How Princess Anne's birth stories with her children Peter and Zara broke royal tradition

Anne was the first royal mother to give birth in hospital

Throughout British history, it was custom for royal mothers to have the equivalent of a home birth, delivering their babies in palaces and royal residences.

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This was part of a long line of traditions that saw royal ladies go into 'hiding' in the late stages of their pregnancy, as birth was seen as a strictly private experience. Princess Anne, however, was one of the first royal mothers to break this tradition - giving birth to both of her children at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington. 

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Very different to many other royal ladies before her, Princess Anne was actually quite the trendsetter when it comes to royal births, being the first monarch in history to deliver a baby outside of a royal residence. 

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After the Queen's daughter's hospital births, Princess Diana, the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie and more followed suit, also opting for hospital births.


Princess Anne was the first British royal to give birth in a hospital

Read on to find out how Princess Anne delivered her two children…

Peter Phillips

The Princess Royal's eldest child, Peter Phillips, was born at 10:46 am on 15 November 1977, in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital. 

According to BBC's On This Day, Princess Anne was driven to the hospital in Paddington at 4 am by her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, and Peter was born less than six hours later in the Lindo Wing, weighing 7lb 9oz. 

As Anne was the only daughter of the Queen and Prince Philip, her children weren't guaranteed a royal title – unlike the children of the monarch's male offspring. However, the Queen still offered courtesy titles to both Mark when he married Anne, and their children, which the Princess declined.

Zara Tindall


The Princess returning from the Lindo Wing at St Mary's

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips' daughter, Zara Anne Elizabeth, was born in May 1981 at St Mary's Hospital Lindo Wing. 

Following her daughter's birth, the Princess smiled for photographers on the steps of the Lindo Wing, cradling her baby girl as she left for home. It was the first time a royal was photographed with their baby on these now-iconic steps.

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