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5 Things to Know About the Royal Birth as Prince William and Princess Kate Arrive at the Hospital

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Prince William and Kate are set to welcome their first baby into the world. They will keep with the best of traditions while moving forward with the times. Here are 5 things to know about the royal birthing process:

UPDATE: Kate Middleton Gives Birth

HOME BIRTHING

We give birth in hospitals, but that’s not been the case with royals in the past. In fact, home births have been common. Queen Elizabeth II was born at a private family home London and she gave birth to her sons Charles, Andrew and Edward in Buckingham Palace. Her only daughter, Princess Anne, was born at Clarence House, also a royal property.
This changed in 1980s, when Princes William and Harry were both born at the hospitals.

DADS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM

William is in the delivery room and will witness the birth of his child. His father Charles was also in the delivery room when his two sons were born. “I am so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time because by the end of the day I really felt as though I’d shared deeply in the process of birth,” Charles wrote shortly after William’s birth.
It was different when Charles was born.  Prince Philip was playing squash when the queen (then Princess Elizabeth) went into labor.

THE NAMING TRADITION

Most royal babies have three to four first names, usually in a combination that honors previous monarchs or relatives. The queen’s full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, after her mother, great-grandmother and grandmother, and William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis. If you believe the bookmakers, the royal baby’s first name is most likely to be Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth, or George. In any case, it could take a while for the public to find out the future monarch’s name. When William was born, it took a full week before his name was announced.

TWITTER OR TRADITION

The traditional way the palace announces a royal baby’s birth to the world will meet with the modern era.  But the old fashioned way will come first. A messenger with the news travels by car from the hospital to Buckingham Palace, carrying details about the infant’s gender, weight and time of birth. That will posted on a wooden easel outside of the palace. Once this is done, officials will post the news on Twitter to millions of followers worldwide.

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE

A 62-gun salute from the Tower of London and a 41-gun salute from Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, will welcome the baby into the world, just as it did when previous royals were born. If the baby is born on a weekday, the salute will occur within six hours. if it’s a weekend birth, the salute happens on Monday.

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