24 April 2018

UK: Third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Durchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) became parents for the third time yesterday, 23 April 2018, at 11.01 a.m. The birth took place at the Lindo Wing of the St. Mary's Hospital in London, where also Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. The announcement from Kensington Palace read:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
If you wonder about the weight, 8lb 7oz = 3.827185 kg. As far as I know nothing has been said about the baby boy's length. The «Notes to the editors» part, which was not published  by Kensington Palace's Twitter account, but found its way to among other Sarah Hewson of Sky News, said that the medical staff in support were Mr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to The Royal Household,  Mr. Alan Farthing, Surgeon Gynaecologist to HM The Queen, Dr. Sunit Godambe, Consultant Neonatologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust and Professor Huw Thomas, Physician to HM The Queen and Head of the Medical Household.

The notes meant for the editors said that «The name of the baby will be announced in due course». As I didn't have the time to blog yesterday, I had hoped to write a combined birth and name article today, but obviously we are still waiting for the name to be announced. Hopefully I can return with a follow-up tomorrow.

23 April is St. George's Day, so if the name had not already been taken by the baby boy's brother, George would have been an obvious choice. The favourite of the bookmakers is Arthur, followed by Albert. Other names being mentioned are James, Philip, Alexander, Henry, Edward. Frederick, Thomas, Alfred, Jack, Louis, Michael, Charles and William. The Duchess' father is named Michael, by the way, while her grandfathers were named Peter and Ronald respectively. Philip after Prince William's grandfather would be a good choice, but the Duke and Duchess might want a name which is not taken by a living member of the royal family. Now I am of course talking about the call name. I would be surprised if Michael isn't chosen as the second or third name, but I would be equally surprised if it is announced as his call name. Then again, it is very seldom that I get the correct answer in the guessing game ... My choice would be Alfred Michael Philip (or maybe Alfred Philip Michael sounds better?), but I guess Arthur is more likely. We all seem to guess on a traditional royal name, as with George and Charlotte, but for the third child the Duke and Duchess might feel less tradition-bound? The most popular male names in 2016 can be found at the website of the Office for National Statistics. Thomas and Robert should definately not be ruled out, but I just cannot imagine names like Oliver, Noah, Logan, Mason, Finley or Harrison.

The new-born Prince of Cambridge entered the world as no. 5 in the line of succession to the British throne. A point to be made her is of course «in the old days» the new prince would have pushed his elder sister Charlotte down the ladder. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which applies to «a person born after 28 October 2011» and which came into force in full on 26 March 2015 (to be more exact: «The day appointed for the coming into force of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, so far as it is not already in force, is 26th March 2015»), secured Charlotte's position in the line of succession ahead of any younger brother. So we can say that history was made yesterday.

Another point is that yesterday's royal birth meant that the Duke of York was pushed down to no. 7 in the line of succession and does not need his mother's consent to marry again if he so wishes. He could therefore remarry his ex-wife, as so many have speculated on. I am not convinced, however, that the Queen, under such a scenario, would have refused consent if it was still needed. The Duke of York might be content with the present status after all.

Finally, I must say I am pleased with the gift guidance released yesterday:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time.  However, Their Royal Highnesses do not wish to encourage the sending of gifts to them on this occasion, and feel that any generosity of spirit felt by individuals should be directed to those more in need.

As such, they would be grateful if people wishing to give gifts look to provide their support in one of two ways:

(a) by donating to a children’s charity which is local to them (i.e. to the gift giver) as a way of marking the birth of Their Royal Highnesses' third child;

or, alternatively,

(b) by donating to Evelina London Children's Hospital:

http://www.supportevelina.org.uk/donate/congratulations

Gifts from commercial organisations will not be accepted.  They will be returned to the sender, unless the cost of shipping is too prohibitive, in which case the commercial gifts will be donated to an appropriate charity.
Kensington Palace might have published something similar in connection with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte for all I know. Regardless, I like the stand the couple has made.

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