Politician won't attend royal birth
Published 17/07/2013 | 05:00
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.
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."