Without realising it, the Duchess made history by choosing her parents' home of 17 Bruton Street to have her first baby. As a result, Elizabeth II is the only British monarch ever born in a house with an ordinary door number. An "evil April drizzle" fell on April 20, 1926, during the long and difficult birth. Elizabeth II was born at 2.40am the following morning. The King and Queen were woken an hour later. "Such a relief and joy," wrote Mary in her diary. Visitors enthused about the baby's "large dark-lashed blue eyes" and "tiny ears set close to a well-shaped head." Queen Mary, peering into the cot, declared: "I wish you were more like your little mother."

The Duchess of York plumped for her family's ancient Scottish seat of Glamis Castle for the birth of her and the Duke's second child - which coincided with a terrific late-summer thunderstorm. The Duchess submitted the names Ann Margaret to the King for approval, saying: "Ann of York sounds pretty and Elizabeth and Ann go so well together." For once, the King turned her down. The disappointed Yorks settled on Margaret Rose. "I hope you that you like it," wrote the Duchess, respectfully but firmly.
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