Why Prince Philip Was Only Present for the Birth of 1 of His Children

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have been married for more than 70 years and have four children together. When the queen gave birth she and her husband didn’t head to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital to have their babies delivered. Back then, the royals had their kids at home.

However, the Duke of Edinburgh didn’t witness the birth of all of his children. In fact, he was only present for one of the births. Here’s which child Philip welcomed into the world alongside his wife, plus if other royal fathers including Prince Charles, Prince Willliam, and Prince Harry were with their wives when their children were born.

 Queen Elizabeth II  and Prince Philip with their children  Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their children Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne | Keystone/Getty Images

Which one of their children’s births was Philip present for?

Prince Charles is the eldest son of the queen and Philip. The heir apparent was born in Buckingham Palace on Nov. 14, 1948, but his father wasn’t there for his birth. The Daily Mail noted that the Duke of Edinburgh, like most husbands of that era, wasn’t by his wife’s bedside when his first son arrived. Philip was playing squash with his private secretary elsewhere on the property. Once he got the news, the duke sprinted to the delivery room and presented then-Princess Elizabeth with a bouquet of flowers.

Princess Anne is the queen and Philip’s second child and only daughter. The Princess Royal was born at Clarence House, where the family had been living at the time, on Aug. 15, 1950. Anne’s dad wasn’t there when she was born either. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-commander in the Royal Navy and given command of his own ship, the frigate HMS Magpie, the same day she came into the world.

After the birth of Princess Anne, Elizabeth and her husband waited over a decade to have another child and on Feb. 19, 1960, Prince Andrew was born in Buckingham. Prince Philip wasn’t present at the time his second son was delivered.

The birth Prince Philip was in the room for was when his fourth child and third son, Prince Edward, was born at Buckingham Palace on March 10, 1964. “The Duke of Edinburgh was actually holding his wife’s hand as their youngest was born,” Ingrid Seward wrote in her book My Husband and I: The Inside Story Of 70 Years Of Royal Marriage per Town & Country. “Philip became the first royal father in modern history to witness the arrival of one of his children.”

(L-R) Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edward and Prince Charles
(L-R): Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, and Prince Charles | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Princess Diana had to fit William’s birth in between Charles’ Polo matches

Prince Charles was present for the births of both of his children. But according to Princess Diana, the reason he witnessed Prince William come into the world is because she and the Prince of Wales actually picked a date around his polo match to be induced.

“When we had William, we had to find a date in the diary that suited Charles and his polo,” the princess recalled in her audio recordings to Andrew Morton for the book Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words. “William had to be induced because I couldn’t handle the press pressure any longer, it was becoming unbearable. It was as if everyone was monitoring every day for me.”

She continued, “Anyway, the boy arrived, great excitement. Thrilled, everyone absolutely high as a kite — we had found a date where Charles could get off his polo pony for me to give birth. That was very nice, felt grateful about that!”

Diana revealed that she and Charles were on the best terms of their marriage when she was pregnant with Prince Harry and he was there to see their second son’s birth as well. Shortly after Harry’s birth is when their marriage fell apart beyond repair.

Princess Diana,  Prince Charles and their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry
Princess Diana with Prince Charles and their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

RELATED: Did Prince Charles Tell Princess Diana ‘His Work Was Done’ After She Gave Birth To Prince Harry?

Were other royals present for the birth of their children?

So what about other royals? The younger generation of royals have been present when their wives gave birth.

Prince William was by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s side when she had Prince George on July 22, 2013, and on May 2, 2015, when Princess Charlotte was born. The Duke of Cambridge was also there when his third child, Prince Louis, came into the world on April 23, 2018.

The same is true for Prince Harry who gushed to reporters about thrilled he was after witnessing Meghan, Duchess of Sussex give birth to their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019.