Despite having welcomed four children into the world with her husband Prince Philip - King Charles III, Anne the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward - very few photos of a pregnant Queen Elizabeth II exist. And as for photos of the Queen with a visible baby bump? Forget about it.
But, it seems even more than fifty years on from her last pregnancy, royal enthusiasts are still just as curious about what the late Queen looked like when she was expecting – and a video compilation of photos, pulled together by the royal fan behind the @spencer.royal account on TikTok, has gone viral, amassing over 75,000 likes on the platform.
Uploaded with the caption 'Rare photos of Queen Elizabeth II pregnant' the video saw a great response from intrigued viewers, with one fellow social media user writing underneath: "It's mad I actually have never seen her pregnant all this time".
And there's a reason for that – whilst we may all be used to seeing more modern royals, such as Princess Diana, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton carrying out their duties whilst heavily pregnant, it was deemed to be unsightly back in the 1940s, 50s and 60s when the Queen was expecting.
It was even the case that Buckingham Palace would not officially announce that Her Majesty was pregnant, but rather would notify the public with a more vague statement about how the Queen was due to 'pause her undertaking of royal duties' for a time. This would then, of course, later be followed up by a birth announcement.
According to The New York Times, back in 1948 - when Her Majesty was expecting her first child, Charles - the Palace issued a notice saying, "Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth will undertake no public engagements after the end of June." The future King then made his entrance into the world five months down the line.
Given that this was the normal state of play back then, it's no surprise that the Queen did not pose with her newborns on the steps outside the Lindo Wing in London (her children were also all delivered in one of her private residences, as opposed to in a hospital), as has become a royal tradition upheld by Princess Diana, Sarah Duchess of York and Catherine, Princess of Wales.
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