BBC Home
Explore the BBC
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1982: Remember the day a prince was born?
Princess Diana gave birth to her first son, Prince William, second in line to the throne back in 1982.

He was the first heir to the British throne to be born in a hospital.

Diana had a long labour - 16 hours - but the baby prince was safely delivered at 2103 BST, weighing 7lb 1oz (2.65 kg).

Crowds gathered outside St Mary's Hospital in London to get a glimpse of the royal newborn. And thousands more went to Buckingham Palace to hear the announcement that Prince William was born.

Your memories of Prince William's birth:

I was also born on 21st of June 1982. I was the only [baby in] Devon born within the hour.

My mother was presented with a christening gown from Boots Ltd to commemorate the birth of Prince William.
Samantha Place, UK

I remember being six months' pregnant and watching the football world cup with my husband when the news of Prince William's arrival was flashed on the bottom of the screen.

I was thrilled to hear the news. However, my husband was most upset as he could not see the action on the pitch - he said the news could have waited till the game was over.
Coral, USA expat

I was aged eight and we were all assembled in the school hall to be told the news and to celebrate the birth. Our headmaster stood proudly at his lectern and announced that "a very special baby boy" had been born in London.

He explained that this baby boy was different to other baby boys because he had been born to rule over us. He was a Prince and one day, when we were all grown up, he was going to be our King.

As children we were all sort of mystified and fascinated by the idea that we had a Prince. I remember wanting to know why there was a Prince and what it was that made him so different and better than other children.

I couldn't fully understand why all the grown-ups wanted us to celebrate his birth. To a boy of eight it was like being made to worship him! It seemed so irrational and illogical. Yet at the same time it somehow made sense and struck a chord.

At the end of the afternoon our headmaster said we were all going to sing "God Save The Queen".

As I sang I became aware of this quite magical feeling deep down inside. A profound feeling of duty, loyalty and protectiveness towards the baby Prince. This real sense that I loved him as if he were my own younger brother.

At that moment I slowly began to realise that I was a monarchist too.
Neil Welton, United Kingdom

21 June 1982 was really special to us, especially to me, because that was the day I had a little brother. My brother Lionel was born exactly the same time as Prince William, even to the minute! Many in the family even wanted him to be named William.

Later, as he grew up, we used to tease him that God had send two boys to the earth on the same day, one to be the king and the other to cancel out his grandeur and be a commoner - that put Lionel in his place often when he bragged about sharing his birthday with the handsome prince!

We still remember the prince when we celebrate Lionel's birthday at home.
Linda George, Dubai, UAE

I was also born on this day, within an hour of Prince William. I was featured in the newspapers alongside him.
Trula, England

My son was not due until the first week of July 1982, hence I had never thought that Princess Diana and I would deliver babies on the same day. But in the early hours of the day my contractions started and Neal was born at 0750.

Exhausted and overwhelmed I was completely oblivious to everything during the day until the reporters came to interview me and take mine and Neal's photograph because Neal shared the same birthday as Prince William. It was a double celebration for us!
Neelam Aggarwal, England

I was in London at the time and I worked late on the 21st. The 22nd was a gloriously sunny day so I walked from my home in Paddington, past St Mary's hospital, to my workplace in Waterloo.

On the way I passed the palace. There was a small sign outside the main gate announcing the birth of a son to the Prince and Princess of Wales, so that was how I first heard.
Dale, Australia

I remember being 11 years old at summer camp, and I had a British camp counsellor. All the counsellors had an alias, and she called herself "PB" - short for "Princess Bill".

He has grown into such a fine young man, his mum would have been so proud.
Nancy Roberts, Los Angeles, USA

21 June 1982 was a very special day for me - not only was it the birth of Prince William, it was also the day I took my last 'O' Level exam and it was my 16th birthday. Celebrations all round.
Debbie, US

It was the World Cup in Spain at the time and I was in Bilbao. The local newspaper was running a front page news digest in English for the benefit of visitors. On the morning after the birth the triumphant headline was: "It has been a child!" One had to read a good bit further down the article to discover that it had in fact been a boy!
David Kimmins, UK

We remember the day very well. It was my wife Lin's 21st birthday and we were celebrating with a family meal at the Windbound Inn on the banks of the River Severn. We were enjoying our desert when the waitress came in and announced that Princess Diana had given birth to a baby Prince.

We not only toasted Lin's 21st but also the birth of a future King.
Richard Lewis, UK

I was on board a British Airways Tristar heading from Manchester to Orlando in Florida. I am a real space nut and was off to Cape Canaveral to see the launch of the fourth and final test flight of the shuttle on 27 June 1982.

I had written to NASA and they had invited me to view the launch as their guest. Our plane touched down at Orlando at 1740 local time on 21 June.

The captain made an announcement to all the passengers that it had just been announced that the Princess of Wales had given birth to a son. Spontaneously all the passengers cheered and erupted into a round of applause.
Richard Hearn, England

 E-mail this story to a friend

Prince Diana and Prince Charles at St Mary's Hospital with Prince William
Prince Diana and Prince Charles emerge from St Mary's Hospital with their baby

Princess Diana and Prince William watch Wimbledon in 1994
Prince William, aged 12, watches tennis at Wimbledon with his mother in 1994
Prince Diana and Prince Charles at St Mary's Hospital with Prince William

Witness Stories

Search ON THIS DAY by date

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy