The Bizarre Birthing Rules the Royals Expected Kate Middleton to Follow
Kate Middleton and Prince William welcomed a third royal baby into the family, and because the royal family has a history of customs it upholds, it comes as no surprise that there are some rather odd birthing rules the Duchess of Cambridge was expected to follow.
1. The queen must be the first to know
The law states that the queen must be told of a new royal baby’s arrival before the news goes public or anyone else in the family hears, according to The Sun. Rumor has it that Prince William called his grandmother on an encrypted phone when Prince George arrived.
Next: A house party is preferable.
2. Home births are preferable
Traditionally, royal babies were always born at home, according to The Sun. But Princess Diana broke this rule, and so has Middleton.
Next: This tradition actually sounds pretty fun.
3. The town crier announces the news
In a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, it is customary for a town crier to announce a royal birth to the crowds and the media waiting outside the hospital, Express reports. This custom goes all the way back to a time when people couldn’t read or write.
Next: We’re betting Kate and William won’t obey this “rule.”
4. The father is not present during the birth
Childbirth was always a female-only event in the royal family. The father wasn’t allowed in the room, according to Express. In fact, Prince Philip reportedly played squash during the birth of Prince Charles. But attitudes have relaxed in recent years.
Next: This seems to be the norm for all celebrity births.
5. Midwives are sworn to secrecy
Express reports midwives are always present at royal births. Rumor has it that Kate Middleton had three of them the day she gave birth to Charlotte. However, they are all expressly forbidden from sharing any details of the birth with anyone.
Next: This tradition would only work in a royal family.
6. Babies do not receive surnames
Despite having at least three first names, Express reports royal children don’t receive last names at birth. Prince George, for example, is “George Cambridge.”
Next: Luckily, the royals no longer follow some old pregnancy and birth traditions.
7. Relaxing on the rules
The royal family is known for upholding tradition, but they aren’t unreasonable when it comes to modern adjustments. Like Middleton, Princess Diana was known for living by her own rules, and she had her babies in the hospital with Prince Charles by her side.
One of the strangest traditions was having home secretaries present to “verify” the birth of the royal baby. This odd custom was thrown out the window in 1948. The family also may take as long as they’d like to announce the baby’s gender and name. However, Prince William and Kate have been kind enough to inform the public shortly after the birth.
Next: More bizarre royal parenting rules that are surprising.
8. Family game night can’t include Monopoly
Like all little kids, Prince George and Princess Charlotte surely like playing games. But there’s one game that William and Kate cannot let their children play: Monopoly. In fact, nobody in the royal family is allowed to play the board game. Little is known about why the family can’t play it, other than a comment that it reportedly gets “too vicious.”
Next: No tiaras for Princess Charlotte until this happens.
9. Princess Charlotte can’t wear a tiara (until she’s married)
Princess Charlotte gets dressed up very nice. But you won’t be seeing this pretty little princess wearing a tiara, no matter how much she may ask her mum. That’s because only married royals are allowed to wear tiaras, and that is reserved for social events.
Next: Even riding in a car becomes more complicated.
10. George and William can’t ride in a car together
Since Prince George is an heir to the throne, he and his father Prince William are not allowed to travel together. (Royal rule stipulates that heirs can’t travel together in case there is an accident.) While William has already broken this rule by flying with his son since he was only a couple years old, they will have to start traveling separately once George turns 12.
Next: Middleton and Prince William will have to teach their children about this.
11. Stiff processional rules
There are many things that Prince William and Kate Middleton have to teach their children about growing up royal. One of the most important things the young prince and princess have to learn is the procession line at events. Queen Elizabeth always leads the procession, followed by all the heirs in order.
Next: There are certain rules about the royal baptisms.
12. They must be baptized in a special vessel
The baptism of the children is an important part of the royal family. And while Prince William and Kate Middleton switched up tradition by making Princess Charlotte’s baptism viewable to the public, they did most of the event by the book. Like the vessel she was baptized in, which has been used in almost every royal christening since 1841.
Next: Christmas is already planned, kind of.
13. They have to go to Sandringham for Christmas
The holidays are a big deal in the royal family, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are bringing up their children to be part of that tradition. While they have broken protocol and spent parts of holidays with Kate’s family, Prince George and Princess Charlotte still spend plenty of time with the Queen and the rest of the family at Sandringham for Christmas.
Next: A proper education is very important.
14. The kids must have a ‘proper’ education
William and Kate continue the tradition of the royal children getting a proper education. Sure, Prince George is starting a new trend by attending public school. But we wouldn’t be surprised if he is brought up to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the military after finishing up his schooling.
Next: Princess Diana broke many traditions and changed royal pregnancy forever.
15. Princess Diana was the first to buck many long-standing traditions
The People’s Princess broke away from royal traditions during her marriage to Prince Charles. That extended to how she gave birth to and raised her sons, Princes William and Harry. Diana was the first royal to use disposable diapers for her kids instead of traditional cloth diapers, and her boys were the first young royals to attend public school and not be home-schooled.
Next: She broke these two traditions right at birth.
16. Diana broke 2 traditions that took place right at birth
Even the way Princes William and Harry were born was different. As we mentioned, home birth was a royal family tradition, which Princess Diana broke when she had her two sons in a private wing at St. Mary’s Hospital. The birth of Prince William was also the first time a royal father was present in the delivery room. Before Prince Charles’ presence, the delivery room had to be all female.
Additional reporting by Chelena Goldman.
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