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Prince George: All you need to know

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014
Prince George
Getty
HAPPY FAMILY: Prince George was christened in October 2013.

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Born 22 July, 2013, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London. 8 pounds, 6 ounces (3.8 kilograms) – Prince George was the heaviest British royal baby in a century. All fingers and toes accounted for. He was born into a period of change for the royal family, who are abandoning their traditions.

His birth did not go unnoticed – news teams spent the better part of a month camped outside the hospital, feeding coverage to the millions of people waiting for the announcement.

George was the first child whose gender was irrelevant to the line of succession: a Princess Georgina would still have been third in line for the throne.

His was the first royal birth to be announced via press release. Over the week he was born, more than 6 million tweets were recorded using George's "royal baby'' hashtag.

There is no doubt the "royal baby'' phenomenon was a saga for the digital age, as a social media tsunami cleared his path into the world.

When he finally did arrive, not all dusty old traditions were abandoned. A traditional 21-gun salute was clearly not sufficient for such an occasion: 41 extra guns were brought in, so he was honoured with a rare 62-gun salute, reserved for royal occasions.

The famous easel, where official details of a royal birth are placed for onlookers, also made its triumphant return.

His legal name, according to the birth certificate, is His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. The woman who filled in the details received death threats due to her poor handwriting.

As with many members of the royal family, George doesn't technically have a surname. He may later call himself George Cambridge for the sake of convenience (in the spirit of his father, who is sometimes called William Wales), but his official name may become longer if he absorbs further titles.

George's birthday is notable in the field of astrology. He is a "cusp baby", meaning he straddles the line between two consecutive signs of the zodiac. Even though he was born a Cancer, he would have been a Leo if he'd been born 30 minutes later.

Astrologers consider this a symbol of good luck: he will, ideally, embody the best traits of both signs.

A couple of days after he was born, George was introduced to the Queen, his great-grandmother.

He was the second future monarch to meet one of his great-grandparents – the other time was more then a 100 years ago, during the reign of Queen Victoria.

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If he, his father and his grandfather inherit the longevity of the Queen (who turns 88 this year, and having ruled for more than 60 years), George will be king around the turn of the century, when he's in his late 80s.

Though he was born into considerable wealth, Prince George is not the only one to profit from his own birth.

Estimates suggest his existence has doubled as a $460 million stimulus package for the British economy, with the tourism and baby paraphernalia industries in particular reaping the rewards.

It was also revealed George's birth had filled the pockets of British bookmakers. The betting pools were opened in the months prior to his birth, and the response from gamblers was feverish. Bookies took in more than $3m as George became the subject of one of the biggest non-sport betting pools in history. Though many punters lost out when his sex was announced (most were predicting a girl), the name George was an early favourite, with contenders such as Chardonnay and Hashtag.

His home life seems harmonious, by all accounts. A family portrait shows him gazing adoringly into the eyes of the family dog, Lupo, in his parent's palace in Kensington.

His newly acquired nanny, Spaniard Maria Borrallo, will likely indulge him with cuisine such as paella and gazpacho, said to be her favourites. She graduated from the prestigious nanny institute Norland College, making her one of Britain's elite child carers.

She will join the family on their trip.

When George arrives on New Zealand soil, he will be one-upping his father: He will be 8 months old, whereas William was 9 months old during his historic trip in 1983.

George reportedly chose to start crawling while his parents were on holiday last month, opening the slight possibility he could take his first steps on New Zealand soil.

If he did, he would quite literally be following in his father's footsteps, who walked for the first time during his first visit to New Zealand.


- Stuff

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