Photos Show How Royal Motherhood Has Changed
The Queen gave birth to all of her children at home.
Queen Elizabeth was 22 when she had her first child, Prince Charles.
The Queen still found quiet moments to spend with her children amid her busy schedule.
Queen Elizabeth often spent vacations at Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s summer residence in the Scottish Highlands.
Princess Diana’s pregnancies were announced more clearly, and she made plenty of public appearances.
”The Prince and Princess of Wales, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and members of both families are delighted by the news,” the palace’s official announcement read when Diana was pregnant with Prince William in 1981. “The Princess is in excellent health. The Princess hopes to continue to undertake some public engagements but regrets any disappointment which may be caused by any curtailment in her planned program.”
She broke from tradition and became the first royal to give birth in a hospital.
Diana gave birth to Prince William and Prince Harry at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London.
Diana strived to give her children normal childhoods with trips to Disney World and McDonald’s.
In an HBO documentary called “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy,” Prince Harry remembered his mother as “a total kid through and through.”
“One of her mottos to me was ‘You can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught,'” he said.
Since Diana’s death, both Harry and William have remained close with their grandmother.
Prince William told Katie Couric in 2012 that the Queen is a “very good listener.”
In his interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Harry said that he’s remained close with the Queen despite rifts with other royal family members, and speaks to her on
regularly so she can chat with his son, Archie.
“I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years,” he said. “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my colonel-in-chief, right? She always will be.”
Kate Middleton continued carrying out royal engagements during her pregnancies, though she canceled appearances due to extreme morning sickness.
Middleton announced her first pregnancy earlier than other royals after she was admitted to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, or acute morning sickness, in 2012. Her subsequent pregnancies were also announced in tandem with canceling appearances due to hyperemesis gravidarum.
As a working royal, Meghan Markle continued making public appearances while pregnant, and even went on a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Markle announced her first pregnancy on Kensington Palace’s official Instagram account. She and Prince Harry shared the news before their royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga in 2018.
Markle gave birth to Archie at Portland Hospital in Westminster, and Lilibet was born in California.
Unlike Middleton, and Diana before her, Harry and Markle decided to skip the hospital photo-op and instead waited two days after the birth of Archie to introduce their new baby to the world.
“Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private,” Buckingham Palace shared in a statement before Archie’s birth. “The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
Lilibet was born after Harry and Markle had stepped back from their roles as working royals, so there was no public introduction.
She has advocated for paid family leave in the US, and she wrote a bestselling children’s book based on Harry and Archie’s father-son bond.
In October, Markle wrote a letter to Congress advocating for paid family leave.
“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician,” she wrote. “I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent. And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time—as a mom—to advocate for paid leave.”
In June, Markle published a picture book called “The Bench” inspired by Harry and Archie’s close bond. It became a New York Times bestseller.