By Maisie Lillywhite
Mums often face a lot of pressure when it comes to making the decision of how they will feed their baby. Whether they choose to breastfeed or use formula, it is seen as one of the biggest decisions that mothers face when pregnant.
Making the decision is not always easy, but some mums are very lucky to have supportive friends and family members to turn to for advice and support. And, believe it or not, Her Majesty the Queen was a huge influence when it came to how the Duchess of Cambridge fed her children – George, Charlotte and Louis.
According to royal historian Amy Licence, royal mothers traditionally did not breastfeed their babies – the job was usually given to someone else. But this all changed when the Queen welcomed Prince Charles into the world over 73 years ago, she wrote in The Guardian.
According to royal historian Amy Licence, royal mothers traditionally did not breastfeed their babies – the job was usually given to someone else.
Prior to this, royal babies were assigned a wet nurse shortly after their birth, with women of ‘good birth’ being considered the best wet nurses. Writing in The Guardian around the time of Prince George’s birth in 2013, Amy said: “Royal breastfeeding mothers are a relatively new phenomenon. The present Queen, Elizabeth II, was breastfed following her birth in 1926 and chose to continue the practice with her own children.
“Historically, most royal mothers did not always believe that breast was best. In fact, in some cases, it was considered at best an inconvenience, at worst, downright harmful.
“Royal women were often little more than symbolic figures, delivering child after child to secure a dynasty. This was particularly important in times of high infant and child mortality when the production of second, third and fourth sons was crucial. Breastfeeding offers a degree of contraceptive protection, so with their babies being fed by others, Queens were free to resume their duties and begin the process of conceiving the next heir.”
Royal women were often little more than symbolic figures, delivering child after child to secure a dynasty
Princess Diana also insisted on feeding her sons, William and Harry, in their infancy. Her first daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her eldest son, the Duke of Cambridge, also claimed they would be taking a ‘hands on’ approach when it came to raising their children.
Kate and William welcomed their first child, Prince George, in July 2013. Princess Charlotte arrived in the world just under two years later in May 2015, whilst Louis made an appearance in April 2018.