When Kate Middleton and Prince William welcome their third child in just a few weeks (or days!), They will present their new world splendor on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London.
The performance after birth on the steps of the Lindo Wing has become a royal tradition: Princess Diana and Prince Charles brought their sons to the world, and William and Kate followed in their footsteps. But although the Lindo Wing is synonymous with royal births just 50 years ago, that was not the case.
Until the birth of the first of Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren, Peter Phillips, in 1
Prince William and Kate Middleton with Princess Charlotte
Queen Elizabeth brought all four of her children born at home in Buckingham Palace, but managed to break the record by denying the presence of official "witnesses". the British Home Secretary was present for all royal births, a tradition dating back to 1688 to ensure the legitimacy of a heir to the throne was never called into question by The Telegraph
. When Queen Victoria gave birth to her son Albert (later King Edward VII) in 1841, there were no official figures in the room – but only because they were late. In later births (Victoria had a total of nine children), she was either accompanied by government officials or they had to wait in the next room. Even the prime minister was waiting outside at the birth of her youngest child, Beatrice.
Victoria, however, did not seem to be a fan of the crowd: at the time her grandson's wife, later Queen Mary, gave birth to her first child, David – later Edward VIII and, after his abdication, the Duke of Windsor – insisted that only the presence of the Minister of the Interior was necessary. And so, this system remained in place during much of the early 20th century, and the Home Secretary was present even for the birth of Princess Elizabeth, now, of course, the Queen.