With The Duchess of Cambridge in labour and the world awaiting the birth of a new Prince of Princess, it would be fitting to look back at how the entry of Royal children into the monarchy has been celebrated throughout history.
In the medieval period, when the risk of giving birth was particularly high, the birth of a Royal baby was a time of both celebration and relief. Shortly after the arrival of the child, they would be baptised, most likely within a day or two to ensure the safe entry of the child into heaven should the baby not survive. This would be followed by a gift-giving ceremony and feasting with family and friends.
Today, traditions still apply despite modern forms of reporting. The birth will be announced on an easel outside Buckingham Palace informing the public of the safe arrival of the child and a gun-salute from Green Park will celebrate the new future King or Queen. Additionally, crowds are likely to gather outside the Palace to show appreciation and excitement. The public have undoubtedly played an integral part in the support of the Royal Family for centuries and children born on the same day as the Royal heir will receive a gift in the form a silver coin from the Royal Mint; an indication of just how important the continuation of the British monarchy is to Britain and the world.
So, why is the birth of a Royal child celebrated with such pomp and warmth? Firstly, the baby will be the future heir to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William and thus the public have an automatic interest and attachment to the development of the child. Also, the Royal Family is such an essential part of British history. From Queen Victoria’s reign to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, monarchical history is constantly consulted and debated and the new heir will be no exception.