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6 summer births that sparked royal baby fever from Prince William to Prince George

There's nothing quite like the arrival of a new royal baby

royal summer babies
22 June 2020
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Nothing lifts the national spirit like a royal baby, and a birth in summer, when the evenings are long and everyone's in a good mood, is even more special.

MORE: Kate Middleton looks identical to Prince Louis in never-before-seen photo

We take a walk down memory lane to look back at the summer births that have made the biggest splash in royal circles, from solstice baby Prince William and his firstborn Prince George, who made his debut on a balmy day in July, to Princess Diana, Meghan Markle, Princess Beatrice and Princess Anne.

WATCH: Relive the moment these adorable royal babies were introduced to the world

Prince William

The crowd outside the Lindo Wing, St Mary's Hospital London on 21 June 1982 were prepared to wait all night if need be. Luckily, some 16 hours after Princess Diana was admitted came the palace statement confirming the arrival of a longed-for heir, William Arthur Philip Louis, at 9.03pm. The baby weighed 7lbs ½ ozs and had "cried lustily", added a palace spokeswoman.

MORE: See Prince William's sweetest dad moments with George, Charlotte and Louis

prince william as a baby© Photo: Getty Images

Prince William weighed 7lbs ½ ozs and had "cried lustily", a palace spokeswoman said

The Queen, who'd been visiting an RAF regiment that day, was "delighted". "He has the good fortune not to look like me," quipped Prince Charles. Among the enthusiastic well-wishers was Mrs Jean Henderson, who'd travelled from Australia to be present.

Speaking over the cheers and the popping of champagne corks, she was full of praise for the Princess, just a week shy of her 21st birthday. "I am absolutely thrilled. She's just marvellous." Another fan, Gilly Howard, beamed: "I was so sure it was going to be a boy I started knitting things in blue. I'll be able to send them now. It's terrific."

Arthur had been his father's first choice of name, but he was overruled by Diana; Philip was for the baby's grandfather and Louis was for royal mentor Lord Mountbatten.

Despite his clutch of royal names, the blue-eyed little boy was truly a People's Prince, the first to be born, like everyone else, in a hospital not a palace. In the months before, the public had got used to the sight of Diana in her billowy maternity smocks, talking openly and proudly about her pregnancy.

Of course, this proved a double-edged sword. In the end, unable to handle the "unbearable" tabloid pressure any longer, Diana was induced. "It was as if everybody was monitoring every day for me," she said later. It was all worth it however, Prince Charles wrote to his cousin, when "everyone went berserk with excitement".

MORE: Royal superdads: how these fathers changed protocol to be hands-on modern parents

Prince George

The jubilant atmosphere was topped three decades later when William's own son was born. What was dubbed 'the great Kate wait' culminated in Gorgeous George's arrival on 22 July 2013 at 4.24pm in the same hospital as his father.

The new mum's summery blue and white polka dot dress, from one of her favourite British designers, Jenny Packham, paid a heartwarming tribute to forever missed 'Granny Diana' – the Princess of Wales had worn a similar style on the steps of the Lindo Wing.

Unlike Diana, Kate faced mobile phones in addition to cameras and a throng of ecstatic royal fans stretching down the street, some of whom had been camped out for three weeks. "It's a very special time," said the Duchess of Cambridge, cradling her 8lbs 6ozs baby, adding that her husband had already changed his first nappy.

prince george as a baby© Photo: Getty Images

"He's got her looks, thankfully," William quipped of newborn Prince George

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The Duke also made his first 'dad' joke, borrowing it seems from his father's repertoire all those years ago. Referring to his beautiful wife, William said: "He's got her looks, thankfully. And he's got way more hair than me, thank God."

In keeping with royal tradition, a gun salute took place at the Tower of London and in Green Park, on 13-pounder field guns from the First World War. For three hours, the bells sounded out at Westminster Abbey with a specially-composed peal called Cambridge Surprise Royal. Among the bell ringers were three of the original team that did the honours to mark William's birth.

