When Kate Middleton and Prince William got married on April 29th, 2011, it seemed like Royal Fever was at its peak. We were so into this wedding and so excited for the lovebirds (and so excited to see Kate's wedding dress) that it didn't seem like anything else could get us more riled up. Now that Kate has given birth to her third royal baby, Prince Louis, we can say that we all have Royal Baby Fever and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. People are even already wondering if Kate is going to have a fourth baby.
We know that being a member of the Royal Family must be pretty fabulous — you get to follow amazing traditions and be a part of history, and everyone loves you and wants to follow your every move. But at the same time, of course, the fact that everyone loves you and wants to follow your every move can come with some not so amazing things, just like any celebrity.
Royals have to follow strict rules that are steeped in tradition, and when you're pregnant and a member of the Royal Family, that is particularly true. Here are 17 bizarre traditions that pregnant women of the Royal Family have to follow.
17 They Have To Alert The Queen First About The Birth
It's funny and interesting to think about how different it is to give birth as a member of the Royal Family vs being just a regular person. When you're just a regular person, you head to the hospital, and maybe you text your mom (or maybe you're lucky enough to have your mom or both your parents with you for this super special, life-changing moment). Then you tell people that you know a few days later (or maybe you're super savvy and put it all on social media pretty much immediately, or at least a few hours later). But it's not like the news of your baby's birth is plastered all over the Internet and on social media.
Of course, when a Royal woman gives birth, we know that it's going to be all over the Internet, and we can't wait to see the news.
But there's one more tradition that royal women have to follow: when they have their baby, they have to alert the Queen first, aka before telling anyone else.
According to The Sun, "Traditionally, the announcement has always been on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. Kate and William broke this protocol and announced it on Twitter with Prince George."
16 They Can't Be Around Fans A Lot
According to In Touch, there are quite a few royal traditions that Kate Middleton has to follow, including not being around her fans a lot, or the general public.
As a source told the magazine, "Kate’s carrying the most valuable baby on the planet, so her minders will limit access to her at meet-and-greets.”
This does seem like a strange rule because, based on all of the photos that we have seen of Kate Middleton during all of her three pregnancies, she has definitely been making a lot of public appearances. Actually, when she was pregnant with her third baby Prince Louis, she made twice the amount of public appearances that she had before. In the last six months of her pregnancy, the total of public appearances that she made was 46. So why would there be a rule about her limiting being around other people? It doesn't appear like this is something that she followed, but this is still a royal tradition. It's a confusing tradition since, of course, royal women are super famous and also very public figures. They definitely don't lead private lives and while we don't see their every move the way that we do with some celebrities, they do seem fairly public.
15 Traveling Anywhere Is Very Limited (At Least For Kate)
We don't generally as a society feel that pregnant women should travel that much, even if most doctors do say that it's safe up to a certain point. We would assume that most pregnant women wouldn't really want to travel that much since pregnancy can be a really exhausting experience, between all the symptoms that you can have (from nausea to backaches) to the fact that some women are put on bed rest for some part of the pregnancy. Also, you get into the whole "nesting" mode and you want to make your home look as baby ready and pretty as possible, so you want to sit at home and put up your feet and enjoy this time.
According to In Touch, Kate wouldn't be traveling during her pregnancy because she had doctors' advice that plane travel wouldn't be the best idea.
We probably can agree that it's a bit strange to say that some royal moms-to-be shouldn't travel since they do make so many public appearances it seems like this would be tough to follow. (In Kate's case, though, she has gotten pretty sick throughout her three pregnancies, so that is most likely the reason for this advice from her doctors.)
14 They Definitely Can't Drive
Do we think that royal moms-to-be are allowed to drive? Maybe... or maybe not. After all, we tend to see royals being driven around in fancy cars, and they seem to live such a fabulous lifestyle. We might think that they wouldn't want to drive or own a car. Do royals even have their own cars? It's definitely not something that we ever hear about. Hmmm...
