The Queen takes great pride in her family, with eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. We’ve already looked back at the milestones of her becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother for the first time, but now let’s take a look back at the birth of her grandson and direct heir, Prince William.
Prince William was born on 21 June 1982, the first son of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. Notably, he was the first direct heir to the British throne who was born in a hospital, his mother having given birth at St Mary’s Hospital (where his own children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, were born three decades later).
His birth was announced with the traditional easel outside Buckingham Palace, and notice was made in the newspapers: “This evening at 9.03 o’clock, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was safely delivered of a son at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was present.
“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”
A further statement from a palace spokesperson said, “The baby weighs 7lb 1/2 oz. He cried lustily. The Prince of Wales was present. We have no names which we can announce at the moment.”
Prince William made his first public appearance the following day, in the arms of his mother, as global news cameras filmed him. His names, William Arthur Philip Louis, were announced on 28 June—though the odds-on favourite boys’ name was George, followed by James, Charles, Philip and Louis.
Another milestone of his birth was that he was the first child born to a Prince and Princess of Wales since Prince John’s birth in 1905 (to George V and Mary).
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were among the first informed of the birth of their new grandson, with Prince Charles reportedly calling from the hospital. The Queen was said to be “absolutely delighted,” while The Queen Mother was “overjoyed.”
Diana’s father, the Earl Spencer, said: “Charles said Diana was absolutely marvellous. He is over the moon. It was a very slow delivery but very good. It is a very historic occasion, and I am very proud to be part of it. It has been worrying, but that is the sort of thing that happens if you have a girl. The baby is very lucky to have Diana as a mother.”
His parents were ecstatic over his birth. Leaving the hospital that same night, Prince Charles told the crowds: “Well, he’s not bad,” and that William was lucky enough not to take after him in looks, though it was still hard to tell.
Prince Charles later sent a telegram to his cousin, Patricia Mountbatten, writing: “I am so thankful I was beside Diana’s bedside the whole time because I felt as though I’d shared deeply in the process of birth and as a result was rewarded by seeing a small creature who belonged to us even though he seemed to belong to everyone else as well.”
From birth, William has been second in line to the British throne. Today, he is the father of three children and has been married to his wife, Kate, for 11 years.