40 years ago today, Prince Charles and Princess Diana became the first members of the Royal Family to introduce an heir apparent to the throne outside of a royal residence, when they introduced Prince William to the world on the steps of St. Mary’s hospital, in Paddington.
Many of those who have just given birth would be expected to live in their newborn bubble for at least a few days postpartum, but if you’re a member of the Royal Family, you have a whole nation waiting to meet your new baby.
And so, the royal introduction was born.
Although Prince William was the first heir apparent to be introduced on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital, it was Princess Anne who first chose the West London hospital for both of her children’s births.
The Queen gave birth to each of her four children at Buckingham Palace, but for her first grandchildren, her daughter Princess Anne chose the Lindo Wing for the birth of Peter and Zara Philips.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles followed in his sister’s footsteps, choosing the West London hospital for its high level of service and its privacy for the birth of a potential future king.
Diana chose a loose fitting teal polka dot dress for the introduction and photo call on steps outside the hospital, a now-iconic dress that featured a white collar and billowed sleeves in true 1980s style.
Of course, as was the case with much of Princess Diana’s wardrobe, she sparked many a copycat style, including her future daughter-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge, some 30 years later.
For the births of their three children, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have followed in the footsteps of Prince William’s parents, presenting them on the steps of the Lindo Wing.
The Duchess of Cambridge even went so far as to take outfit inspiration from her late mother-in-law, opting for a similar style pale blue polka dot dress for the birth of her first child, Prince George.
For the birth of her third child, Prince Louis, in 2018, she also took a leaf out of Diana’s book, opting for a red dress with a Peter Pan collar which resembled the red coat that the late People’s Princess wore to present Prince Harry to the world in 1984.
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