As it turns out, royal pregnant women have to follow the tradition of not being behind the wheel of a car. A source told In Touch Weekly, "Kate won’t be allowed to drive herself." Princess Diana wasn't allowed to drive, either, when she was expecting Prince Harry and Prince William. So this is something that has been in place for a while now and seems to be continuing with the new generation of royals.
This might not seem like a big deal since, again, we assume that Kate is driven everywhere anyway, but some of us might feel that this is a bizarre rule because this limits your freedom. You want to feel like you can do what you want and driving yourself around is one of those things. But being a royal means following rules and traditions, of course, and this is just of them.
13 The Dress They Wear Right After Is A Big Deal
People not only couldn't believe that Kate Middleton left the hospital only hours after she gave birth to Prince Louis, but they were amazed by her beautiful red dress.
As it turns out, it's a royal tradition to have a really perfect post-baby dress. This might seem bizarre to us regular people since we typically see women wearing hospital gowns or sweats right after. But, hey, we're not royals.
So, of course, Kate Middleton followed tradition and look amazing and beautiful right after she had her baby — she wore this red dress with a white collar.
People said that this was a tribute to Princess Diana because when Diana had Prince Harry, she also wore a red dress.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have discussed how they are making sure to keep Diana's memory alive within their family and tell their kids about her. As William once said of losing his mom and his experience with grief, "Losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure. Never being able to say the word 'Mummy' again in your life sounds like a small thing. I too have felt — and still feel — the emptiness on such a day as Mother's Day."
12 They Have A More Strict Security Team
We know that living life in the public eye must not be easy, and there must be some things that aren't that great about it, even if we assume that it's all rainbow and butterflies. We know that people take photos of celebrities even when they would rather that those cameras going off, but we probably don't think that celebs need bodyguards... at least not most of the time.
In Touch Weekly said that Kate would have two or three bodyguards with her during her pregnancy.
What do we think about that? Do we think that it's a good idea or too many? We might be able to understand having one bodyguard, since of course Kate is so famous and we can understand the need for security, especially during pregnancy. We know that people have Royal Fever all the time and they especially have Royal Baby Fever, so sure, beefing up the security makes sense...but three bodyguards just seems like too many.
We guess this is the price you pay, though, if you're famous. And it makes sense that the Royal Family would want bodyguards around based on Diana's death and the fact that she was being chased by the paparazzi.
11 Babies Can Travel Pretty Much As Soon As Possible
We would assume that once a Royal baby is born, they can't travel for a while (or at least, their parents can't bring them on any trips since we wouldn't think that the babies would be going anywhere themselves...).
But according to Royal baby traditions, it's perfectly fine and acceptable for the royal babies to travel pretty much immediately. They can go on what is referred to as "Royal Tours."
According to Good Housekeeping, "Princess Diana took Prince Harry overseas just a year after his birth, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought their 9-month-old son with them to Australia."
Okay, so taking your baby somewhere after he or she has been in the world for nine months or one year isn't exactly like taking them on a trip two weeks after their birth, but it still seems very soon. After all, you're dealing with less sleep and trying to navigate life with your new family, and even one year later, you're still not going to have it all figured out, and travel is a very stressful experience... especially if you're a royal and everyone will be photographing you. We wonder when Kate and William will travel with baby Louis?!
10 There Are A Lot Of Godparents
It's quite the honor if you are chosen to be a baby's godparent. Sure, it's a bit of a sad idea since this is who you want to take care of your kid in case tragedy occurs, and no one wants to think about that, especially not when you've just had a beautiful baby. But this is the kind of thing that you have to think about when you're a new parent. You have to think about the good and the bad.
It's also nice to think about, though, since you realize that you have so much love in your life and that so many people care about you and your family.
That's a much happier thing to think about, so at least the whole godparent thing has that going for it.
So how many godparents does each royal baby have? Oh yes, it's actually more than one, which may not be something that we all knew. The tradition in the Royal Family is for each baby to have six godparents.
Yes, that's definitely a lot of godparents. It seems like a bit too much, right? Do we really think that this is necessary? Maybe two or three, sure, if you want to go with more than one, but six really is a lot.
