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Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Royal Pregnancies

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24. Princess Charlotte's Death Popularized Forceps
Forceps were invented during the 1600s, during a time when stillbirths and mortality during childbirth were common. While forceps were always highly controversial, they began to gain public favor when Princess Charlotte of Wales died during childbirth in 1817. She was the heir to the British throne, and was loved by her country people mainly because her father, the reigning king, was so hated.

But her labor was difficult and long, and she eventually gave birth to a stillborn son before dying herself two days later. The nation was devastated, and during its grief placed the blame for the Princess’s untimely death on the doctor and his decision to forgo the use of forceps. After that, public opinion on forceps changed and they slowly became more common.