Sweet Prince Louis
Princess Charlotte celebrated her third birthday with a kiss for brother Louis, nine days old and already a media sensation. Juliet Rieden welcomes the new royal.
Thrice the worry,” joked Prince William, a very proud father who earlier had introduced his third child to the world, beaming and waving with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
As with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the newborn faced an endless clatter of camera shutters on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, as his first introduction to royal life. But snuggled in his cosy white woollen shawl, the fifth in line to the throne seemed unperturbed and kept his eyes closed through his first photo call, but wiggled his fingers to everyone’s delight.
Earlier, Prince George and Princess Charlotte had arrived to visit their new brother, George still in his school uniform and Charlotte looking very pleased with herself in a floral dress and matching blue cardigan. They walked either side of their dad, holding on to his hands, with tentative waves at the crowd. But then as they mounted the steps Charlotte turned, offering an incredibly sweet secret wave which earned her front pages around the world. The new Prince had been born at a minute past 11am on April 23, weighing 8lbs 7oz (3.82kg), and when a traditional town crier announced the birth and the official Palace statement was placed on the gilt easel inside the gates of Buckingham Palace, it was a glorious piece of ancient pomp and pageantry straight out of Tudor England.
Prince William told the throngs of reporters outside the hospital that he was “very happy, very delighted, thank you”. When asked for his son’s name, the royal teased “you’ll find out soon enough”. In fact it was four days before the name was revealed – Prince Louis Arthur Charles.
Louis was no doubt a tribute to Lord Louis Mountbatten,
Prince Charles’ great uncle, who was murdered by the IRA and whom Charles has described as “the grandfather I never had”. Arthur was perhaps a nod to King Arthur and Prince William’s second name, and Charles in deference to his grandpa, the heir to the throne.
In a statement, Kensington Palace announced: “The baby will be formally known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.”
Louis pushes his uncle Prince Harry into sixth place in line to the throne, but in a rather apt piece of girl power – considering this year’s global awakening of female empowerment – Louis will not supersede his sister Princess Charlotte, who retains her position above her baby brother. This is all thanks to a change to the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act, which ensured princes no longer push their princess siblings down the pecking order. Welcome, Prince Louis.
“It is a great joy to have another grandchild; the only trouble is I don’t know how I am going to keep up.” – PRINCE CHARLES
Baby Louis, three days old, photographed by his mother at Kensington Palace. OPPOSITE: With his sister Charlotte a few days later.
ABOVE: Princess Charlotte waves as she heads into the hospital to visit her new baby brother. RIGHT: The happy parents.