July 22, 2013

10 royal baby traditions to know

If you believe the bookmakers, the royal baby's first name is most likely to be Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth, or George . . .

By Sylvia Hui / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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In this Wednesday Nov. 28, 2012 file photo Britain's Kate Duchess of Cambridge. left. meets with a young member of the public as she arrives at the Guildhall during a visit to Cambridge England. Prince William's wife Kate has been admitted to the hospital in early stages of labor it was announced on Monday July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, File)

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The bookmakers had the shortest odds on Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth for a girl, and George or James for a boy. It could take a while for the public to find out the future king's name. When William was born, it took a full week before his name was announced.

AND THE LAST NAME?

The royals don't require a surname. The correct title when referring to the new prince will be His Royal Highness Prince (name) of Cambridge. If required, current members of the royal household may use Mountbatten-Windsor, the surname adopted in 1960 for all of the queen's children. (That name combines Windsor, the family name adopted by King George V in 1917 to replace Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Prince Philip's family name, Mountbatten).

Prince William, the heir of Charles, the Prince of Wales, is known as Flight Lt. Wales when on military duty.

CHRISTENING

Royal babies tend to be officially christened several days to weeks after they are born, and there are a few potential places this could take place for the new baby.

The queen was christened in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, while both William and his father Charles were christened in the palace's Music Room.

A PLAIN OLD EASEL VS. TWITTER

The traditional way the palace announces a royal baby's birth to the world is as quaint as it gets: A messenger with the news travels by car from the hospital to Buckingham Palace, carrying a piece of paper detailing the infant's gender, weight and time of birth. The bulletin is then posted on a wooden easel on the palace's forecourt for everyone to see.

This time, however, the Palace announced the news by press release.

In the old days the announcement was made to the wider public by a reader on radio, but today that's replaced by the Internet and social media: After the announcement was made, officials posted the news on Twitter to millions of followers worldwide.

TO NANNY OR NOT

William and Kate have not made any public announcements about hiring a nanny to help them bring up their son. Many expect the couple to be more hands-on parents than earlier generations of royals, and some have speculated that because of the couple's close ties with Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton will also have a big role in helping Kate with the baby.

Nannies have always been central to bringing up royal babies. Charles was famously close to his nannies, and William and Harry also enjoyed a bond with their former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke — who was so well known that she herself frequently appeared in the news.

A WELCOME WITH A BANG

Some things don't really change. A 62-gun salute from the Tower of London and a 41-gun salute from Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, were to welcome the baby into the world with a bang, just as it did when previous royals were born.

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