It’s a boy! Kensington Palace confirmed the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s third child on April 23, 2018. At 11:01 AM, the newest addition to the royal family joined his two older siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as the five other great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth.
Although this newest addition is the third child of William and Kate, a new baby is a big adjustment all the same. Being a member of the royal family also presents its unique set of challenges — and yes, of course, privileges — especially when welcoming home a newborn.
While it’s pretty amazing that we live in an age where we’re able to turn on our laptops or phones and watch a live stream from outside the hospital where Middleton welcomed her third child, you have to admit that’s quite a bit different than the average person’s labor and delivery story. Naturally, that’s not the only difference. Keep reading to know all about royal baby number three’s highly anticipated arrival.
Another baby, another round of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Pregnancy isn’t easy just because you’re a royal. In the fall of 2017, when Kensington Palace announced that Middleton was expecting another child, they also announced an update on her health. "The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum," the statement read in part.
The American Pregnancy Association describes the condition as a severe form of morning sickness. Unfortunately, there is no way to cure or prevent HG from occurring, but there are ways to treat the symptoms. In an interview with Australian magazine New Idea (via Marie Claire), Jessica Hay, a friend of Middleton, said the duchess looked to hypnotherapy to relieve her suffering during her first pregnancy.
By her third pregnancy, Middleton was no stranger to HG. Having endured the condition each and every pregnancy now, she’s probably quite the expert on how to best manage her symptoms. Nevertheless, the condition forced her to opt out of royal engagements during her third pregnancy. No doubt Middleton is excited to welcome home her new baby, but also to be relieved of her nausea!
One more warm weather baby for the prince and duchess
The newest royal baby now joins his two other siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In October 2017 Kensington Palace confirmed William and Middleton were expecting for a third time, revealing that the baby was due to be born in April 2018.
According to the findings of a scientific study in Choosing Season of Birth: The Role of Biological and Economic Constraints (via Independent), many mothers plan to give birth in warmer weather. Co-author of the paper, Dr. Climent Quintana-Domeque, from the University of Oxford, explained, "For the first time, our research documents that season of birth is actually a planned decision: mothers have a clear desire to target the ‘good’ seasons of birth of spring and summer — and often manage to do so."
Was Middleton one of them? Perhaps!
Move out of the way, Prince Harry!
When Prince George was born, he became the third heir to the throne, with only his father Prince William and grandfather Prince Charles ahead of him in the line of succession. When Charlotte was born, she also joined the royal ranks and became the fourth heir. Likewise, William and Middleton’s newborn son has already taken his position as fifth in line.
Once upon a time, Prince Harry was, as George is now, the third heir to the throne. Each time his brother William and sister-in-law Middleton has a baby, however, he gets bumped down in the line of succession. Now that baby number three is here, Harry is sixth — sorry, Harry, it’s nothing personal. If the prince and duchess decide to have more children, Harry will continue to be pushed further away from one day becoming king.
Of course, If Harry and Meghan Markle go on to have children, they will do the same thing to Prince Andrew, who, at the time of this writing, is the seventh heir to the throne.
Not just any hospital will do
As with her other two children, Middleton decided to give birth at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, Time reported. In anticipation of the newest royal baby’s arrival, fans even staked out spots outside of the hospital — some sleeping on benches for weeks just to get a glimpse of the new baby!
Although sleeping outside the Lindo Wing is not exactly comfortable, inside is a whole different story. And, it’s not just for royals. That said, it is quite costly. E! news reported a price of $8,135 per night for consultant-led care. It’s likely that Middleton chose a birthing suite, which would surely cost even more.
The hospital’s brochure names some of the amenities you can choose at The Lindo Wing, including free WiFi, a beside fridge (oh, yeah!), and an "extensive and nutritious menu." Included in their "range of optional extras" is even an afternoon tea service. This maternity wing is certainly fit for royalty.
This royal baby had a website before he was even born
If you became a parent in the digital age, you may have posted your birth announcement to Facebook or Twitter. Maybe you shared your newborn’s photo on Instagram or texted some pictures to your close friends and some extended family members. What you probably didn’t have was a website for your baby. In March 2018, a little over a month before royal baby number three was born, he was already racking up some page views.
While we can’t help but wish that the site was written blog-style, as if it were from the perspective of the newest royal (a missed opportunity, for sure), that is unfortunately not the case. It simply offers some stats on the baby prince. The royal family shared the new little guy’s weight, 8 pounds 7 ounces, and even who was present for the birth — his dad, Prince William.
The site also shared an update about the family, writing, "Members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."
A royal gun salute to welcome the new prince
Nothing says "welcome to the world!" like a gun salute, right? No? Well, if you’re a royal that is the tradition. BBC explained the birth of a new prince or princess is always marked with gunfire.
