The royal reveal, then and now

How the first glimpse of Prince George compares to the introduction of Prince William, three decades earlier

The setting was the same both times: the brick and concrete Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s hospital. But when William and Kate introduced their new prince to royal watchers on July 23, it was in many ways a much different scene from 31 years earlier, when William himself was brought into the world.

Photo by Rex Features

Here’s how the two events compared:

Left: Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images; Right: Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Front-line watchers:
1982: Crowds of royal fans
2013: Cameras, cameras, cameras

Time spent with the crowd before leaving for Kensington Palace:
1982: 45 seconds
2013: three minutes

Top: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage; Bottom: John Stillwell/Associated Press, Pool

Date of birth and weight:
William: June 21, 1982; Seven pounds, one and a half ounces
George: July 22, 2013; Eight pounds, six ounces

View of the new babe:
1982: Baby Windsor was so tightly swaddled in a white, knitted blanket, that only part of his face was visible.
2013: Baby Cambridge was also tightly wrapped in a white blanket. Just the top of his head and a tiny hand were visible.

Top: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images; Bottom: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Visitors:
1982: Queen Elizabeth II, 20 minutes, as well as Diana’s parents, the 8th Earl Spencer and Frances Shand-Kydd (divorced), and Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes. “Everything’s marvellous,” said Charles, after a three-hour visit with Di and Wills.
2013: Carole and Michael Middleton, one hour, and Charles and Camilla, 20 minutes. He’s “absolutely beautiful,” Carole Middleton told waiting press after exiting St. Mary’s Hospital, in a happy, spontaneous breach of protocol that a commoner was the first to comment on the royal heir.

Hours in labour:
Diana: 16. “It has been the most harrowing,” said her father, Earl Spencer. “It was a particularly slow birth. A very worrying day.” Diana left hospital 22 hours after giving birth.
Kate: 12. The duchess of Cambridge left hospital 26 hours after giving birth.

Top: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images; Bottom: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

The hand-off:
1982: Charles briefly held his boy, before passing the baby to Diana.
2013: Kate came out holding her son, before handing him to Will who, very much the modern ideal of the involved dad, held his young son for the remainder of their turn in front of the press.

British bookies top choice for name at the time of birth:
1982: George
2013: George

Left: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images; Right: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Attire:
1982: Charles wore a stern, dark suit and matching, dark tie. Diana wore a flowing, green, polka-dot dress with a giant white bow. Her dress, slightly infantile in its look, as maternity wear then was, accentuated just how young the Princess of Wales was (she was just 20, while Charles was a 15 years her senior).
2013: Informality ruled. Even the bodyguards wore sweaters and loafers. Both Will and Kate were dressed in baby blue, to honour their new son. Kate’s polka-dot dress was reminiscent of the one chosen by Diana.

Top: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images; Bottom: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Car:
1982: A navy blue Ford Granada Ghia Estate. Charles and Diana both climbed into the back of the Ford station wagon, to be chauffeured in the short drive to Kensington Palace; Diana held Will on her lap. The new parents later caught flak for not having strapped young William into a car seat.
2013: A black, British-made Land Rover, a favourite of the royals. Kate rode in the back of the Landie with her newborn son; his dad carried him into the SUV—in an infant car seat, of course. The duke of Cambridge had by then rolled his pale blue shirt to the elbows, and took the wheel, driving the trio to Kensington Palace where the Queen would meet her new great-grandson, the third heir to the throne.

Baby left hospital known as:
1982: Baby Windsor
2013: Baby Cambridge




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The royal reveal, then and now

  1. Kind of prophetic that Diana disregarded seat belts.

  2. If you look at the first photo of the Cambridges just out of hospital you will see that William’s shirt sleeves were rolled up right from the beginning. Also, was Catherine wearing a seat belt? She didn’t seem to be when they left KP the day after and went to Bucklebury.

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