The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may keep the arrival of their first child more private than past royal births
The parents-to-be will likely break with a royal tradition dating back to 1977 when it comes to where they’ll welcome their son or daughter. Although Princess Anne, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton have given birth to all their children at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London (then gave the first glimpse of the babies on the steps outside), Meghan and Harry will likely go a different route, as PEOPLE previously reported in January.
With the couple set to move to their new country abode of Frogmore Cottage before becoming a family of three, they’ll likely choose a hospital closer to home instead of traveling the 25 miles to St. Mary’s. There are several options in the town of Windsor, including Princess Margaret Hospital and King Edward VII Hospital, or Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey – where Sophie, Countess of Wessex, had her two children.
Frimley is around 15 miles from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new Frogmore Cottage home, which is undergoing renovations before they move in. The hospital gained a strong royal connection when Sophie was rushed there in an emergency to have her daughter Lady Louise Windsor in November 2003.
Another reason for the change in tradition could be privacy. While crowds gathered outside the Lindo Wing to catch a glimpse of the royal babies after Princess Diana and Kate gave birth, it’s possible that Meghan and Harry will not have such a public departure from the hospital.
Princess Anne was the first royal to give birth in the Lindo Wing when she welcomed her son, Peter Phillips, in 1977 – and opted to go to the same hospital to give birth to her daughter, Zara Phillips, in 1981.
All three of Prince William and Princess Kate’s children were born in the same place as their dad – and Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, who turns 1 this month, gave their first royal waves on the steps.
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Of course, Princess Anne heading to a hospital’s maternity wing was the start of a new tradition. Before that, childbirth took place at home!
Queen Elizabeth was born at the London home of her maternal grandparents and welcomed all four of her children at home as well. Her three sons – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – made their entrance to the world in grand fashion – at Buckingham Palace! The monarch’s daughter, Princess Anne, was born at Clarence House, where she and Prince Philip lived while Buckingham Palace was undergoing renovations following damage it suffered during World War II.