kept some of the same rules your parents made you follow. Nevertheless, you might also establish new ones depending on the changes going on in the world. However, bringing a new baby into the world doesn’t stop with names and rules. This can be double (or more) for the royal family.
While some traditions you might decide to bring into your family’s home, others are passed down from generation to generation. It’s something that every family does, including the royal family. However, many of the baby traditions the royal family follows are ones that you had no idea even existed – until now. Check out these unique traditions right here.
35. Gender Isn’t Announced
One of the first questions most couples have when they hear they’re going to have a baby is when they will find out the gender. For many people, the announcement of gender has become a big celebration. You may have waited to hear the gender announcement in the past while waiting for William and Kate’s baby but never heard until the baby arrived.
While most thought this was because they decided not to find out the gender until the baby’s big arrival, it’s really because, as royals, they aren’t allowed to announce the gender. It’s a tradition for the royal family that continued, even after sonograms became popular during the mid-1900s. Of course, this all changed when Harry and Meghan announced they were having a baby girl after moving to Los Angeles and backing away from royal duties.
Even when traditions are passed down from generation to generation, they still tend to change over time. Sometimes this happens because parents want to start forming their own habits yet still have a piece of their childhood. Then, there are the traditions that change because of societal change.
For example, up until the early 1900s, it was the norm for women to give birth at home. Once hospitals became more regular in communities, women started heading there for the added safety and support. Beginning in the mid-1900s, it became customary to have your baby in the hospital, but the royal family still had home births.
The private Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital is where Diana decided to have William and Harry. This tradition continued when Kate had her children in the same wing. While Meghan Markle gave birth to her firstborn, Archie, in a hospital, it was at Portland Hospital in London.
One of the first steps people take once their baby makes their way into the world is to wrap them in a baby blanket. Some parents receive the blanket as a gift, while others buy a blanket to fit their baby perfectly. The royal family abides by royal tradition with the blanket they are wrapped in for their first picture.
If you watched the blanket that William and Kate’s youngest son was wrapped in, it was a new blanket following a now over 70-year-old tradition. This white GH Hurt & Son Ltd shawl is a knitted blanket from the Nottingham-based “Shawl Factory.” Since Prince Charles’ birth in 1948, the factory provides the royal family with similar knitted blankets for their babies. All three of William and Kate’s children were provided with their special blankets, each unique but also similar.
The world waits for the post-birth photograph after hearing that a royal baby came into the world. This has been a tradition for generations but has recently become more popular. Of course, Princess Diana and Prince Charles were photographed with their sons shortly after Diana gave birth. You have probably seen more than one of these photos and wonder how the mother looks so beautiful, especially after giving birth that morning or the previous day.
Well, part of this is because there is a lot of thought and planning that goes into the post-birth photo. Not only do they have people help them prepare, such as doing the mother’s hair, but they also spend a lot of time picking the perfect outfit. For example, When Princess Diana gave birth, she wore a beautiful polka-dot dress. Kate had a similar polka-dot dress. People quickly noticed the clothing and made comparisons to Diana, which is exactly why Kate picked this outfit.
Most people prefer to text or call close family members and friends to announce their child’s birth, Then they typically spend time posting about the birth of their bundle of joy on social media. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to follow the new modern tradition, changing it from what it previously was for generations. However, the royal family also displayed the original traditional announcement.
The traditional birth announcement is set on an easel at Buckingham Palace. The easel is usually gold in color, and the announcement is placed in a wooden frame stating the birth that took place along with signatures. This announcement used to be handwritten, but now it is typed. Most of the signatures include the doctors and a witness who saw the birth and who has one job – to witness the birth to state that the royal birth happened.
People with a new baby probably call and text more people than you imagine, along with posting information welcoming your baby into the world on social media. Of course, the announcements continue beyond that. For example, your parents are just as excited so they announce it to their friends. The same process fits the royal announcement, but instead of focusing on people, they focus on the whole city.
The town crier is a person that used to be popular in the days before newspapers, television, and social media. Someone would start yelling an announcement for everyone in the town to hear, especially the citizens who couldn’t read or write. The unofficial town crier who announced the recent royal births to the public was Tony Appleton. While Mr. Appleton doesn’t hold a royal title, he continues to make these announcements to the city.
A name is something special for each child born. Parents might have two names picked out until they learn the gender. They might also have several names chosen for one gender. Of course, you might have had one picked out right away or even before you found out about your new child.
