Remembering the Births of Prince William and Prince Harry in Photos
The royal family is about to get a little bigger!
Within the next few weeks, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will welcome their first child, an event that will bring as much joy as the pair’s star-studded nuptials in the spring of 2018. To honor the occasion, we’re looking back at the births of Harry and his older brother, Prince William.
The Heir to the Throne Is Born
When Princess Diana went into labor with her first child in the summer of 1982, she pushed back against norms and insisted on having her baby at a hospital instead of Buckingham Palace, as was tradition. Also, unlike most childbirths of the era, Prince Charles was by her side the entire time.
According to biographer Andrew Morton in his book, Diana: Her True Story, Diana asked doctors to induce labor, explaining that the public scrutiny surrounding her pregnancy was too much to bear. After 16 hours of labor, Prince William was born at 9:03 p.m. on June 21, 1982.
Soon after his arrival, a sign was placed outside the palace announcing the exciting news, as is also tradition.
The proud parents then walked him outside of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, and presented him to the world. Diana wore a green polka-dot dress for the important occasion, while Charles sported a blue button-up under a black jacket with a red-and-white striped tie along with a pink flower on his lapel.
Later, the Prince of Wales wrote of the experience: "I am so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time because by the end of the day I really felt as though I’d shared deeply the process of birth and as a result was rewarded by seeing a small creature which belonged to us even though he seemed to belong to everyone else as well!"
Because Prince William, nicknamed "Wills" as a baby, is second in line to the throne, behind his father, Charles, his arrival was all the more momentous.
The happy trio was snapped leaving the hospital's Lindo Wing as their car pulled away, with baby William photographed bundled up in his mother’s arms.
The Royal Redhead Arrives
Like his older brother, Prince Harry was also born at St. Mary’s Hospital, arriving at 4:20 p.m. on Sept. 15, 1984. However, according to Morton, Charles had dearly wanted a baby girl, so Diana decided to keep her second child’s sex from him as long as she could.
However, after Harry was born, Charles supposedly exclaimed, "Oh God, it’s a boy. And he’s even got red hair."
Morton also claims in his book that although Charles later dismissed the comment as a joke, Diana was deeply hurt, noting that not only had she spent nine hours in labor without painkillers, but all of her siblings were redheads.
Like with William's arrival, Harry's birth prompted rows of TV cameras outside St. Mary's, not to mention thousands of anxious onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of the newborn.
Diana chose a vibrant red ensemble to wear while introducing their second child to the public, a look that many speculated William’s wife, Kate Middleton, seemingly honored when she chose to wear a red frilly dress to celebrate the birth of their son, Prince Louis, in 2018.
Meanwhile, Charles stood by her side in a black suit and polka-dot tie as they made their way out of the hospital.
Also on hand was 2-year-old Prince William, who seemed to match his mother's color scheme by wearing bright red shorts and a white shirt for his little brother's big moment. He was spotted walking out of the hospital with his nanny, Barbara Barnes, and the young heir even waved to the droves of cameras assembled across the street.
Years later, William's son, Prince George, seemed to pay homage to his dad's attire while attending sister Princess Charlotte's christening in 2015.
Speaking of christenings, just two months after his birth, Harry was christened at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. To mark the occasion, Charles, Diana, William and baby Harry posed for photos. Diana chose a royal blue dress and a matching blue hat for the shoot. As for Charles, he opted for a black suit, blue button-up and silver tie. Harry was dressed in a long, lacy outfit, as is customary.
As reported earlier, there will be no grand introduction outside St. Mary's when Harry and Meghan's child arrives. Earlier in April, Kensington Palace released a statement revealing that the couple intends to do things differently when their little bundle of joy enters the world.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby," the statement read. "Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private."
The statement concludes, "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."
What's more, according to previous reports, the couple is considering going to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, which is much closer to their new home, Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor.
All of which means that when the public does finally get their first glimpse of the new baby, it may be days after the birth and could simply be images released to the press.
"Meghan Markle does not want the pressure of having to pose on the steps for cameras so soon after childbirth," a source told ET, adding that, while the couple is "extremely excited" for the birth of their first child, they intend to “enjoy the magic of childhood without any undue expectations."
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