When Charlotte was born, for instance, soldiers from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery formed a procession near Buckingham Palace and 41 shots were sound from Hyde Park. The Royal Artillery Band — along with 71 horses — also participated in the procession. The band also fired off guns as part of the salute. The Tower of London also participated in welcoming home the new princess with the Honourable Artillery Company performing a 62-gun salute. That’s quite a welcoming committee.
The newest addition to the royal family will get his traditional salute as well, although, according to BBC, the number of shots fired depends both on the place of the salute and the occasion. Will he get more — or less — than his big sis? We shall see.
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle be the godparents?
Although brothers William and Harry have a seemingly close relationship, Harry wasn’t chosen to be the godfather to George nor Charlotte. Instead, William and Kate chose from within their friends and other members of their families. Town & Country reported that, as is the case for most royal children, George and Charlotte have multiple godparents — George with seven and Charlotte with five. That’s a lot of parents, which, as it turns out, equals a lot of presents.
Royal expert Marlene Koenig explained to Town & Country, saying, "Royal godparents have a different role [than commoner godparents] — sometimes at a distance — sending a lovely present for their godchild’s birthday until adulthood — and a nice wedding present."
Will William and Middleton go a different route for their third baby? It’s possible, but Koenig feels it’s "rather unlikely." It will be interesting to see who the royal couple does decide to appoint.
Paper proclamation? Royal tweet?
Where do you get your news? It’s likely that you’re within the two-thirds of Americans who gets at least a portion of your updates from social media. Before social media existed, however, good ol’ paper was the method of choice.
Keeping with royal tradition, the birth announcement of the newest royal baby was announced via a bulletin placed on a golden easel outside of Buckingham Palace. The framed paper was signed by Middleton’s doctors as a way of officially validating the announcement. Both the births of George and Charlotte were declared in this same fashion, The Telegraph reported.
However, George’s birth also marked the beginning of a new tradition — posting the announcement to social media. According to The Telegraph, select media outlets are given the heads up first, then Kensington Palace releases the tweet, followed by the traditional formal paper proclamation. This was the same order in which the newest baby’s birth was announced. As you can see, a royal birth announcement is certainly a big to-do!
"Welcome to the family"
Well-wishers got their very first glimpse of the newest royal a mere seven hours after his birth. Kensington Palace released a picture of William, Kate, and the new prince on Twitter with the simple caption, "Welcome to the family." Of course, this little guy has no idea what family he’s just been born into — and, yes, we’re all a little jealous. Fans and reporters waiting outside of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital were among the first ones to see the littlest prince. Shortly before the couple stepped outside with their son, the duchess’ sister, Pippa Middleton, was introduced to her nephew. Prince George and Princess Charlotte also got to meet their baby brother just before the world had its chance.
While most eyes were certainly on the newest addition to the royal family, can we talk about how Middleton managed to look absolutely stunning seven hours after giving birth? With her hair and makeup done, a bright red dress, a bit of jewelry, and heels — heels, people, heels! — you’d never have guessed she’d just delivered a baby.
What is the newest prince’s name?
The arrival of the newest member of British royalty has created quite a fuss, to say the least. Well-wishers, dedicated fans, and the media were huddled together outside of The Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital to be among the first to hear the breaking news and, later, try to catch a glimpse of Middleton and her new baby. Many others rushed to the gates of Buckingham Palace to photograph the paper birth announcement.
Yet and still, others are simply curious to find out what Prince William and Kate Middleton will name their littlest royal. Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes, a British gambling company, told Express, "The recent gamble on Kate giving birth to a little boy means fingers are pointing towards Prince Arthur soon entering the world."
If the child were a girl, many betters were convinced of Mary or Alice being the chosen name. Now that it has been confirmed that William and Middleton welcomed a son, James is the distant runner-up to Arthur.
Well, let’s just say we all got a big shock once the littlest prince’s name was finally revealed…
The announcement we’ve all been waiting for
After what felt like forever, but was actually four days, Kensington Palace released the name of the newest royal: Louis Arthur Charles. According to the royal family, "the baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge."
While Arthur and James were the favored names, no one saw Louis coming. Royal expert and correspondent for Hello! magazine explained on Twitter why this particular name was chosen, writing that he’s "named after Prince Philip’s uncle Louis Mountbatten." William himself also bears the name (William Arthur Philip Louis). Little Prince George, too, has Louis in his name — George Alexander Louis. It’s the twist that we, perhaps, should’ve seen coming — but, hey, being surprised is good too.
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter shared a helpful hint on pronunciation for those of us across the pond, tweeting, "For my American friends Louis is pronounced Lew-ee not Lewis – silent s!" Such a cute name for a little prince, don’t you think?