Around the world landmarks were lit up in blue. These included the fountains of Trafalgar Square, where a reveller took a dip to cool off from the tropical temperatures; the waters of the Niagara Falls and the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

While early morning commuters had learned the details of his father's birth from a notice posted on the gates of Buckingham Palace by liveried footmen, this time the royal household issued a press release by Twitter first in case news leaked out.

Princess Diana

At Althorp, Diana's ancestral home, her brother Earl Spencer was also celebrating the little Prince's arrival, saying: "My father always told us how Diana was born on just such a blisteringly hot day, at Sandringham. It's another very happy summer's day, half a century on."

princess diana as a baby© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's mother Frances said she was "thrilled to bits"

His sister had slipped into the world on 1 July 1961, at Park House on the Queen's estate where the Spencer family were neighbours, courtiers and friends of the royals.

"The Sandringham cricket team were playing outside the window on the local pitch," the Princess's proud mother Frances would later tell HELLO! "Just as Diana came into the world there was this enormous roar and applause – it was for the local traffic cop who had just scored a century. I was thrilled to bits."

Diana was the third girl and the first healthy baby for Frances, who'd lost a son named John who lived only ten hours. Her relief and delight at the birth of a new, lively baby, blessed with her own blue eyes, was something she never forgot. As the child of local dignitaries, Diana's birth warranted a story in the regional paper.

The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan was another baby whose parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, had no idea of the impact their little girl would later make. Her extraordinary life story began at 4.46am, 4 August 1981 at Los Angeles's West Park Hospital, which has since closed.

While her husband Harry was delivered by the Queen's gynaecologist George Pinker, Meghan was brought into this world by Dr Malverse Martin. 

Once Meghan found fame, he was delighted to be informed that his name was on her birth certificate but unable to remember, having delivered 20,000 babies in his career.

meghan markle as a baby© Photo: Instagram

Meghan's nickname was Flower as a little girl

Meghan's overjoyed parents took her home to their roomy house in the leafy suburb of Woodland Hills. Her thrilled mother quickly nicknamed her 'Flower', while her father was "so, so happy" and "spent every single minute" with his long-legged baby girl, said her older half-brother Thomas Jr.

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Growing up, she was surrounded by love and this was reflected in her personality noted another family member, her maternal uncle Joseph Johnson.

He said: "She was always a sweetheart. Always just the sweetest, most pleasant little girl. Just a pleasant person, a joy to be around."

Princess Beatrice

The royal family has a number of other Leos, among them the Duke and Duchess of York's daughter. Beatrice made her first appearance at 8.18 pm on 8 August 1988 making her 8/8/88 birthday a palindrome – a sequence of numbers that reads the same backwards and forwards.

princess beatrice as a baby© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Beatrice left hospital when she was three days old

Among her first visitors at the exclusive Portland hospital was Princess Diana, accompanied by William and Harry, wearing short trousers and waving cheerily to the press. When their cousin left for home, aged three days, TV commentators noted that she already had a dusting of her mother Sarah's red hair.

It was actually two weeks before her name, in honour of Queen Victoria's youngest child, was revealed. Grateful bookmakers William Sharpe described her as a "real bookies' baby" because no punters had put any money on the name Beatrice.

Princess Anne

When the Princess Royal, who turns 70 on 15 August, was born, post-War rationing was still in force. Anne's father Prince Philip was given a ration book and bottles of cod liver oil and orange juice by the registrar who went to the family residence, Clarence House, to issue a birth certificate.

princess anne as a baby© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen holding one-month-old Princess Anne

After the birth at 11.50am, Philip toasted the 6lb Princess's health over a glass of champagne with his staff. He then telephoned Balmoral Castle where his father-in-law George VI was shooting on the moors. A special messenger had to be despatched to find the King and give him the good news of a second grandchild after Prince Charles.

After the customary gun salute was fired in Hyde Park the case of the first round fired was engraved and sent to the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth. Congratulations poured in from around the world, and in Australia, where the news was received at night, people cheered as the announcement was made in cinemas, theatres and nightclubs.

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