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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid