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The New Royal Baby

A royal baby is born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To examine the family tree of the royal family and celebrate the new royal baby’s arrival.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (The New Royal Baby) and the means to display them.

Assembly

  1. Have Slide 1 showing as the students enter.

    Explain that you are going to show a series of eight pictures and you want the students to see whether they can identify the members of the royal family. Ask the students to raise their hands if they know who the person is.

    You may wish to take answers from the students or simply click each slide to reveal the correct answer.

  2. Show Slides 2-9.

    - Slide 2 shows Her Majesty The Queen.
    - Slide 3 shows HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
    - Slide 4 shows HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
    - Slide 5 shows HRH Prince George of Cambridge.
    - Slide 6 shows HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. (After revealing her name, click again to show the family group photo from which this image was taken. Here, we can also see her elder brother, Prince George; her younger brother, Prince Louis; her mum, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge; and her dad, HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.)
    - Slide 7 shows HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge. (The last slide may have given the students a clue with this one!)
    - Slide 8 shows HRH Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
    - Slide 9 shows baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor with his parents, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

  3. Point out that these photographs were shown in the order of the line of succession to the throne, which is the order in which members of the royal family would succeed to the throne if the reigning king or queen died.

    When someone who is in line for the throne has a child, that child comes after them and their older children, but before anyone else in the line of succession.

  4. Explain that you are going to show the pictures again as you consider the line of succession to the throne.

    Show Slide 10.

    Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch. She has been the Queen since her father, George VI, died in 1952.

    Show Slide 11.

    Prince Charles is next in line for the throne. As the eldest child of the Queen, he is the person who is expected to succeed her.

    Show Slide 12.

    Prince Charles has two children, the eldest of whom is Prince William. This means that Prince William is next in line for the throne, after his father.

    Show Slide 13.

    Prince Williams children are next in line for the throne, after their father. This makes William’s eldest child, George, third in line for the throne.

    Show Slide 14.

    Fourth in line to the throne is Princess Charlotte, William’s second child. In fact, Princess Charlotte made history. She was the first member of the royal family to be born after the law was changed to give females equal right to the throne. Before March 2015, Charlotte’s younger brother, Louis, would have taken fourth place in the line of succession to the throne because he was male. The change in the law meant that Charlotte would keep her place as fourth in line for the throne because she was born before Louis.

    Show Slide 15.

    So, that makes Prince Louis fifth in line for the throne.

    Show Slide 16.

    Prince Charles’ second child, Prince Harry, is next in line for the throne after his young niece and nephews.

    Show Slide 17.

    This means that Prince Harrys eldest child is now seventh in line for the throne. Before baby Archies birth, Prince Charles’ younger brother, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, had been seventh in line. However, any children born to Prince Harry will now take precedence over their uncle, Andrew.

  5. Explain that many in the country have been eagerly awaiting the birth of this new member of the royal family since the Duchess of Sussex’s pregnancy was announced on Twitter in October 2018. The tweet read: ‘Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.’

  6. Show Slide 18.

    This week we have seen images of jubilation and celebration among individuals and communities in the UK and further afield.

Time for reflection

Ask the students, ‘Why do we celebrate the birth of a new member of the royal family?’ Indeed, why do we celebrate any new birth?

The royal family symbolize a tradition of stability and leadership. The history of the British monarchy is complex, but for a very long time, there has been a ruler over large parts of what we now call the UK. A new member of this family is a cause for celebration and a chance to recall the many ruling monarchs and members of the royal family stretching back over centuries.

Most people in the UK are familiar with the royal family. The use of Twitter to announce a royal pregnancy and the media coverage of Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 mean that most of us recognize members of the royal family. Celebrating the birth of baby Archie enables us to connect with the royal family, who are also celebrating the babys safe arrival.

Of course, the birth of any baby is a special occasion and a cause to celebrate. A new life, a new opportunity, a unique individual created with a personality and talents. The birth of a baby is a sign of life and creativity.

For that reason, every year, we celebrate our birth, remembering our ‘birth day’. Our friends and family spoil us, sing ‘Happy birthday’ to us and give us cards and gifts as a way of saying, ‘Were glad youre here! Were glad you were born!’

So, today, along with many others across the world, we unite to say Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, were glad youre here!

Let us be still and bow our heads as we bring these thoughts in prayer.

Prayer
We pray for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they celebrate the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
We thank you for the babys safe arrival.
Please protect this family over the coming days, weeks and months as they get to know and love their baby.
We pray specifically for baby Archie. May he have a long, happy and healthy life.
May the talents that you have given him be used to benefit our world.
We pray, too, for the wider royal family who are celebrating the birth of Archie:
Fill them with joy and wonder over the babys birth.
We also call to mind the many people around the world who are uniting with the royal family to celebrate this joyous occasion.
Finally, we pray for new mums and dads everywhere – and for the precious gift of life that is their baby.
Help them, and us, to appreciate the gift of a new baby and the beautiful potential of all life.

Amen.

Publication date: April 2019   (Vol.21 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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