Why we've never seen a picture of The Queen pregnant despite her having 4 children

Shola Lee

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Why we've never seen a picture of The Queen pregnant despite her having 4 children

Featured Image Credit: Archivo / Alamy Stock Photo

As people get ready to pay their respects to the Queen at her funeral tomorrow, 19 September, people have noticed something curious.

We've never seen a photo of the Queen pregnant, by which we mean, there are no pictures of the royal cradling a baby bump, as we've seen with Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle.

So, why is there no photographic evidence of a heavily pregnant Queen Elizabeth II?

There are later photos of Queen Elizabeth II with baby Charles. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
There are later photos of Queen Elizabeth II with baby Charles. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Well, it has a lot to do with past etiquette surrounding royal pregnancies.

We've come to expect a huge announcement of a royal pregnancy and the following months to be filled with pictures of a pregnant royal attending public engagements culminating in a hospital step photo that's become something of an event in itself.

But that wasn't the case for Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

Her pregnancies were never officially announced. In 1948, when the Queen fell pregnant with Prince Charles, Buckingham Palace released a statement that read: "Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth will undertake no public engagements after the end of June."

The Queen a month before the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960 - the closest we've got to seeing Her Majesty with a baby bump. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The Queen a month before the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960 - the closest we've got to seeing Her Majesty with a baby bump. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Not exactly shouting it from the rooftops.

However, it wasn't just that the palace kept the Queen's pregnancies quiet, there were also no public photos of the newborn babies straight after birth.

The Queen gave birth in Buckingham Palace and her children were shielded from the press at this time.

Princess Diana became the first to break the tradition of giving birth at the palace and in 1982 went to the hospital to give birth to Prince William.

According to royal biographer Andrew Morton, Diana said she'd opted for the hospital over the palace due to relentless press scrutiny: "I couldn't handle the press pressure any longer, it was becoming unbearable. It was as if everybody was monitoring every day for me."

The well known hospital step photograph did not happen back in the day. Credit: Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo
The well known hospital step photograph did not happen back in the day. Credit: Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

The first official photo of Charles was taken months after he was born, at his Christening in December 1948.

People were, of course, shocked to learn that there were virtually no pictures of the Queen visibly pregnant, with one user saying: "The Queen has 4 children yet, I've never seen any pictures of her visibly pregnant! I did some reading and at the time it was "improper" to show her bump!

"She'd never even announced her pregnancy she'd say she's not taking any royal duties for a period then reappear with a baby!"

While another added: "Apparently it was taboo to be pregnant so she would go into hiding."

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Topics: News, The Queen, UK News, Royal Family

Shola Lee
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