Royal baby cheat sheet: 11 cool facts
With Prince William by her side, Duchess Kate gave birth to a baby boy at London's St. Mary's Hospital on Monday. The royal baby birth's will likely dominate water cooler chatter this week. To celebrate, here are some facts about the latest heir to the throne that'll make you sound like a royal expert:
1. The baby will fall under the zodiac sign of Cancer, just like Prince William, who was born on June 21, and his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was born on July 1.
2. Bookies placed odds on the royal baby’s name with Alexandra, Charlotte, and James at the top of the list. Odds are also high that Diana would be one of the middle names for a girl. However, U.K. betting agent Ladbrokes is also offering odds on Tulisa at 500/1, Chardonnay at 250/1, and Barack at 200/1. Bookies also have 4-1 odds the baby will have the recessive red hair gene like Prince Harry.
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3. The birth comes just over two years since the couple’s wedding on April 29, 2011. They waited a bit longer to have their first child than Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who brought Prince William into the world just 11 months after getting married.
4. The baby is only the second future monarch to be born in a hospital. Prince William was also born at St. Mary’s Hospital, London in 1982. Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace.
5. Economists say the royal baby will inject £240 million ($380 million) into the U.K. economy. That figure is based on people buying food and drinks for celebrations at home and in restaurants or pubs, as well as purchases and exports of souvenirs and memorabilia, toys, books and media, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
6. In a modern twist, this is the first British royal birth to be announced by palace officials via Twitter. However, holding to tradition, the birth announcement was written on official Buckingham Palace letterhead and driven to the palace, placed on the same easel used to announce Prince William’s birth 31 years ago.
7. Gun salutes will welcome the baby to the world at two locations in London. The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be in control of Green Park where there will be 41 rounds, and 62 rounds will be organized by the Honourable Artillery at the Tower of London.
8. The royal baby will probably be christened in a private affair, most likely by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace where Prince William’s ceremony was held. However, Prince Harry was christened in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The baby is expected to wear a replica gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841. It was used for generation after generation of royal infants until 2004, when the Queen commissioned a handmade copy so that the historic outfit could be carefully preserved. Royal babies usually have five or six godparents, although the Prince of Wales had eight.
9. The last time a still-serving monarch met their great-grandchild born in direct succession to the crown was 120 years ago. Queen Victoria, who died in 1901, met her great grandchild Edward VIII, who later abdicated, when he was born third in line to the throne in 1894.
10. If the child had been a girl and ascended to the throne, she would have become only the 6th woman to be crowned queen in her own right in over 1,500 years of the British monarchy. The royal baby will be third in line to the throne behind Princes Charles and William, no matter its gender. The change happened this year when the U.K. changed its rights of succession. Previously, if Duchess Kate gave birth to a daughter and then later had a son, the younger brother would overtake his sister in the order of succession.
11. The newest heir will be given the title of His Royal Highness Prince (name) of Cambridge. There has been at least one HRH Prince (name) of Cambridge before: HRH Prince George of Cambridge, born in 1819, the grandson of King George III.