An academic paper on the history of the contemporary legend of a royal circumcision "tradition" has now been published by the journal SageOpen. The abstract reads as follows:
The full text of the paper is available here.The birth of Prince William’s son in July 2013 was the occasion for an outpouring of media speculation about the fate of the royal baby’s foreskin. The possibility that he might be circumcised was connected to a purported tradition of circumcision within the British royal family, said to be have been initiated either by Queen Victoria or by George I. In this article, we trace the origins and evolution of these stories and assess their validity. Our conclusion is that belief in a royal circumcision tradition derives from the reported circumcision of Prince Charles by the mohel Jacob Snowman in 1948, and the efforts of the British Israelite movement to concoct a “lost tribes of Israel” origin for the British race. These elements merged into a fully developed narrative that was widely disseminated from the late 1990s. The initially separate claim that the tradition was imported from Hanover by George I can be sourced precisely to 2012. We further show that these stories are inventions, and that the royal family circumcision tradition should be regarded as a classic instance of a contemporary legend or urban myth.