23 July 2013
The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy. For the first time in British history, it made no difference if the royal child was a boy or a girl - the baby would be third in line to the throne regardless. But the new law, which was changed especially for this baby, will not be put to the test.
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It was a pregnancy in the public eye. There was no hiding away from the cameras. And royal duties continued for the Duchess of Cambridge until the final weeks. Wherever she went, the gifts, the questions, the chat, had been of the baby. She gave little away.
With his great-grandmother in her 61st year on the throne, and his grandfather and father ahead of him in the line of succession, it will be some time before the Duke and Duchess's son is King.
Suzannah Lipscomb, Historian:
It is in the nature of these next few years, in his upbringing, in his childhood, in the character and values that are instilled in him at this stage, that will determine how the British people view their monarch.
In the past, there was a formality to the royal birth announcements. Much has changed. After Prince William was born at St. Mary's hospital, his father spoke to the media.
Reporter: How is Lady Di?
Prince Charles: She's very well, marvellous.
Reporter: Was it a very painful experience?
Prince Charles: Have you ever had a baby?
Reporter: No I haven't.
Prince Charles: I should wait and see!
And from the moment the new Prince appeared on the hospital steps, it was clear his upbringing would be different, less formal. William will now be fiercely protective of his wife and child, but controlling the level of interest from the public and the media is increasingly problematic.
The Duchess of Cambridge's childhood memories are of a strong family unit in rural Berkshire. Royal life appears not to have diminished that bond. And there is speculation that after the birth the Duchess will return home to mum for a few weeks.
William's childhood broke with tradition. By royal standards there was greater freedom. It was more normal, there was less restraint. He is likely to want the same for his son, a little boy who one day will be King.
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- in the public eye
well known by many people
- gave little away
did not tell anyone any information
process in which someone automatically takes their position after someone else
how a child is treated and educated by its parents
head of state such as king or queen
guessing what might happen without any certain information
- broke with tradition
did something different from what is normally done
control in showing emotions or behaving in a certain way