opinion

Will Prince George be circumcised?

As we await Prince George's christening - it's predicted to be in late September or October - speculation is mounting as to whether the royal baby will be circumcised before the ceremony.

In fact, the debate kicked off before he was even born when Jennifer Lipman, comment editor of London's Jewish Chronicle, wrote that it was historically a royal tradition.

Queen Victoria believed she was a descendent of King David, and decreed that all male royals should be circumcised as a result. So, starting with King Edward VII, they were.

Prince Charles was circumcised by a rabbi, who performed the procedure at Buckingham Palace in 1948, five days after his christening. However, Prince William and Prince Harry broke with tradition and were not circumcised after Princess Diana forbid it.

Kensington And Chelsea Review editor Coco Khan and pediatrician Dr Harvey Karp (author of the Happiest Baby books) discussed the topic with Huffington Post and concluded: "It's very unlikely we're going to be seeing [circumcision] this time around."

However, Dr Karp noted: "There have been studies that show that the foreskin can trap viruses, fungus and bacteria underneath it ... [and] that predisposes babies to urinary tract infections and to infections of the head of the penis itself."

Khan added that if Prince George was circumcised and the decision was made public, it could to spark a fad: "Everybody's going to be calling it the Prince George."

The World Health Organisation in 2007 estimated that around 30 per cent of males aged 15 and over are circumcised around the world, with almost 70 per cent of these being Muslim.

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