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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2015 Aug;191:57-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2015.05.012. Epub 2015 May 30.

Historic Royal events and the male to female ratio at birth in the United Kingdom.

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Department of Paediatrics, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta. Electronic address:



The male to female ratio of live births is expressed as the ratio of male live births divided by total live births (M/T). Factors which reduce M/T include toxins, stress and privation. Britain remains enamoured of the Monarchy. This study was carried out in order to ascertain whether Royal events influenced M/T in the UK.


Live births were analysed in relation to the birth of Prince Charles (1948), the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1952), the Silver Jubilee (1977), the wedding of Diana Spencer to Charles, Prince of Wales (July 1981), the birth of Prince William (1982), the death of Lady Diana (August 1997), the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William (2011) and the Golden Jubilee (2002).


This study analysed 29,293,240 live births. There was a significant dip in M/T in the Coronation year (p=0.03). M/T dipped significantly in relation to the Royal Wedding, commencing a year before (p<0.0001). There were no significant M/T changes in relation to the Silver and Golden Jubilees. The birth of Prince William in 1982 resulted in a rise in M/T in the following year only (p=0.016). Analysis by quarter in relation to Lady Diana's death showed a decline in M/T 4-5 months later in the first quarter of 1998 (p=0.046).


The anticipation and stress leading to the Coronation and Royal Wedding may have depressed M/T. Increased coital rates associated with exuberance in relation to Prince William's birth may have raised M/T. Lady Diana's death was temporally associated with a decline in M/T. Royalty events may affect M/T ratios in Britain.


Birth rate/*trends; Great Britain; Infant; Newborn; Sex ratio

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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