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Queen Victoria

Royal births, christenings and scandals

Posted on: 12/07/2013 with tags: Royal family, Steve Berry, The King's Deception

With the next royal to be added to the line of succession expected to make his or her way into the world any day now, and with the buzz of expectation reaching fever pitch, we decided to explore other royal births, christenings and scandals. Here are some of the interesting facts we discovered:

  • The last baby to be born in a royal palace was Lady Sarah Chatto, daughter of Princess Margaret. She was born in Kensington Palace on 1st May, 1964.
  • Queen Victoria was the first royal to give birth under the influence of chloroform. She was apparently so enthusiastic about the experience that the use of it at births was seen as a status symbol for some time after.
  • Edward VIII (1894-1972), the only King of England to abdicate entirely voluntarily, was christened with seven names; Albert Edward Christian George Andrew Patrick David, managing to incorporate all the patron saints of Britain and throw in a religious one as well.
  • In 1688 when the wife of King James II and VII, Mary of Modena, gave birth, it was widely rumoured (despite the 42 witnesses present) that the boy she presented was in fact a changeling who had been smuggled into her room in a warming pan, in order to secure an heir for her husband’s Catholic dynasty.
  • When Queen Victoria’s daughter, Lady Alice, was giving birth, she did so in the same room where her mother was born (at the Queen’s insistence), and Queen Victoria apparently encouraged her by naming all the things she disliked about the room.
  • When an heir is born the announcement is put in a gold frame on the gates of Buckingham Palace. Everyone else in the family gets a wooden frame.
  • Among the more unusual gifts to be given to the expecting royal couple this year has been a royal parental parking space at Asda in Llangefni, Anglesey, near the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s home.

If you want to read more, then be sure to check out The King’s Deception. It features a Royal birth, but not quite in the way you’d expect!

Amy Dolman

Post author: Amy Dolman

Amy is responsible for the smooth running of the H for History website, and enjoys reading history-based fantasy. She also like to photograph sites of historical interest in her spare time with a cup of bovril and a pork pie for company. Favourite period of history: Ancient; Favourite historical read: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave; Upcoming book i'm most looking forward to: Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick

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