Royal baby: 10 traditions, past and present, surrounding royal births

Prince William and Kate are seen as the new face of a centuries-old institution, keeping the best of traditions while moving forward with the times. Here are 10 things to know about the royal baby in relation to royal births of the past.

[Editor's note: The Christian Science Monitor has published extensively on the royal baby, Kate Middleton, and Prince William. For our past coverage, see the following stories: "Royal baby: Kate Middleton sneaks into hospital around 6 a.m." "Royal baby: Prince William gets paternity leave like all UK dads" "Royal baby photos: Monarchs of the modern age ... when they were cute" "Royal baby due date: The Queen herself is getting antsy, eyeing vacation" "Royal baby in July? One royal says she knows royal baby due date" "Kate Middleton and the royal baby's gender: Why some don't want to know" and "Kate Middleton on the move, but the baby's not here yet (+video)."]

1. Home birthing

AP Photo
A mask depicting Britain's Duchess of Cambridge and clocks showing New York and London time, which were placed by members of the media, are seen across St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, July 21.

Most people take a hospital birth for granted these days, but just a few decades ago the custom among royals — as it was among commoners — was to give birth at home.

Queen Elizabeth II was born at 17 Bruton Street in London, a private family home, and she gave birth to her sons Charles, Andrew and Edward in Buckingham Palace. Her only daughter, Princess Anne, was born at Clarence House, also a royal property.

That changed by the 1980s, when Princes William and Harry were both born at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's hospital in central London.

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