Europe

Friday 1 August 2014

Politician won't attend royal birth

Jamie Grierson

Published 17/07/2013|04:00

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BRITAIN'S home secretary Theresa May has said she will not be present at the birth of a baby to Kate Middleton – as a centuries-old custom for the home secretary to attend royal births no longer exists.

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The Home Affairs Select Committee of the British Parliament heard that it was once customary for home secretaries to attend royal births to ensure that it was genuine and that a child had not been smuggled in.

The queen is understood to be the last monarch to be brought into the world in front of a home secretary.

Michael Ellis MP asked Mrs May: "Until relatively recently there was a convention that home secretaries attended royal births. Do you have any plans to visit the Lindo wing any time soon, following this convention?" He added: "I'm being mischievous."

Mrs May replied: "In fact, it is no longer the case that the home secretary is required to attend but I suspect Mr Ellis, with your royal connections, you might have more information about these things than I do."

Asked why the home secretary had once been required to attend, Mrs May said: "It goes back many centuries – the home secretary had to be there to evidence that it was genuinely a royal birth."

Irish Independent

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