Bringing Up a Royal Baby: How Kate and Will's Child Will Be Different

Claudine Zap
·Claudine Zap

Even with the official news that the royal couple is expecting, Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, have already bucked some traditions: They waited almost a decade after meeting to marry and didn't announce a pregnancy within the first year of their union.

So how will this modern couple handle the traditions of the monarchy when it comes to their baby?

Royal expert Hugo Vickers says by email to Yahoo!, "Each generation of the Royal Family do things their way." Vickers suggests the couple will "veer to the informal and hands on approach," meaning "as few staff as possible."

Still, Vickers says he finds the pair "quite a traditional couple," pointing to their formal wedding as a prime example of how the two conduct themselves.

This is a family that changes slowly over time, but as royal historian Carolyn Harris notes, each generation of royal children may institute "change and modernization of royal traditions." She points to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, "the first royal couple to take their children on family vacations, visiting the seaside."

The birth of Prince Charles to Princess Elizabeth led to King George VI's abolishing the custom of the home secretary's presence "in the adjoining room for the births of direct heirs to the throne."

More recently, William was the first direct royal heir to be born in a hospital. Royal watchers expect his offspring to follow suit. The duchess had to be admitted to the hospital for acute morning sickness already, which forced the couple to announce her pregnancy earlier than the two would have liked.

Still, "Kate will definitely give birth in a hospital, certainly if she is still enduring complications such as this," royals consultant Victoria Arbiter told ABC News.

Arbiter added that she believes the couple will focus on bringing up baby as normally as possible, similar to the way Princess Diana raised William and Harry -- taking them out in the world to experience McDonald's and amusement parks.

She said, "I think William and Kate are really going to follow that model and do everything they can to ensure as normal a childhood as possible, while at the same time behind the scenes educating their child for their future role."

And will William, currently a Royal Air Force pilot, have a hands-on approach to parenting? A family friend thinks so, telling the Daily Mail, "I can see William wanting to take time off in the modern paternity-leave style, so that he bonds with his child."