When it comes to traditions, nobody follows them better than the British royal family. However, over time, as custodians of culture and tradition in Britain, the royal family has made certain amendments to their traditions to keep up with the changing times. This is reflected in many things, but perhaps it is reflected the most in the way they deliver babies.
Before Princess Anne, the norm at the royal household was to deliver babies at home without traveling to the hospital. This was easy to do, considering the fact that the royal family could have all the necessary medical equipment and staff arranged to ensure safe delivery.
Up until Queen Elizabeth II, who delivered all her children at home, this tradition had been followed. But then, when Anne gave birth, we knew there had been a shift in the tradition.
Royal Deliveries Over The Years
Although England has had hospitals ever since the 11th century, it wasn’t until much later that childbirth also came under its scope of operation. Before that, the norm was to deliver children at home in the presence of other women and some experienced professionals who would facilitate the delivery.
But even when hospitals had become very advanced and trusted to be the safest place to deliver a child in the 1800s, the reigning monarch of that time Queen Victoria still preferred to deliver her children in the comfort of her own residences.
Another tradition was that the father was not to be present in the room when his wife delivered the child, as childbirth was considered to be an only-women affair which did not require the presence of any man. This, of course, excluded the home secretary, who was expected to be there in the room when the birth of a direct heir was underway.
Doing Away With The Traditions
Up until the birth of Princess Margaret, all of the abovementioned traditions had been honored, more or less. But then, when it was time for Queen Elizabeth II to give birth to Charles, she did not have the home secretary witness the birth, thereby making Charles the first direct heir to be born without the presence of any government official in the room.
Then, after the Queen, it was Princess Anne, her daughter, who broke tradition and decided to deliver both her children in a hospital. She reportedly got a room for as cheap as $100/day when she had her son, Peter Phillips, and is also credited as having started the tradition of revealing the royal newborn for the first time to the world on the steps of the hospital building.
What Will Meghan And Harry Do?
This tradition has been kept alive through the years by members of the royal family, and so it would be interesting to see how Meghan and Harry choose to deliver and reveal their baby.
Also, it would be interesting to note whether Meghan would say something as the couple walks outside, just like Kate did although, when Princess Diana had her children, she let Prince Charles do all the talking.