10 UNBELIEVABLE facts about royal births

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Nothing is very normal when it comes to the royals – and how they give birth is also unique.

While Meghan and Harry have gone out of their way to not follow any royal protocols, now that their second baby is here – welcome, Lilibet “Lili” Diana – we take a look at the royal births over the years.

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1. Surgery at home

The Queen – then Princess Elizabeth – was born by Caesarean section in 1926. But the surgery took place in her grandparents’ home in Mayfair, rather than in a hospital.

2. An NHS first

Lady Louise Windsor was the first of the Queen’s grandchildren to be born in an NHS hospital. She arrived prematurely following an emergency Caesarean after a seriously-ill eight months pregnant Countess of Wessex was rushed to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.

READ NEXT: Why Meghan and Harry named their second baby Lili

Duchess Catherine and baby Louis. (Credit: Getty)

3. Natural births

The Duchess of Cambridge had a natural birth with all three of her children at the exclusive Lindo Wing – and a team of 23 medical staff were on hand in case of emergencies.

4. Kitchen delivery

The Duke of Edinburgh, then Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, was born on the kitchen table at his family home Mon Repos in Corfu.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and baby Archie in 2019. (Credit: Getty)

5. Smuggled substitutes

Prince Charles’s birth in 1948 was the first time in centuries that there was not a government minister there to witness the arrival of a future heir to the throne. It was an age-old custom designed to ensure that no substitute baby had been smuggled in in a warming pan or similar receptacle.

6. The shadow side of marriage

Queen Victoria – who had nine offspring – used to refer to childbearing as “the shadow side of marriage” or “die Schattenseite”.

Her first babies were born before anaesthetics were available.

The Duchess of Cambridge, with newborn Prince George and the Duke of Cambridge, had a natural birth with her children
Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, Duchess Catherine gave birth to her children at St Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing. (Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA)

7. Battles over birth pain

Victoria used chloroform for later births, sniffing it from a handkerchief. When it was first pioneered, traditionalists opposed the drug, claiming labour pain was responsible for a woman’s love for her child, and sufferings during childbirth were a divine destiny.

But Victoria refused to believe such a notion, and her support for the “blessed” method and its “soothing, quieting and delightful beyond measure” effect ensured its accepted use in society.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor at his first royal outing in 2019. (Credit: Getty)

8. Induced births

The Princess of Wales was induced with Prince William, with Diana telling friends her baby was ready and “well cooked”. Her labour was difficult and she was continually sick, with doctors considering a Caesarean. Future king William was eventually born without a C-section after the princess was given an epidural.

9. Noisy crowds

After William arrived at the Lindo Wing in 1982, new father the Prince of Wales asked the rapturous crowds outside the hospital if they could make a little less noise.

The Prince and Princess of Wales following the birth of their second son, Prince Harry (PA)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with newborn Prince Harry. (Credit: PA)

10. Secret scans

In 1984, Diana knew Prince Harry was going to be a boy following a scan. But she did not tell husband Charles, fearing he wanted a girl, and kept the news secret throughout her pregnancy.

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