Clue: it’s bigger than a hockey team
Before Princess Diana dragged them into the 20th century, royal births used to happen at a residential palace or castle, with the father of the child nowhere near his labouring wife – Prince Phillip went for a game of squash.
Things modernised in 1982 when Diana and Charles made the decision to have Will at London’s Private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Paddington. Charles was by Diana’s side for the whole labour, though the Princess of Wales later said the baby was still induced on a day that wouldn’t interrupt Charles’ Polo schedule.
The Lindo Wing is where Kate will return this month to deliver her third child, expected to arrive in a matter of weeks after press barriers were erected outside the hospital.
But while royal birth traditions like having the Home Secretary present to witness the baby’s arrival have died out (Kate and Will are probably quite relieved that Amber Rudd won’t need to be there), the new princess or prince’s arrival will be supported by a sizeable team of medical pros.
According to People, the royal baby birthing team will be 23 strong. The breakdown: three midwives, two obstetricians, three anesthesiologists, four surgical staff members, two special care staffers, four pediatricians, one lab technician for blood tests, and three or four managers.
The same number of staff were apparently on hand to assist the arrival of both George and Charlotte. Even though all 23 weren’t present on the day (bit of a crowded room) they were required to be on call 3 months before the due date.
At a Buckingham Palace garden party attended by members of the former royal baby birthing team to thank them for their efforts, Dr Joanna Bray (who assisted the births of George and Charlotte) spoke to reporters about the preparation involved. ‘We weren’t actually at the birth but were behind the scenes’ said Dr Bray, ‘We were all on call for three months – my husband did the childcare for three months! You never know when you need to be called. You need to be in town and available. If you are at a party you need to have your car keys at the ready. No drinking!’
Also on hand to assist Kate after the births of George and Charlotte was her hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker, for what no mother in the history of giving birth ever feels like doing straight afterwards: an international press photo call.
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