When pop queen Beyoncé announced in February 2017 that she was pregnant with twins, she damn near broke the internet. Fans of the pop star and her husband Jay-Z went wild with speculation. Fast-forward a few months, and the babies eventually arrived.
But the rumors and speculation surrounding them didn’t die down one bit. Every new thing that was revealed about the tiny twins only sent people further into a frenzy. Let’s take at a look at the two little superstars and how many waves they’ve already made by just entering the world.
Beyoncé’s road to motherhood wasn’t an easy one, sadly. After marrying fellow musician Jay-Z in 2008, she started trying to get pregnant, but a few years later she suffered a miscarriage. She kept it quiet and didn’t speak much about it in public. She did, however, describe it as “the saddest thing I’ve ever been through” in a documentary which aired in 2013. Luckily, better things were to come.
In August 2011 Beyoncé announced – live on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards no less – that she was pregnant. It was a huge piece of news, and Beyoncé’s revelation was seen by some 12 million people. The announcement even claimed a Guinness World Record for “most tweets per second recorded for a single event.” And when her daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born in January 2012 it was no less of an event.
Blue Ivy Carter enjoyed her early years as one of the most famous children on the planet. Before she was even old enough to know what a camera was, she was a tiny celebrity. But her parents did a good job of protecting her from the dark side of showbiz, and she grew up to be an adorable little girl. And of course, some five years later she found out that she was going to be a big sister to two little siblings.
For the announcement of her second pregnancy, Beyoncé chose another public venue. This time it was Instagram. Underneath a professional photograph of herself holding her belly, Beyoncé wrote on the social media site, “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes.”
Everybody was thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that within just seven hours it had become Instagram’s all-time most liked post. The twins were some of the most famous people in the world, and they hadn’t even been born yet. As Beyoncé continued working – she performed at the Grammy Awards a few weeks later with Blue Ivy seated in the front row – people traded theories about the twins’ names and genders.
Some people thought that they could guess the genders based on the colors that Beyoncé was wearing in her announcement photo. “[Beyoncé’s] pregnancy photo shows a pink ribbon on her bra and blue underwear… is that hinting that she is having a boy and a girl?” one commenter asked on Twitter, alongside a slew of similar questions. But whatever Beyoncé herself knew about the details of her babies, she was keeping it very quiet.
At the end of February there came a minor bump in the road – although it was nothing that fans couldn’t have guessed might happen. Beyoncé had been all set to headline 2017’s Coachella festival, but the pregnancy led her to pull out. “Following the advice of her doctors to keep a less rigorous schedule in the coming months, Beyoncé has made the decision to forgo performing at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival,” the festival’s organizers explained in a statement.
But her fans were understanding, and Beyoncé focused her attention on keeping herself and her babies healthy. She still made public appearances, though, and people noticed with delight that her baby bump seemed to be getting bigger every day. In March she appeared at an event wearing the same earrings that she had worn in her music video for “If I Was A Boy,” causing some to speculate that she was indicating that the babies were boys.
As the due date drew ever nearer, the media got more and more excited. Then, after May 30, Beyoncé suddenly disappeared from Instagram, a sure sign that something was going on. But because of the family’s skill in keeping their private affairs private, no-one was entirely sure if the twins had been born or if something else had happened. But by mid-June, tweets and messages from family members made it clear that the twins had entered the world.
However, the Carters didn’t do the usual celebrity thing of immediately announcing the names and genders of their babies. Instead, the proud parents simply welcomed their new children and continued with their family life. Rumors spread across the internet as to why there was no information about the kids. Celebrity website TMZ reported that “according to sources connected with the family” the babies had been born prematurely and were suffering from jaundice.
But if that was the case, the Carters said nothing about it to the press. Indeed, they waited a whole month before releasing any information. In the meantime, they allowed only friends and family into their home to see the children. However, details were getting out anyway, it seemed. On 1 July, a rumor spread that the celebrities had actually trademarked the names of their children – and they were calling them Rumi Carter and Sir Carter.
When the Carters thought it was time for their official announcement, they did it in the same extravagant style with which they had released the initial pregnancy pictures. Beyoncé got dressed up in a similar outfit, posed with the two new babies, and posted the picture to Instagram. She also confirmed the children’s names. “Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today,” she wrote.
Fans were thrilled, but it’s fair to say they were also a little confused. YouTuber Kingsley noted, “Beyoncé wrote ‘Sir Carter and Rumi’ not ‘Sir and Rumi Carter’ so is Rumi not a Carter or is Sir Carter Sir Carter Carter?” Others wondered if the twins would end up taking their mother’s last name or if perhaps just Rumi would – or if the already-famous pair would actually need last names at all.
A few other people wondered whether Rumi was actually a boy or a girl. Beyoncé had used a pair of baby emojis in her birth announcement, but the emojis had no gender characteristics. Luckily, someone eventually turned up to set everybody straight. And that person was definitely somebody who should know – it was Tina Knowles, Beyoncé’s mother and the grandmother of the twins.
“So happy my baby shared a photo of her babies with the world. Proud grandma,” she wrote on Instagram. “Hello, Sir Carter and Rumi Carter. Boy and girl what a blessing.” That was the genders and the names confirmed, then. But what did the names actually mean, and how had Beyoncé and Jay-Z come to pick them? Tina Knowles knew the meaning behind Rumi’s name and was happy to explain.
On 17 July Tina posted several lines of poetry by a 13th century writer, focused on the theme of love. It turned out that the poet’s name was… Rumi. “Love number three. Sometimes we are the reason we can’t find love!! We have to work on ourselves first to be whole,” she wrote beside the image. So Beyoncé – who has always been a lover of poetry – had named her daughter after the poet.
But what about Sir? The media decided to try and find out for themselves – and Harper’s Bazaar got in touch with Richard Coates, a linguistics professor. “Sir is a word introduced as a title of honor by the Norman rulers in the 11th or 12th century,” he told them. “It originally just meant ‘Lord’ – not royal, just aristocratic or a sign of the king’s favor.”
People have also pointed out that’s it a current trend to give babies a first name that would once have been a title. For example, Blac Chyna and Tyga named their son King, while Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their youngest child Saint. And “Sir” is now a name that will likely be seen on hundreds of children’s birth certificates. After all, once a celebrity uses a baby name, it shoots up in popularity.
Within weeks of their birth, the twins had already had thousands of headlines devoted to them. Beyoncé and Jay-Z have already proved themselves to be good parents with the way that they’ve raised Blue Ivy and kept her out of the media glare, so there’s surely nothing but promise ahead for Rumi and Sir as well.