Kate Middleton and William thank NHS staff on Burns Night
The Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William have led a recent charge to show how the Royal Family have endured similar struggles to the public during the coronavirus pandemic. The couple have ensured their presence remained despite the ongoing lockdown restrictions, by appearing on online phone calls to carry out their royal duties. This trend was also followed by other senior Windsors, such as the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
Their push to bring the Royal Family into the 21st century is not new, however, as when Kate was pregnant with her first son George, a decision was made to ensure details of her pregnancy were made public.
Royal historian Robert Lacey examined this, as well as other ways William showed his modern touch by being hands-on during the pregnancy – unlike his father Charles, and grandfather Prince Philip.
Mr Lacey said Kate’s pregnancy was “very ordinary and very open”, which was different to past royal mothers, such as Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.
Speaking to Good Morning America in 2012, Mr Lacey said “details of what’s happening to Kate are not being hidden as would have been the case in the past”, adding: “And we’re seeing the concern of a very modern husband going to see her in [the] hospital every day.”
Kate Middleton pregnant: Key details of Duchess’ pregnancy ‘not hidden like other royals’
Kate Middleton: Duchess of Cambridge with William and George
During her period of pregnancy, William remained by Kate’s side, a notable change from previous royal fathers who were often absent during the birth.
Mr Lacey detailed how when Charles was born “Philip played squash at the Palace”, while Charles himself “went off and played polo” when William was welcomed to the world.
He added: “I think we’re getting to see the first royal birth where the father himself is present and sees his new child come into the world.”
Kate would eventually give birth to George in 2013, before welcoming Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to the Cambridge fold.
JUST IN: Meghan Markle and Harry fans MOCK Kate and William for ‘copying’
Royal baby: The cameras zoom in on William and Kate in 2013
In another landmark move for the rejuvenation project, Kate became one of the first senior royals to appear on a podcast, which saw the Duchess movingly discuss the issues she had during her pregnancy.
Like many mothers, Kate endured hyperemesis gravidarum – an acute form of morning sickness.
She spent several nights in hospital due to the condition, and shortly after giving birth the Duchess admitted she was “really desperate to get home… back to normality”.
She explained that “particularly with a first-born baby you think everything is going to go back to how it was”, which was something she “totally underestimated”.
Helen Flanagan suffered same pregnancy complication as Kate Middleton [ANALYSIS]
Kate Middleton ‘underestimated’ George’s birth: ‘No back to normality’ [INSIGHT]
Pippa Middleton ‘unable to relax’ amid ‘unexpected’ wedding popularity [LATEST]
Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2018
Kate told the Happy Baby Happy Mum podcast in 2019: “From that moment really, and I think unless you’ve got children, you don’t realise that no amount of planning and preparation can get you ready for that moment.”
A week before the pregnancy announcement, William sparked reports that Kate was pregnant after he accepted a baby romper suit from a member of the public in Cambridge.
According to reports, the outfit had the words “Daddy’s little co-pilot” emblazoned on it, as well as a picture of a helicopter.
At the time, William was working as an RAF Search and Rescue Pilot, and according to the Daily Mail, he “smiled when he collected the item”, before the Duke of Cambridge added: “I’ll keep that.”
Royal news: Kate Middleton and Prince William have three children
William and Kate were in Cambridge when they were approached by Samantha Hill, who gave the couple the gift.
Ms Hill said: “I made it for when his little one comes along, he’s a helicopter pilot so his baby will think his daddy is cool.
“When I gave it to him he said ‘I’ll keep that’ and handed it to his aide.”
This excitement to welcome the youngster, sparked both jubilation – and some concern, with Kate admitting to the podcast host Giovanna Fletcher, that William had practised everything before George’s arrival.
Royal Family tree
Ms Fletcher praised the Duke of Cambridge for the way he first put George into the royal car as they left the hospital, describing it as “seamless”.
But Kate revealed that in the run-up to the big day, William had “tried practising on a doll at home” to ensure he could carry out the move correctly.
She added: “But you know, it just never works out the way you’ve planned it.
“It was quite hard to do that, I think, on the world stage. But I think he did a very good job.”