9 Babies Need More Than One First Name
It's hard enough to come up with one first name for your baby. It must be even more difficult and nerve-racking when you live life in the public eye and know that people will be talking about the name that you choose. The Royals have to come up with a few first names for their babies. Yes. Really.
The tradition is that each royal baby has two to three first names. As we might have noticed, recently, the Royals have gone with three first names. Princess Charlotte and Prince George each have three first names: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and George Alexander Louis.
The newest member of the Royal Family has three names, too: his full name is Louis Arthur Charles.
This is a confusing tradition because aren't some of those names technically middle names? After all, we're not calling Charlotte "Charlotte Elizabeth" or even "Charlotte Elizabeth Diana." She is referred to as "Princess Charlotte." Maybe this is more for the ritual or the ceremony of it all, and maybe they only use their full name on official documents. We're not really sure why this is followed, though, besides it just being a thing that you do when you're part of the Royal Family.
8 The Babies Don't Have Last Names
People make a really big deal out of what they're going to name their baby... as in a really, really big deal. Regular parents spend tons of time hemming and hawing over what they should call their baby, and if they don't want to know the gender of their baby, that means they have to come up with even more names. Talk about stressful. Or maybe fun, depending on your perspective. Or maybe you've known your favorite baby names since you were younger so when the time comes, it's truly a piece of cake for you (well, as long as your wife or husband agrees with you, that is).
When it comes to what a Royal will name their baby, the media is always wondering and ready to hear about it.
Royal babies don't have last names, at least not officially. They actually have several first names, as we discussed above, but no last names. According to Good Housekeeping, "Even with all of those elaborate first names, the Royals don't get a last one. Prince George instead goes by 'George Cambridge' at school, similar to Prince William's 'William Wales' moniker. Prince Charles and other male-line descendants of the Queen often use Mountbatten-Windsor when required."
7 Midwives Sign Non-Disclosures
When you get pregnant, you're super excited and full of pure bliss and joy, picturing your sweet little baby and wondering how your life will change. You hear all kinds of horror stories about sleepless nights and all the worrying that you're going to do, but hey, you don't care right now because you're just so happy.
You also wonder if you should use a midwife or go to a traditional hospital birth. This is just one of those questions that you have to ask yourself and it's a personal decision. It makes sense that members of the Royal Family would use a midwife, and Kate Middleton has. One of the traditions for pregnant members of the Royal Family is that they have to ask their midwives to sign non-disclosure agreements.
We can probably all agree that this seems bizarre because we would hope that midwives, and anyone else working for the Royal Family or interacting with them in some way, would be polite and professional and discreet. It's just tacky to spill secrets to the press, right?! But this is generally agreed to be a rule within the Royal Family when a woman is pregnant, so while it seems strange, we do get it.
6 Leaving The Hospital Just Hours After
Since Princess Diana was photographed leaving the hospital soon after giving birth, and Kate Middleton was photographed doing the same just hours after having Prince Louis, it seems that it's a tradition for royal mothers to leave just hours after this special experience.
A lot of people wondered why Kate was leaving the hospital so soon after having Prince Louis, and fans couldn't stop talking about the fact that her hair looked so perfect and she really didn't look like she had just given birth to a baby. She did, in fact, get a blow-out after she had the baby and she also wore this beautiful red dress.
According to People, there's a good explanation as well: there were so many people who were outside the hospital wanting to see what was going on, so that seems to be why Royal moms have to leave pretty much right away and go home.
We do have to admit that this seems to be a pretty weird thing because come on, you just had a baby. That's a big deal. You need to stay in the hospital and rest. But we do understand the necessity of this tradition at the same time.
5 Cloth Diapers Are A Thing
When it comes to the products that you use every day, you know that you have two options: you can go with eco-friendly, "safer" products or the more conventional, traditional ones that most people use.
The same thing is true of baby products, of course, and we would probably agree that the most used product for a baby would be diapers. Just think about how many diapers a baby uses. Yup, that's a lot. You can go with regular diapers... or you can go for cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are apparently what royal mothers are expected to use.