The same goes for royals. They spend a long time deciding their child’s name because it needs to be special. For instance, you probably have two names, your first and middle, and then your last name. However, a royal baby has about three names on average, if not more. William and Kate’s children not only have a first and middle name, but they also have a name after that. For instance, Princess Charlotte’s full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, and her official title is Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
When the royal baby enters the world, it’s an event celebrated worldwide, especially by the family and citizens of the country. While people usually receive cards, flowers, and balloons, the same goes for the royal family as well. However, this is not the piece of the celebration many people see or hear.
The piece they notice is the salute that happens to announce the birth. Royal Parks state that every salute that takes place is a sign of respect to the royal family and the baby. After all, they have a critical role for that country. For instance, when a royal baby enters the world, there is a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London. Furthermore, there is another smaller, 41-gun salute that takes place at Green Park near Buckingham Palace.
A surname is a family’s lineage. It helps tell you where you came from, who married into which family, and more. Recently, many people came to the attention that the royal family didn’t have a last name. Instead, they followed the name of the dynasty or house they belonged to. In fact, to this day, they will only sign their first names, at least in the United Kingdom.
However, this doesn’t mean that having a surname is a hot topic in the royal family. In fact, this is a tradition that started to slowly change with Queen Elizabeth II, who wanted to separate her family’s lineage from that of her parents. Therefore, she dubbed the descendants of her family Mountbatten Windsor, Prince Philip’s surname. This tradition continued with Prince William and Kate’s children, who go by the last name of Cambridge.
When the royal couple first finds out they’ll bring a child into the world, they are asked to tell the Queen before anyone else. From there, several royal pregnancy and birthing traditions, along with some rules and regulations about how the child will be raised, come into play. For instance, historically there are no baby showers. Another rule is you need to wear close-toed shoes; cleavage is forbidden, and share any health-related baby news publicly.
There is a midwife who became a part of the process during the pregnancy. Most royal babies have more than one midwife. Princess Charlotte’s birth included two midwives, the official royal OBGYN, two obstetricians, three anesthesiologists, two special care staffers, four pediatricians, four surgical staff members, and a lab technician.
You may have followed certain traditions when it came to your child’s baptism. For example, you might have gone to a family church. You might also have chosen a new dress. Along similar lines, a baby’s baptism is a time for customs in the royal family.
One of the most recent royal family members to wed is Princess Beatrice. Just like they did with Kate and Meghan, the world is waiting to hear about her baby due in the fall. When the baby makes his or her arrival, they will be baptized within a couple of months. The baby will follow tradition and wear a christening robe that several other royal babies before him/her.
You’ve probably seen an image or video of the ceremonies countless times. The family is usually seen all dressed in their required outfits on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. While the children don’t have to frequent all of the royal ceremonies that their parents do, they must attend ones such as the Trooping of the Colour. This should be expected as it is Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.
All immediate royal family members are invited to attend from the Queen to her son, grandsons, their wives, and their children. Many people are in awe at how the children often seem to be on their best behavior. Part of this is because they are probably busy watching the planes from the Royal Air Force flying above. Another reason is that they are taught to always be on their best behavior and exhibit royal standards.
It might be a tradition in your family to get together and celebrate birthdays. As you see above, this is the same in the royal family. Some of the celebrations are generally private family affairs. Other royal traditions are the time they take time to celebrate holidays with their family. Then, there’s the tradition most people in the world follow once a baby is born – making sure that the birth is officially registered in the country.
Just like you, the royal family needs to ensure that their babies are registered within 42 days at the local registrar’s office or the hospital. This is not a requirement set about by the royal family. It’s a law in both Wales and England. The hospital usually has a process to help parents register their child’s birth. However, the royal family also has certain people who support them, such as royal employees. After all, with around 20 people present for the birth, it should be easy for one of them to start the paperwork.
It’s natural to receive baby presents before and after giving birth. While royal family members don’t have baby showers, this doesn’t mean their children don’t get gifts. In fact, royal babies tend to receive presents from some vital people who want to take time to welcome them into the world.
While your baby might receive gifts from your friends and family, royal babies receive gifts from international leaders and influencers around the world. Of course, they receive gifts from family friends, but when Prince George was born, the family received over 600 gifts.
If your child goes through the process of baptism, they have at least one official godmother and one godfather. Sometimes children might have one more of each or one additional godparent on one side than the other. It all depends on what the parents wish to do for their children, especially regarding providing support in religion and life events.
