Kate Middleton dodges strange royal childbirth rule

Sarah Carty

She’s about to give birth to her third child, and Kate Middleton should be counting her lucky stars the royal family got rid of one very unusual childbirth rule before she decided to have kids.

The 36-year-old Duchess of Cambridge announced back in September that she and Prince William are expecting another royal bub, and just like with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, there's a huge furore around the new baby's arrival, with royal fans everywhere excited to see what the Duchess will have.

However, in years gone by, female members of the royal family were put through a very different process when giving birth, which included the presence of two people you probably wouldn't want in the room.

She’s about to give birth to her third child in just a few weeks’ time and Kate Middleton should be counting her lucky stars the royal family got rid of one very unusual childbirth rulem before she decided to have kids. Photo: Getty Images

In the past, whoever was Home Secretary at the time would need to be at the birth. It was widely assumed that this was to ensure that no baby would be replaced with another who isn't of royal birth, but there's little evidence to support that.

Thankfully, they put an end to that practice just before Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles in 1948, and the last royal to be born in the presence of the Home Secretary was the Queen's cousin Princess Alexandra.

Oddly, the Archbishop of Canterbury used to also attend the birth of the royal babies, but now the person who holds that job christens the baby instead.

Years ago, the Home Secretary was present for the birth of royal babies. Here Kate Middleton and Prince William are pictured as they give Prince George his first glimpse of the world. Photo: Getty Images
There will however be some traditions they will have to follow. Here they are pictured after the birth of Princess Charlotte. Photo: Getty Images

There are some centuries-old customs that do still take place when the royal baby is born.

The Queen always has the be the first person to be called as soon as the birth takes place.

The announcement is then made by Buckingham Palace placing an easel at the gates, marking the day.

The Union Jack flag is also flown from the top of each government building.

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