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Royal Baby Flashback: LIFE’s 1982 Profile of Princess Diana’s Pregnancy With Prince William

With Kate Middleton weeks from delivering, it seems like the whole world has got Royal Baby Fever. From the supermarket checkout line, to just about every website I navigate to, to even my personal email inbox, everywhere I look there are countdowns until the day the Duchess gives birth and what to expect when she does (I swear I didn’t sign up for a single one of those emails — they just started happening).

So it felt kind of like kismet when I unearthed this thirty one year old edition of LIFE Magazine during my yard sale last weekend and noticed the headline across the top: PRINCESS DI’S ROYAL PREGNANCY. Could it be that I had just stumbled across this timely bit of ephemera from the gestation of the man who most likely one day will be King? Indeed it could, because indeed I did. I knew my hoarding would one day pay off in some small fashion. CARPE DIEM.

All that in mind, I thought you might take a stroll down memory lane together and compare and contrast theRoyal Baby Watch of 1982 to the Royal Baby Watch 2013. Fun, right?

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  • LIFE Magazine, May 1982 1 of 11
    LIFE Magazine, May 1982

    One month before William was to be born, Life Magazine ran an article outlining the much more public royal pregnancy of Princess Diana by comparison to that of Queen Elizabeth before her.

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • "How Fares The Royal Bump?" 2 of 11
    image-10

    Who knew the term "bump" was en vogue in good old 1982.

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • Growing Humans Is Exhausting, Even For Princesses 3 of 11
    Growing Humans Is Exhausting, Even For Princesses

    Fun Fact! Princess Diana's first pregnancy was announced after she fell asleep during a public appearance.

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • Who Spilled The Beans? 4 of 11
    Who Spilled The Beans?

    Like her late Mother-In-Law, Kate's pregnancy was confirmed before the royal family had planned when the mum-to-be was hospitalized for Hyperemesis Gravidarum -- a severe, sometimes life-threatening form of morning sickness.

     

    [image via Star Magazine]

  • Bikini Baby 5 of 11
    Bikini Baby

    In the early 80's the Royal Family was reportedly horrified when pictures of Diana vacationing in a bikini surfaced early in her pregnancy.

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • Privacy? What Privacy? 6 of 11
    Privacy? What Privacy?

    The Duchess of Cambridge has had her bare bump plastered across super market tabloids the world over.

     

    [image via Star Magazine]

  • Steppin’ Out 7 of 11
    Steppin' Out

    The magazine quotes one of Diana's Designers, Bruce Oldfield, as remarking "The bump I was trying to hide could be the future King of England. We should be proud of him and celebrate his arrival."

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • Maternity Chic 8 of 11
    kate-middleton-8

    Kate seems to have followed in Diana's footsteps, employing an impressive variety of chic dresses and coats to cloak her growing bump.

     

    [image via People]

  • Birth Announcement Fit For A King 9 of 11
    Birth Announcement Fit For A King

    When Prince Charles was born, according to LIFE "a blue liveried footman emerged from the palace, crossed the graveled forecourt and whispered into the ear of a policeman holding back the crowds. The police officer shouted "It's a boy!" [and] the refrain echoed throughout the nation." When William was born, the news was posted on an easel at the Hospital before the news went out via satellite. According to People.com, Kate and William will announce their baby's arrival in similar fashion, using the same easel to post an official notice before sharing the news digitally.

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

  • Britain’s Top Trend Setter 10 of 11
    mag

    When Diana's pregnancy was announced, LIFE reported that as Britain's greatest trend setter one gynecologist was warning against women wanting babies "to boast 'Oh my baby's just the same age as Princess Di's."

     

    If that's the case, expect a spike in the popularity of Hypnobirthing, which is included in the Duchess's reported birth plan.

     

    [image via In Touch]

  • Grandmother Di 11 of 11
    Grandmother Di

    You can't take a trip down memory lane like this without wishing the late great Princess of Wales was here to see her first grandchild enter the world.

     

    All the best to William and Kate on the impending birth of their baby!

     

    [Image of LIFE Magazine by Author]

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