While many children around the world have godparents, the main difference for royals is that the royal family usually requests several godmothers and godfathers. That follows a tradition that has seen generations. However, there is also not a set number. It’s just more than the usual two.
For instance, Princess Charlotte has five godparents while her older brother, George, has a total of seven. Another difference that follows tradition is that the godparents cannot be close family. For example, you might have had your brother or sister become godparents for one of your children. That cannot happen in the royal family. Instead, they need to be close friends or cousins.
Most families take time every year to celebrate their child’s birthday. It is usually marked with something the child wants to do. For example, this could include going to a special place or inviting all their friends over for cake, fun, and presents.
While this is the same for the royal family, they always feel it is important to give something to the public. The royal family also knows the public loves baby pictures. Therefore, until the royal baby can attend official events when they’re older, their birthday is celebrated with an official portrait released to the public.
While most mothers breastfed their babies centuries ago, this is something Queen Victoria decided to change and ensure that it became a tradition. The development of this tradition started because Queen Victoria hated breastfeeding.
Queen Victoria felt it wasn’t suitable for her body, so she decided to do away with the practice. The queen made this step official in the royal family. It remained common for several royal families after Queen Victoria. However, it quickly started changing again, specifically with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip.
Even though Queen Elizabeth II knew about the tradition connected with her family for a couple of generations, she felt that it wasn’t the best fit for her children. She didn’t have the same feelings about breastfeeding as Queen Victoria. Therefore, while she didn’t directly do away with not breastfeeding, she decided it would be a choice made by the parents.
After making the change, Queen Elizabeth breastfed all of her children. It is known that Princess Diana decided to continue that practice as both Prince William and Harry were breastfed. From what is known, Kate Middleton also continued to do this with her children.
A name is something that parents, including royal parents, spend time thinking about to make sure that their children have the best name possible. Some people pick words that have special significance, such as wanting to give your child a name that means “peace” or “love.” Others use terms from their ancestors.
The royal family tends to follow this pattern for the most part. They pick traditional names, especially when it comes to children in line for the throne. For instance, William and Kate had little to no wiggle room, naming their children George, Charlotte, and Louis. However, Harry and Megan chose Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana.
When looking at royal names, you realize that Queen Elizabeth II is named after a previous queen from centuries ago, Queen Elizabeth I. The latter ruled England from November 1558 until she died in 1603. The queen’s full name, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, connects to other relatives of long ago.
The same goes for Prince Charles and his boys, William and Harry. However, Harry’s real name is Henry, which is also a common royal name. While Harry didn’t continue following royal names from previous centuries, he did honor his mother, Diana, through his daughter’s name. When it comes to William, he continued the tradition by finding combinations of previous royal first names he and Kate admired.
It isn’t that nicknames aren’t allowed at all. In fact, the royal family often has personal handles for one another – what family doesn’t? The factor about this tradition is that the baby needs to follow their official name when in public.
In fact, names are supposed to be as formal as possible. For example, Kate Middleton is officially known as Catherine, so this is what she goes by in public. Even Prince William or Queen Elizabeth will refer to her as Catherine when in public. They only call her Kate in private.
When people find out they are going to have a baby, they understandably become excited. Furthermore, the couple can’t wait to announce it to their family and friends. It’s the same with the royal family, at least to a point. They’re just as excited as the next person. However, royals have to wait until they can announce it to the world.
In fact, historically, the royal family waited until they were at least 12 weeks in before announcing the pregnancy publicly. It means that if they start to show early, they need to do what they can to hide the growing little baby bump. The exception was Kate Middleton during her pregnancy with Louis. Due to severe morning sickness, the royal family decided to announce the pregnancy a few weeks earlier.
One of the biggest factors about being a royal family member is that people pay attention to you almost all the time. You’re always in the spotlight and the cameras always click away. Royals always have to be at the top of their game.
However, this can’t always happen, especially when someone isn’t feeling their best. When the mother-to-be is not doing well, it means the public will notice. Therefore, while many people like to keep pregnancy health concerns private, the royal family can’t. They issue a press release stating the health concerns.
The royal family always seems to be traveling. One exception to this was when the late Prince Philip took a back seat to royal duties as his health started to decline. The other exception is when an expecting mother is pregnant.
Of course, limited travel for the expecting mother doesn’t mean that she can’t travel at all. In fact, during the earlier months, it is more common to see them travel. It is in the later months that they will start to travel less. But even in the last months, travel isn’t forbidden.
Some traditions continue in the royal family when it comes to the newest arrival, and it’s probably similar in your family. Siblings must take time to visit their new brother or sister. This tradition started with Princess Diana and Prince Charles, who ensured that their oldest son, William, could meet his younger brother Harry before the family went home.
The tradition continued with Prince William and Kate’s family. Once Charlotte arrived, people soon photographed George going to meet his new sister. The same pattern continued when both George and Charlotte went to meet their little brother, Louis. While Harry and Meghan don’t need to follow all royal traditions anymore, they continued this tradition when their baby girl came into the world. Her older brother, Archie, was seen going to visit his new baby sister at the hospital.
Today it’s expected that both parents will be in the delivery room when the baby arrives. Sometimes other people are also allowed in the delivery room, such as a mother, sister, or mother-in-law. For centuries, this was not the case for the royal family. Even though children weren’t born into a hospital delivery room as royals gave birth at home until the 1980s, the father-to-be was still not allowed in the same room.
Take Prince Charles’ father, Prince Philip, for example. When Queen Elizabeth II went into labor with her children, her husband paced around the royal grounds and tried to keep busy with activities. While his mind was on the birth of his baby, he needed to follow royal tradition and stay out of the delivery room.
Nevertheless, just like Princess Diana and Prince Charles changed the previous tradition, they also decided to change this one and so far, it has stuck. Prince Charles became one of the first British royals to be in the delivery room with his wife while giving birth to their two boys.
Prince William was also in the room with Kate when she gave birth to their children. Of course, Harry continued this tradition by joining his wife for the delivery of their boy and girl. Therefore, just like everyone else’s traditions, royal traditions change over time due to modern norms.
They are the royal family and most people are aware of their importance in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that they need to share everything that happens in their lives. They do have official social media pages. However, they also do everything they can to keep some celebrations private, even if they require sharing a picture of the event afterward.
For example, on the birth of George, William and Kate announced his arrival on their social media accounts just as the announcement was placed at Buckingham Palace. Another example is the christening. In the past, this has been a private affair without any media available until the celebration and official portrait afterward.
While the world knows a celebration is about to happen, the media is limited to this event. Of course, this has recently changed thanks to cell phones. In the past, the after-party was the place where the media could take pictures. After all, the christening is done by the official head of the Church of England. Thus, it’s as private as can be.
The royal family still tries to follow this tradition as much as possible, but when Princess Charlotte was baptized, people could take pictures outside of the church. Afterward, another tradition takes place, and this is the official portrait of the christening, usually including the baby, siblings, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, and is made public.
Homeschooling might not seem like such a tradition in today’s world. It’s a thing of the past for most, including the royal family. All kids were homeschooled. However, this tradition started changing when it came to Prince William and his younger brother. For generations, royal children received the best schooling possible – at home.
Sometimes they received school in regular subjects like math, science, and language, while other times, they received schooling about royal duties and what they are set up to do as they grow up. Therefore, it was best that royals homeschooled their children with private teachers and governesses. In fact, royal children weren’t even allowed to attend any type of public schooling until the last few decades.
However, this tradition started to change once Princess Diana and Prince Charles started looking for educational options for their sons. The duo decided to look beyond homeschooling. They still wanted to ensure their children received the best education. However, they also wanted to give their children the best experience of socializing with peers. More importantly, to try to help them understand that they are also regular children. That is, despite the fact that they are members of the royal family.
This change in tradition didn’t stop with Princess Diana and Prince Charles. In fact, Prince William and his wife continued the practice when they enrolled their oldest in nursery school, and later, their daughter attended the same school. Of course,the royals attend elite private schools, so public school is unheard of.
It used to be that nannies took the main role in raising royal children, especially during the 1800s and early to mid-1900s. However, this is also another example of royal traditions that have changed recently. While Prince William and Kate do have nannies, it is also obvious that the parents are more involved with raising their children than previous generations. It started with Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
Prince William and Kate have even chosen to take their young children on tours with the help of the nannies, of course. After all, there are many events the parents need to attend that aren’t suitable for young children. Not because they are inappropriate; rather, kids will become too bored or uncomfortable. Plus, the parents often need to give leaders their full attention.
Some traditions, such as the Queen’s birthday, are still followed directly. However, there are others, such as schooling, where the parents can decide what they think is best for their children. It seems royal traditions will continue to adapt with time. That goes double during the age of social media.