Queen visits royal baby at Kensington Palace

Though Wednesday’s meeting lasted just 30 minutes, it adds another footnote to royal history.

Note: This article is from the Guardian.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Queen visits royal baby at Kensington Palace” was written by Caroline Davies, for The Guardian on Wednesday 24th July 2013 12.52 UTC

For the first time in more than a century, a reigning monarch met a great-grandchild born in direct succession to the crown when the Queen was introduced to Baby Cambridge on Wednesday.

She made the short journey from Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son had spent their first night at home as a new family.

Not since the birth in 1894 of the eldest son of the future George V and Queen Mary – the future Edward VIII, who later abdicated – in the twilight of Queen Victoria’s reign has such an encounter occurred. Though Wednesday’s meeting lasted just 30 minutes – before the start of the Queen’s traditional summer break at Balmoral on Friday – it adds another footnote to royal history.

Arriving in a dark green Bentley, the 87-year-old monarch was alone: the Duke of Edinburgh was at Windsor, where he is still convalescing following exploratory abdominal surgery last month. She had previously said she was thrilled with the safe delivery of her first great-grandson, who was born at 4.24pm on Monday weighing 8lb 6oz in the private Lindo wing at St Mary’s hospital at Paddington in west London.

Among other visitors received by the Cambridges was Prince Harry, the baby’s uncle, who is now bumped down to fourth in the line of succession. He has previously said: “I can’t wait to be an uncle.”

The duchess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, visited on Tuesday night shortly after mother and baby were discharged from hospital.

After presenting their newborn, who is third in line to the throne, to the world in a photocall on the hospital steps on Tuesday, William and Kate will now seek some privacy. After the Queen’s visit, the duke, duchess and infant prince left Kensington Palace for Bucklebury, Berkshire, where the Middletons have a manor house.

Kate and William outside Lindo wing
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their baby outside the hospital where he was born. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “This is now a private and quiet time for them to get to know their son.” Details of the meeting with the Queen, therefore, are unlikely to be made public and whether any names for the infant were discussed is unknown. William said as he cradled his son outside St Mary’s hospital on Tuesday: “We are still working on a name so we will have that as soon as we can.”

Guessing it, however, has become big business for bookmakers. The most popular name with betting firms William Hill, Coral and Paddy Power is George. Six King Georges have worn the crown throughout history since German-born George I, the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain, acceded to the throne in 1714.

While such a traditional name would undoubtedly please the Queen, she is unlikely to make any suggestions to the couple. It is also unlikely William and Kate will wander far from convention and select anything too outlandish for a prince who is likely to reign one day and whose name could symbolise an era. James is also a favourite with punters, with Alexander, Henry, Louis, Richard and Arthur the next most popular choices.

One person not offering advice is the baby prince’s grandmother, Carole Middleton. Asked as she visited her grandson in hospital if she had made any name suggestions, she replied: “Absolutely not.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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