10 royal traditions to know about ahead of the birth of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s baby

Kate Middleton and Prince William are due to welcome their third child any day now.

With the birth of a royal baby comes a series of traditions, most of which are still practiced to this day. They dictate everything from when the pregnancy is announced to where the child will be born and who will be the first to learn of the child’s arrival. 

Thus far, it appears the duchess of Cambridge has adhered to most of the royal baby traditions with each of her children, including the latest one.

When it comes to the birth of royal babies, there are a number of traditions the family’s expected to stick to

What exactly are the royal baby traditions? Keep reading — you may be surprised.

Royal baby traditions

Royal births are usually announced 12 weeks into the pregnancy

According to PopSugar, Kate Middleton’s third pregnancy appears to have been announced a little before this 12-week mark, which some speculate is because she was suffering from severe morning sickness that forced her to cancel a scheduled appearance.

Home births were once expected

While royals used to give birth at home, this tradition is largely not practiced anymore. Princess Diana was the first to break with this, giving birth in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s hospital in London. 

That has become the norm and is where two of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s soon-to-be three royal children were born. It was reported that the Duchess of Cambridge was considering a home birth for her third child, but it’s been confirmed that she decided against it.

After the birth of a royal baby, there’s a gun salute

A 62-gun salute occurs at the Tower of London after the birth of a royal child. This takes about 10 minutes in total.

Birth announcements are printed and displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace

Although the royal family has evolved, announcing the birth of a royal baby on social media as soon as, if not shortly after, it happens, the tradition of printing a birth announcement and displaying it on an easel outside Buckingham Palace remains. 

A town crier announces the arrival of a royal baby 

As has been tradition since medieval times, a town crier announces the arrival of a royal baby. For Princess Charlotte’s birth, Tony Appleton made the announcement.

Royal babies don’t get surnames

Royals often have several names, but no official last name. Queen Elizabeth II chose the last name Mountbatten-Windsor in 1960 as a way of separating her lineage from that of the Windsor house, however, surnames are optional and seldom used.

The royal baby’s first official appearance is at his or her christening

The royal christening is the first official appearance of the royal baby. It generally takes place in the days or weeks after the child is born, though there’s no set amount of time. 

Each royal baby wears a traditional christening gown that’s been in the royal family for eight generations.

This tradition has evolved slightly, as in recent years it’s become traditional for the royal couple to make an appearance with the royal baby outside St. Mary’s Hospital. The child is not really seen during that appearance, however.

Royal babies must be registered

Royals — they’re just like us. They, too, must register their children with the government no more than 42 days after they’re born.

Royal babies generally have about six godparents

As a rule, royal children usually have about six godparents. Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte have five each. None of those chosen can be members of the children’s family.

Fathers of royal babies get paternity leave

After a royal baby is born, their father gets paternity leave from whatever job he does. After each of his first two children were born, Prince William received paternity leave from the Royal Air Force.

This leave is unpaid, however. 

Royal birthing traditions

In addition to the aforementioned traditions, Kate Middleton has a number of royal birthing traditions she’s expected to stick to. Some have changed in recent years, but others remain.

The Queen must be the first person to learn a royal baby’s been born

Her Majesty the Queen must be the first person informed of the arrival of a royal baby. The announcement is then printed up and placed on the easel outside Buckingham Palace and shared by the town crier.

Fathers aren’t welcome in the birthing room

Fathers traditionally aren’t allowed in the birthing room to witness the arrival of a royal baby. This rule is said to have been relaxed a bit following the birth of Prince Charles, though. 

Midwives are sworn to secrecy

Midwives to members of the royal family must vow to keep birthing details private. They’re not allowed to share any information about the arrival of a royal baby with anyone. 

When is Kate Middleton due to give birth?

Psychic Katie Helliwell incorrectly predicted that Kate Middleton would give birth to a baby boy on Monday.

‘I think she will give birth today,’ she told the outlet. ‘She will have a beautiful baby boy weighing 8lb 1oz.’

Is the royal baby here yet?

As of Thursday, April 19, 2018 the royal baby had not yet been born.

Has Kate Middleton been rushed to hospital?

Kate Middleton was not yet at St. Mary’s Hospital in London on Thursday, April 19, 2018. The hospital was prepared for her arrival, whenever that should come. 

Locals noticed signs posted around the entrance to the Lindo Wing, where Kate will give birth to her third child. The signs prohibit parking in the area to keep it private for Kate and Prince William. 

When is the next royal baby due?

A royal expert recently stated that Kate Middleton was due to give birth on April 23, 2018. Kensington Palace neither confirmed nor denied that speculation and will not. 

The palace has said only that Kate is due in April 2018. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk