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Are the royal prince’s circumcised?

This is an intriguing question that many may wonder about the private lives of the British royal family. While specific details are not publicly known, some reasonable assumptions can be made based on tradition, norms, and practical considerations.

Quick Answer

It is likely that Prince William, Prince Harry, and other recent royal babies were circumcised soon after birth. Circumcision has been an accepted practice in the British royal family for generations, in keeping with upper-class traditions and recommendations from royal physicians. However, as views on circumcision change, it is possible that new royal parents may make different choices.

Tradition of Circumcision for Royals

Circumcision has been documented among British royals for centuries, at least as far back as the 1500s. While no official protocol demands it, the practice has persisted as a long-held tradition. Here are some examples throughout history:

  • Edward VI (ruled 1547-1553) was circumcised as an infant.
  • In the Victorian era (1837-1901), circumcision was promoted in England as morally and medically beneficial.
  • Queen Victoria (ruled 1837-1901) had her sons circumcised to avoid masturbation, thinking it unhealthy.
  • Accounts from royal nannies and physicians indicate Prince Charles (b. 1948) was likely circumcised.

This tradition continued into the late 20th century. Princess Diana (mother of William and Harry) reportedly told friends that both boys were circumcised around one week after their births in the 1980s, following family custom.

Medical Preferences of Royal Doctors

In addition to tradition, recommendations from royal doctors have impacted circumcision decisions. In the early 1900s, circumcision became popular in Britain due to health theories of the time, many of which have since been medically disproven. However, these views influenced royal physicians:

  • Royal obstetricians believed circumcision prevented health issues like epilepsy, paralysis, malnutrition, and tuberculosis.
  • Royal pediatricians endorsed circumcision to inhibit masturbation, thought to cause insanity and other problems.
  • Doctors advised the royal family that circumcision was more hygienic and socially acceptable among the aristocracy.

With each successive generation, royal parents have relied on the medical advice of prestigious royal doctors who promoted circumcision as beneficial. This impacted decisions made about princes’ circumcisions over the past century.

Norms Within the Royal Family’s Social Class

Circumcision was also the social norm among upper classes in England throughout much of the 20th century. It took on an air of elitism and privilege, as described by historians:

  • Aristocratic families readily adopted the practice due to royal endorsement and medical theories.
  • Wealth enabled access to circumcision when cost was a barrier for lower classes.
  • Boarding schools mandated prepubescent circumcision for nobility/gentry sons.
  • As a result, circumcision status marked social status and acceptance among elites.

Conforming to upper-class peer conventions likely influenced royal parents over generations. The royal princes would have been circumcised to align with expectations for their class and culture.

Practical Reasons Within the Royal Lifestyle

Logistical aspects of royal life may have also motivated circumcision decisions historically:

  • Royal children often had medical needs managed by specialized royal doctors and nurses. Circumcision could easily be incorporated soon after birth.
  • As heads of the Church of England, producing heirs was a high priority, so reproductive health was paramount.
  • For generations, nannies bathed and dressed royal babies. Hygiene and aesthetics may have been considerations.

These practical reasons within the context of royal culture and lifestyle help explain the persistence of circumcision through many generations.

Changing Views on Circumcision

While circumcision was the norm for royal babies in the past, views slowly began changing in Britain by the late 1900s. Here are some factors that impacted circumcision rates:

  • Declining religious imperative after WWII and lower church attendance.
  • Increased immigration from non-circumcising cultures.
  • 1950s studies showing circumcision had limited medical benefits.
  • 1990s pediatric guidelines saying circumcision should not be routine.
  • Legal rulings in 2000s finding children have rights to bodily integrity.

As national circumcision rates fell below 20%, it became less assumed that all upper-class boys would be circumcised. Most recent estimates report only about 9-10% of boys born in the UK are now circumcised.

William and Harry’s Sons

In this cultural context, it is unclear if Prince William and Prince Harry chose to circumcise their sons. The new royal fathers may have felt less bound by tradition and more influenced by current norms and medical opinions. Their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle may have also contributed to the decision.

While royal tradition makes circumcision likely, it is also possible that these royal babies remain intact, as the tide of public opinion changed. Without direct confirmation from the palace, the circumcision status of royal princes born after 2000 can only be speculated.


In summary, circumcision was historically common for British royals like Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry due to tradition, upper-class norms, and recommendations from royal physicians over the past centuries. However, as views evolved in the late 20th century, new royal parents may be less compelled to follow this precedent rigidly. Without official public statements, whether recent royal babies are circumcised remains privy only to the royal family.