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Prince Edward: see the original royal birth announcement for the Queen's youngest son

The Earl of Wessex is celebrating his 56th birthday

Gemma Strong

Happy birthday to Prince Edward, who is celebrating his 56th birthday! The Earl of Wessex is the Queen's youngest child and third son with husband Prince Philip, and in celebration of his special day, a throwback photo was shared on the official royal Instagram account, showing mother and son together during Trooping the Colour in 1972. Prince Edward was born at Buckingham Palace in 1964, and was baptised two months later, on 2 May, in the private chapel at Windsor Castle. In keeping with tradition, his birth was announced in a royal bulletin placed on an easel outside the palace, as well as in a number of newspapers.

Prince Edward's birth was announced in the London Gazette

The London Gazette at the time was one such publication. While Edward's name had not yet been revealed, an announcement was printed in honour of his arrival. It read: "Wednesday, 11 March 1964. Whitehall 10 March 1964. This evening at twenty minutes after eight o'clock Her Majesty THE QUEEN was safely delivered of a Prince at Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was present. Her Majesty and the Infant Prince are both well."

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Royal family members as babies

The practice of posting a bulletin on an easel to announce a royal birth has been in place as long as Buckingham Palace has been the official royal residence, dating back from 1837. The announcement is left in place for approximately 24 hours, before being sent to the Privy Council Office for the details to be recorded in the Privy Council records. The framed typewritten bulletin, which is commonly brought out of the Privy Purse door, is signed by the medical team which attends the royal birth. It includes details as to the baby's gender, time of birth, as well as a status confirming the health of the mother and child.

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The easel outside Buckingham Palace confirming Edward's arrival

Following royal births at the Lindo Wing in recent decades, it has become traditional for the new parents to present their child on the steps of the hospital ward's entrance. It has also become common practice among the royal family not to release the child's name for several days. After Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born, the public waited two days before learning their respective names. However, it was another three days before Prince Louis' name was announced on 27 April to the world.