News / Europe

Eight Factoids About Britain's Royal Baby

Clarence House handout photo of Britain's Prince William posing with his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and their pageboys and bridesmaids (clockwise from bottom right) Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem,  Louise Windsor, Tom Pettif
Clarence House handout photo of Britain's Prince William posing with his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and their pageboys and bridesmaids (clockwise from bottom right) Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Louise Windsor, Tom Pettif

Related Articles

Deana Kjuka (RFE/RL)
With international media and the royal family awaiting the birth of the third in line to the British throne and the first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, RFE/RL took a look at a few interesting age-old traditions and factual details surrounding royal births.


1. Born With A Silver Spoon (Or Two) In Its Mouth

The royal baby could inherit $1 billion some day in the future, according to Wealth-X a company that specializes in intelligence on high-net-worth individuals. The wealthiest person in Britain's royal family is the royal baby's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Her assets have an estimated worth of $600 million. The royal stamp, car, wine, art, and medal collections alone are worth about $100 million.

2. A Boost To The State's Coffers

The birth of the new British royal could also make a significant contribution to the British economy. According to the Center for Retail Research, sales of royal-baby paraphernalia could generate some $380 million. Even expectant grandfather Prince Charles was selling baby shoes at a shop on his Highgrove country estate. The baby might well prove an extension of the "Kate effect" -- the phenomenon whereby sales skyrocket for anything the duchess wears.

3. No Chance Of Any Sneaky Shenanigans

British Home Secretary Theresa May didn't attend the royal birth. The custom of having the home secretary on hand ended in 1948, prior to the birth of Prince Charles. May has pointed out that the practice existed to exclude the possibility of a royal baby being "smuggled" in. The last royal baby to have been born under this tradition was Princess Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, in 1936.

4. The Next Monarch Regardless Of Gender

A major change to the rules of succession ended Britain's ancient laws of male primogeniture in April 2011, so the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can become a monarch regardless of gender. Queen Elizabeth II became a monarch only because her father had no male children. However, the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 will not come into force until all Commonwealth countries make the appropriate amendments to their laws. Theoretically, this could produce a scenario whereby an older daughter could become queen of England but a younger brother could become King of Australia. Incidentally, the birth of a child to William and Kate bumps Prince Harry into fourth place in the line of succession.

5. An Unprecedented Media Frenzy

It is fair to say that no royal baby in history has been at the center of such an immense social media frenzy and garnered so much international media attention. For weeks, hordes of journalists have been camped out in front of the central London hospital where Kate was scheduled give birth. As soon as news broke of the Duchess going into the early stages of labor on July 22, more than 200 tweets a minute were being posted that featured the words "Kate" and "labour."

6. Birth Announcement -- Mixing The Old And The New

The royal family will adhere to the old custom of announcing the new heir via an proclamation on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The news of the royal birth will also be simultaneously announced on the monarchy's official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

7. There Is A Choice Of Surnames For The Baby

According to the monarchy's website it is not required for the baby to have a surname, because prior to 1917 members of the royal family did not have surnames as they adopted the name of the house or dynasty to which they belonged. If the duke and duchess decide to include a surname, there are three choices available: Mountbatten-Windsor, Wales, or Cambridge.  In 1917, King George V replaced his house name with Windsor, from Windsor Castle, while Prince Philip adopted the surname Mountbatten from his British maternal grandparents. The couple could also decide to keep it simple and leave it at "His/Her Royal Highness Prince/Princess of Cambridge."

8. The New Royal Has Already Been Wikified

Within hours of Kate's early stages of labor but well before the birth, the royal child already had a 900-word Wikipedia page.
 

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid