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Looking back: Past excitement of royal births through the years
7:00pm Wednesday 24th July 2013 in News
Charles, Prince of Wales was born on November 14, 1948, the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The birth sparked a flurry of excitement, with a group of blind men and women in Hastings among the first to mark the special occasion.
Gift The members of one of the two handicraft classes arranged by Hastings Voluntary Association for the blind took turns working to make a basket suitable for holding a baby’s clothes or toilet accessories.
Vera Jones, chairman of the association, said: “The idea to make a gift was entirely spontaneous.”
A week later, the association received news from Lady-in-Waiting Henrietta Abel Smith.
She said: “I have had the honour of laying your letter and the basket before Princess Elizabeth and Her Royal Highness commands me to ask you to convey to the members of the classes her sincere thanks for their kindness in making this present and sending it to her and her baby.”
In 1981 Charles married Lady Diana Spencer and they went on to have Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (born 1982), and Prince Harry of Wales (born 1984).
Back in 1982, when The Argus was 14p, the newborn’s name was revealed. The article began: ‘Prince William, the little conqueror.’ Welcome Princess Diana later received a special gift from Brighton schoolchildren in the form of a song written for her newborn son.
Three hundred youngsters and staff at Moulsecoomb First School penned a piece called Welcome to the New Baby.
Headmistress Esme McNulty said: “The song was a joint effort and when the children sing they will be carrying red, white and blue streamers and wearing costumes.”
Prince Harry was born on September 15, 1984 at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London.
But the day meant something more for Diane Ballone and husband Salvatore.
Their child, Julia, was born a few hours before Harry at Royal Sussex County Hospital. Salvatore, then 39, said: “When I was waiting in hospital a friend rang to say Di was in hospital.
“I think it makes our little girl even more special.”
Diane was one of the five mothers who were later rewarded for giving birth on the same day as Diana.
The three boys and two girls born that day were presented with a commemorative gown by Boots in North Street, Brighton, to mark their arrival on September 15.
Also toasting Harry’s arrival was theatrical group Worthing Edwardians who performed The Royal Birth Grand Celebration Variety Concert at Hove Town Hall.
ON THIS DAY
1567: Mary Queen of Scots abdicated.
1704: Admiral Sir George Rooke captured Gibraltar from the Spanish.
1908: Some 56 runners began the London Marathon from the east lawn of Windsor Castle. An extra 385 yards was added to the 26-mile course so that they finished in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium.
1980: Peter Sellers died in hospital, two days after suffering a heart attack attending a reunion lunch with fellow Goons Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe.
2010: Tributes flooded in from the snooker world for Alex “Hurricane” Higgins, who died after a battle with cancer, aged 61.
The Argus’ popular “Looking Back” feature has been compiled into an A4, soft back book which catalogues the events that have made their mark on the people of Sussex. The fascinating archive of “Looking Back” images dates back to the 1930s when The Argus first started to print photographs. The book costs £6.99 including postage and packing. To order please visit theargus.co.uk/store
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