According to Troab.com, "Every Royal baby usually only puts on cloth diapers. Prince George's aunt Pippa made news when she gifted tons of cloth nappies to George, but this rule goes for every royal baby. Synthetic diapers are a no-no in the Royal household."
This seems like a bizarre tradition for Royal mothers to follow since we can most likely all agree that having a newborn in the house is stressful and enough of a life-changing experience that having rules about things like diapers seems like a lot to deal with. But this is the way that it is in the Royal Family.
4 No One Can Know If It's A Boy Or Girl
Another tradition that Royal mothers have to follow? They can't tell people if their baby is going to be a boy or a girl. It seems like they either don't want to know themselves or they know but can't tell the public.
We probably think that is strange because most people seem to love knowing what gender their baby will be, usually because it makes decorating the nursery easier. Sure, some couples like to be surprised and don't want to know ahead of time, and there are some merits to that. "Gender reveal" parties are a big trend these days, and a lot of couples will host an event and have balloons coming out of a box or something to signal the gender of their baby (blue for a boy and pink for a girl, naturally).
Maybe this rule is so the media doesn't talk about the gender of the baby or make assumptions, but then again, it seems like the media is going to talk about the Royal baby anyway since everyone has Royal Fever.
Why do we think that this rule is still followed? It seems to be just one of those Royal traditions that are always going to be a thing.
3 No Dads Present During The Birth
One Royal rule that Royal mothers have had to follow is that the dads can't be present in the hospital room when their wife gives birth to their baby.
What's interesting is that the Royals don't actually follow this particular idea anymore, although it is still considered a tradition and it's still something that people talk about. When Charles and Diana had Prince William, Charles was there in the room during the birth, and it seems like since that moment, Royal dads have been allowed. Maybe this will change in the future, but for now, this is what seems to be acceptable.
It's definitely a strange tradition because it seems like the father-to-be would absolutely want to be in the hospital room when their wife was giving birth to their baby. After all, it's their baby, too. Sure, it's the woman who is literally having the baby and experiencing birth, but the dad is still involved and still part of the process. It makes sense that this isn't followed anymore but it's still a very confusing thing. (Plus, dads seem to get super emotional when their baby is born, and that's too adorable to not have happened. So we're glad that this isn't followed these days).
2 The Royals Want Non-Hospital Births
Do you have your baby at home or at the hospital? This is a similar question to whether you should use a midwife or have a doctor. No one can tell you what is best, it's all about what you think is best for you and your family.
Home births don't really seem to be that trendy or popular, probably because it seems like things could go wrong and you just feel better about being in a hospital environment when you have your baby. And having a baby is kind of a scary experience when we think about it, so it's just nice to have doctors around.
But the Royal family wants non-hospital births and when you're a Royal mom-to-be, you have to have your baby at home.
Well, you don't exactly have to, but it is what the Royals would rather have happened —actually, Kate had all three of her kids at the hospital.
According to The Sun, "As is tradition, the Queen gave birth to all of her children in Buckingham Palace. Princess Diana broke this rule and gave birth to sons Prince Harry and Prince William at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital in the private Lindo Wing. Kate also had her three children at this hospital."
1 The Town Crier Tells Everyone (Yes...Even In 2018)
When Prince Louis made his debut in April 2018, we knew a few things. We knew that he would be super adorable... and we knew that it would be all over the news and social media. But did we know that the town crier had to officially announce the birth of a new royal baby, too?
That's one of the traditions. Tony Appleton is the town crier and he's the one that announced the birth of Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte and Prince George as well. Why is this a thing and how did it start? It dates back to the medieval era and it was all because people weren't literate yet. Of course, people are literate now and have been for quite some time, which is why most of us might think that this is kind of a strange tradition to have to follow.
So even though it doesn't seem necessary and doesn't make much sense, this tradition still exists today, and we're sure that the town crier will still announce the birth of every Royal baby in the future.
(And maybe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have a royal baby of their own soon?! We know that fans are seriously hoping that will happen.)