Nestled in the City of Westminster sits the beautiful historic St. Mary’s Hospital, a nearly 175-year-old building that’s been home to some of the Royal Family’s most iconic photos. Many royal women, from the late Princess Diana to the Duchess of Cambridge, have debuted their new bundles of joy on the steps of the hospital’s Lindo Wing. It could very well be where the world sees Prince Harry and Meghan’s little Baby Sussex for the first time later this month.
Most royal watchers will recognize the wing’s stunning wooden doors and iron gates set against red-brown brick walls and gated windows. They’ve been the backdrop to many royal babies’ debuts – most recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Prince Louis, who was born on April 23, 2018. Before him came Princess Charlotte, 3, who left the hospital just hours after being born, and then heir to the throne Prince George, 5, who was born two years after his parents said “I do” at Westminster Abbey. Each time, the proud parents stood on the steps, smiling and waving as they took part in a tradition that started years before they were born.
Back in 1977, Princess Anne welcomed the Queen’s first grandchild, Peter Phillips, at St. Mary’s, creating what became a birthing location steeped in royal history. In 1981, Her Majesty’s daughter gave birth to her second child, Zara Tindall – which was the first time a royal and her baby were pictured on the actual wing steps.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana followed in the Princess Royal’s footsteps when they debuted Prince William and Prince Harry on the steps in 1982 and 1984, respectively. On top of the age-old tradition of giving birth at St. Mary’s Hospital, fashion is also a big component of the day – especially since Diana. The late People’s Princess dazzled in green-and-white polka dots while holding William, and a red-and-white number with Harry. Aside from posing on the steps with her three children, Duchess Kate paid homage to her late mother-in-law by wearing polka dots for Prince George’s debut, and red-and-white most recently for Prince Louis.
While William has obviously taken much joy in being able to take after his mother and father in the baby welcoming tradition, it’s unknown if Harry and Meghan will follow suit with their first child. Will they choose to have the baby out of the limelight at Frimley Hospital instead? It’s where the Countess of Wessex gave birth to her two children. Regardless, it’s certain their big day will honour the memory of their child’s late grandmother in some way.