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Royal babies through the ages

Princess Elizabeth was born in 1926 by caesarean section at her maternal grandparents’ home.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will be the newest addition to the Windsors.

Here’s a look at royal babies through the decades:

Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, arrived third in line to the throne on April 21 1926.

A newborn Princess Elizabeth

A newborn Princess Elizabeth in 1926

She was born by caesarean section in her maternal grandparents’ London home, 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, while the home secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks waited in the next room.

The presence of the government minister was an age-old custom designed to ensure that no substitute had been smuggled in hidden in a warming pan or similar receptacle.

Apparently one of Elizabeth’s first acts was to yawn at Sir William.

Two-year-old Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth waves to crowds as she arrives back in Piccadilly in 1928

Elizabeth’s father George VI only became king after the abdication of his brother Edward VIII in 1936, so when she was born, the princess was not expected to be Queen.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales, was born at Buckingham Palace – the Queen had all four of her children at home.

The Duke of Edinburgh, said to be “not indifferent but restless”, played squash while his wife was in labour.

Baby Charles arrived at 9.14pm on November 14, 1948, weighing 7lb 6oz.

Christening of Prince Charles

Princess Elizabeth holding her son Charles after his christening

News of the birth was cabled across the world and crowds gathered outside the gates of the palace, while the fountains of Trafalgar Square were lit blue for a boy.

But the first glimpse of the new royal baby came a month later on his christening day in December 1948.

Charles’s birth was the first in centuries without a government minister present to witness the arrival of a future heir to the throne.

Princess Anne

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s second child, and their only daughter, Princess Anne, now the Princess Royal, was born in 1950.

Princess Elizabeth and family

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh with their children Charles and Anne in the private sitting room of Clarence House

Elizabeth wrote to a friend how she hoped Charles, who was nearly two, would take kindly to his new sibling, joking how he encountered one baby and “tried to pull her toes off and poke her eyes out”.

The prince grew into a sensitive home-loving child, while Anne was more boisterous.

“Princess Anne was a very naughty little girl, a regular monkey,” a member of Philip’s staff told biographer Sarah Bradford.

Prince Andrew

Andrew, now the Duke of York, was born in 1960 and was a chubby, happy baby.

With one hand for his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the other for big sister Anne, laughing Andrew sits up in his pram in the grounds of Balmoral (PA)

With one hand for his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the other for big sister Princess Anne, laughing Prince Andrew sits up in his pram in the grounds of Balmoral

He was the first baby born to a reigning monarch for 103 years, and the Queen, who was settled in her role as sovereign, had more time to devote to her third child.

Prince Edward

The Queen’s youngest offspring Prince Edward, now the Earl of Wessex, arrived in 1964, and she told a friend: “Goodness what fun it is to have a baby in the house again!”

The Queen and Prince Edward

The Queen with Prince Edward as they leave Liverpool Street Station for Sandringham in 1964

Andrew was particularly fond of his younger brother, describing him as “my baby”.

Prince William

William, now the Duke of Cambridge, became the first future British king to be born in a hospital.

Prince William's debut

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their newborn baby son Prince William

He arrived at 9.03pm on June 21 1982 at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

Charles, who was at the birth, wrote to a friend: “He really does look surprisingly appetising and has sausage fingers just like mine.

Six-month-old Prince William

Prince William at Kensington Palace in December 1982

At the time, new mothers usually stayed in hospital for between five and eight days after giving birth, but the Princess of Wales took many by surprise by leaving 21 hours after William was born.

Prince Harry

Prince Henry of Wales, known as Harry and now the Duke of Sussex, was born on September 15 1984.

The arrival of a second son was a surprise to Charles, but not to Diana.

Newborn Prince Harry with his parents

The Prince and Princess of Wales following the birth of second son, Harry

The princess told biographer Andrew Morton when she collaborated with him on the bombshell book Diana: Her True Story: “I knew Harry was going to be a boy because I saw it on the scan. Charles always wanted a girl… I knew Harry was a boy and I didn’t tell him.”

Three-month-old Prince Harry pulls at his historic royal christening robe

Diana claimed Charles’s first comment was “Oh God, it’s a boy”, followed by “and he’s even got red hair”.

The prince’s joke was the beginning of the end of their marriage, with Diana recalling: “Something inside me closed off.”

A smiling Charles chatted to reporters outside the hospital, describing his new son as “marvellous”, adding when asked if he expected a boy: “No. It doesn’t matter what it was as long as it’s alright… I couldn’t be more delighted.”

Prince George

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child, Prince George, was introduced to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing in 2013, wrapped in a white shawl.

The Duchess of Cambridge with her husband the Duke of Cambridge and their her son Prince George (John Stillwell/PA)

The Duchess of Cambridge with her husband the Duke of Cambridge and their son Prince George

The future king weighed 8lb 6oz, and the duke said in a statement that he and the duchess “could not be happier”.

George’s next public appearance showed how much he had grown, when the three-month-old was carried into his christening by his proud father.

The Duke of Cambridge arrives, holding his son Prince George, at Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, ahead of the christening (John Stillwell/PA)

William arrives, holding his son Prince George, at Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, ahead of the christening

Princess Charlotte

Doll-like Princess Charlotte made her debut on the steps of the Lindo in 2015.

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in the arms of her mother the Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing (John Stillwell/PA)

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge in the arms of her mother outside the Lindo Wing

Charlotte was photographed by Kate at Anmer Hall ahead of her first birthday.

Princess Charlotte

Charlotte just before she turned one (HRH The Duchess of Cambridge 2016)

Prince Louis

The youngest Cambridge sibling, Prince Louis, arrived on patriotic St George’s Day in 2018.

Prince Louis

Prince Louis in his car seat

His name – a tribute to Charles’s much-loved great uncle Earl Mountbatten who was murdered by the IRA – was not announced until four days later.

William joked he had “thrice the worry” as he took the prince home to Kensington Palace.

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