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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs