Every time William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, announce that they're expecting a baby, people get very excited.
Everyone starts to speculate about the baby's due date, its gender, name, etc, but little do they know that there is a lot that happens before the new parents bring the baby out on the steps of the hospital.
Here are 14 old and new traditions that you had no idea existed:
1. Royal babies are traditionally born at home
It wasn't too long ago that babies born into the royal family were delivered at a hospital. For decades, women in the family, including Queen Elizabeth II, gave birth at home. Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward were all born at Buckingham Palace, while Anne made her debut at the Clarence House.
The younger generation of royal women like Princess Diana and Kate had their babies at a hospital, but rumor has it Kate is planning to give birth to her third child at home.
2. An official witness was required in the delivery room
The centuries-old tradition called for a third-party to be present in the room during the birth of the child to confirm that a royal baby was actually born. When Queen Elizabeth was born the family's secretary was present. Prince Charles was one of the first royal babies born without a non-family witness.
3. Fathers were not allowed in the room
Once upon a time only females were allowed to remain in the delivery room. Men had to wait outside until the baby was born. It wasn't until 1948, on the occasion of Prince Charles's birth, that this tradition ceased.
4. Births are announced outside the palace
Back in the day, the arrival of a royal baby was announced to the pubic in a handwritten note placed on an easel outside the palace gates. A town crier would also break the news to those waiting outside. Today, this practice is still adopted by the royal family, except now the note is typed. Will and Kate also sent emails and Twitter messages before the palace made the official announcement. An unofficial town crier still shares the news with the public.
5. A 62-gun salute takes place
The Honorable Artillery Company fires a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London, a sign of respect to mark various special occasions, including royal births.