With the news that the Duchess of Sussex and husband Prince Harry welcomed their baby girl on Friday 4 June, the 39-year-old joins a long list of royals who have all given birth over the age of 35 – including the Queen herself.
Once dubbed 'geriatric mothers', a term used to label women over the age of 35 having a baby, it's now far more commonplace for women to be giving birth later in life. In fact, the average age for women to become first-time mums in England and Wales is 28.9, according to the Office of National Statistics. The findings come from the 2019 statistics, and shows that the age for first-time mamas is increasing – in 2015, it was 28.6.
SEE: Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won't have any more children
Thankfully, the term 'geriatric mother' is no longer used by medical professionals and the royals have long been leading the way by having babies in their thirties – bucking tradition like the pros that they are! Along with Meghan, here are some other royals who have joined the over-30s mama club.
Princess Caroline of Hanover
The daughter of Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, Caroline has four children – Charlotte, Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi with second husband Stefano Casiragahi – and Princess Alexandra of Hanover, now 21, with third husband, Prince Ernst August of Hanover. Princess Alexandra was born in 1999 - making Caroline 42 when her fourth child was born.
Sophie, the Countess of Wessex
Sophie married the youngest of the Queen's children, Prince Edward, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in 1999, and it was four years later that they welcomed their first child, Lady Louise Windsor, now 17. Four years later, Sophie gave birth to James, Viscount Severn at the age of 42.
Crown Princess Victoria
She’s the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, meaning her two children, Princess Estelle, nine, and Prince Oscar, five, are in direct line too; Crown Princess Victoria was 34 when she gave birth to Princess Estelle and 38 with Prince Oscar.
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Queen Elizabeth II
At the age of 37, the Queen gave birth to her youngest son Prince Edward – and broke royal tradition during his birth, too. Queen Elizabeth bucked protocol by having Prince Philip present during the birth of Prince Edward. It’s believed he held her hand during the birth, too.
Queen Victoria had nine children between 1840 and 1857 – four boys and five girls, despite it being well known that she not only ‘dreaded’ childbirth but wasn’t particularly fond of her children either. Despite the era, Queen Victoria had her three youngest children after the age of 30, something that wasn’t common at the time – her youngest, Princess Beatrice, was born in 1857, when the Queen was 37.
Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Zara’s second daughter Lena was born in June 2018, when Zara had celebrated her 37th birthday. Zara and husband Mike also have another daughter, Mia, born in January 2014, and a son, Lucas, who was born in March 2021.
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Duchess of Cambridge
Royal baby fever officially kicked off in 2013 when Kate gave birth to her and Prince William’s first son, Prince George. Princess Charlotte followed in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018, a few months after Kate’s 36th birthday.
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