For as long as it's been in existence, the royal world has been special, elevated above the mediocrity of regular life and filled with the pleasures and privileges of divine power and influence. And even though the practical function of the monarchy has become mostly symbolic, the public fascination with its office certainly has not. So, for example, when Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to the newest members of the English monarchy, public curiosity about her experience was boundless. But alas, the details were not so thrilling, as she and William apparently greeted their precious new bundles much like any average citizen – in the privacy of a clean and well-lit room with just a few medical attendants nearby.
And so it seems the royal rituals for labor nowadays are a far cry from the darkened, smoky bedrooms of the past, when the birth of a monarch was steeped in endless tradition, superstition, and more than a little fear. The age-old practice of bringing life into the world has always varied widely between cultures, but when it came to the secrets of the royal bedchamber, there were none quite as strange and disturbing as those created for new mothers.