A Timeline of Royal Births at the Lindo Wing — the 42-Year-Old Tradition Meghan Markle Will Forgo
Princess Diana wasn't the first royal to pose on the iconic steps.
Since she became a member of the royal family, Meghan Markle has been noted for eschewing tradition and bringing a sense of modernity to England's monarchy — most recently with the announcement that she and Prince Harry would not be doing the traditional royal post-birth photo call (to the dismay of the British press).
Instead, they plan to do a photo call on the grounds of Windsor Castle, a break in royal protocol that usually includes a staged photo call in front of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
That hospital-side tradition was started by Princess Anne, who welcomed her son, Peter Phillips at the hospital in 1977. According to People, Sir George Pinker, a royal gynecologist from 1973 to 1990, helped start up this tradition — before that, royal babies were born in palaces.
She then went to the same hospital when she gave birth to her daughter, Zara, in 1981.
After that, Princess Diana continued the tradition the following year when she gave birth to Prince William and introduced him to the world on the Lindo Wing's steps. She did the same with Prince Harry in 1984.
All three of Prince William and Kate Middleton's children were also born in the same place as their father, and were all introduced on the steps of the Lindo Wing during official photo ops.
The Lindo Wing was opened in 1937, and went through an extensive refurbishment in 2012, just before Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George there in 2013. The maternity unit has 16 rooms for labor and postnatal care, and a consultant-led delivery in the wing will run you at least $7,660 (though notably, the average cost of a regular delivery in the U.S. is about $10,000).
The Lindo Wing of course comes with state-of-the-art facilities and doctors, but at this point, has become somewhat of a "circus," royal author Ingrid Seward recently told People. Case in point: When the world was waiting on Prince George's arrival, there were ladders in position across the road from the hospital for about three weeks before he was born. The case was the same for his younger siblings.
With that in mind, we can't blame Meghan and Prince Harry for wanting something a little more private when it comes to welcoming their first child into the world — even if we might have to wait a little longer for a glimpse at Baby Sussex.