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Why the Queen was forced to stop breastfeeding Prince Charles in 1949 - full story

The monarch breastfed all four of her children

the queen breastfeeding
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
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Traditionally, royal mothers would hand their newborn babies over to 'wet nurses' who would breastfeed their children for them. The Queen was quite a trailblazer when it came to parenting, however, opting to breastfeed all four of her children herself. 

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Royal mothers relied on wet nurses to nurse their babies so that they could resume their royal duties. "Queens were free to resume their duties and begin the process of conceiving the next heir. It was also believed that breast milk would be curdled if marital relations were resumed before weaning," royal historian Amy Licence wrote in the Guardian.

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The Queen chose to ignore this rule, reportedly choosing to breastfeed Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, which sparked a new trend in royal motherhood.

Though many modern mothers choose to breastfeed their children for several months, the monarch was forced to stop nursing her firstborn, Prince Charles, after contracting measles. 

queen with baby prince charles© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen only breastfed Prince Charles for two months

Despite the chance of passing on the virus to your baby through breastfeeding being minimal, the Queen may have been too unwell to continue feeding her two-month-old son at the time.  

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It is reported that the Queen's sister Princess Margeret wasn't such a fan of the royal's decision to nurse her babies - she found it "distasteful". Yet both Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge have followed in the footsteps of the monarch, proudly opting to breastfeed their own children. 

queen and prince philip© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen reportedly breastfed all four of her children

Prince Charles was born via Caesarean section on the evening of 14 November 1948, in the Buhl Room at Buckingham Palace. According to Town and Country magazine, the room, which was ordinarily used as a guest room, was converted into a 'miniature hospital'.

Her Majesty was only 22 when she gave birth to Charles and in those days, one's husband did not usually attend the birth. Indeed, Prince Philip was not in the room for his firstborn's arrival – following a labour of 30 hours.

To pass the time, Philip is said to have played squash with his private secretary in the palace until he got news of his son's arrival.

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