With the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, and Prince William having welcomed a baby girl at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, weighing 8 lbs 3 oz, the Cambridges have a new and exciting addition to their family. “I hope it will be a girl this time,” remarked Prince Charles upon learning that he would be a grandfather for the second time, and the proud grandfather has gotten his wish! Many royal watchers have since echoed the sentiment, and they're now waiting anxiously for William and Kate to emerge from St. Mary's hospital holding their little princess.
Referring to the possibility of having a niece, cheeky Prince Harry told reporters: "With any luck and it's a girl and I'll see [William] suffer even greater. I'd love to see him try and cope with that."
Now that they've welcomed a baby girl, it marks a new precedent for the immediate British royal family, one that hasn’t been seen in more than half a century, as Princess Dianagave birth to two boys (but no girls) before her tragic passing in 1997. The last time a daughter was born to an heir was in 1950, when Elizabeth II gave birth to Prince Charles’ sister, Princess Anne.
A ‘NORMAL’ CHILDHOOD
There have been other British princesses born into the extended, royal family tree – like William’s cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson – and Kate may do well to turn to the Duchess of York for advice on raising a royal daughter in the public eye. Both Eugenie, 25, and Beatrice, 26, have grown up to be fine young women, attending university, joining the workforce and endearing themselves to the public while maintaining a private life.
But while the York sisters are princesses, William and Kate’s daughter will have a larger royal role to play as the sibling to the future king. Nonetheless, the duke and duchess will be equally determined to give George's sister as normal an upbringing as possible – "a jolly, happy, ordinary child's life," remarked the Queen's cousin, Margaret Rhodes.
Case-in-point: The first official portrait of Prince George was very much a low-key family affair, which broke with the royal convention of using a commissioned official photographer. Taken by Kate’s father, Michael Middleton, in the garden of the Middleton family home, the picture could have been plucked from any normal family’s photo album. Fans can expect the duke and duchess to take the same relaxed attitude with a little girl – especially when it comes to public displays of affection.
Unlike previous generations of royals, William and Kate dote on little George, kissing and hugging their son in public. With a daughter, it’s likely that the royal couple will similarly broadcast their baby joy with the world.
One thing is certain: Modern Kate – who was the first “commoner” to marry into the royal family since the seventeenth century – would have a much different approach to raising a little girl than her royal predecessors.
Although Prince George’s little sister will partake in her share of official outings, royal tours and photo shoots, the duke and duchess are likely to take an equally hands-on approach to rearing her daughter as they did with her first born, putting a contemporary spin on royal traditions.
They've already begun by spearheading the change in royal succession laws, with the Succession to the Crown Act officially coming into force on March 26, 2015. The new legislation marked the end of male primogeniture across the Commonwealth of Nations and means that the Duchess of Cambridge's second royal baby will not be overtaken in the line of succession by any younger brothers.
Kate is by no means a shrinking violet, as she enjoys an equal partnership with her husband, Prince William. The duchess will surely instill in her little girl a strong sense of self worth – and she may even inherit mom’s competitive streak!
As a girl, Kate was an avid field hockey player, as well as a netball and tennis fan. The duchess, who grew up with athletic siblings (sister Pippa and brother James), will likely want her daughter to be involved in sports, too.
“They had such a drive and were very competitive, particularly Pippa, but never against each other, they were always very much a team,” said Mrs. Allford, one of the sisters’ schoolteachers. One can hope that George and his little sister will have a similar bond.
The drive for success rings true for both Kate and William, who often embrace their competitive sides together. Who can forget when the duke and duchess, both keen sailors, participated in "informal" yacht races in New Zealand last year? ("We were sabotaged!" William joked after his bemused wife took home the win.)
When it comes to style, however, there’s little doubt that Kate’s daughter will be quite the fashionista, just as Prince George’s adorable dungarees have landed him on best-dressed lists the world over. Fans are hoping that the duchess' mini-me will sport much of the same timeless, feminine fashions as her trend-setting mom, especially since Kate already favours pretty frocks and pastel hues.
However, if the little princess turns out to be anything like her mother, she may reject all things girly until she becomes a teenager.
“The kids were all quite tomboyish, especially Kate,” the Middleton sisters’ uncle Gary told Hello! “It’s not how you would imagine a little princess to be. They were always in jeans and jumpers.”
There's no doubt that William and Kate are over the moon welcoming a little sister for George. Follow the exclusive Hello! Canada royal baby newsfeed to keep up with all the news on the new royal baby!