With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex expecting their first child any day now, the world has a lot of questions about what the royal child’s first and following days will be like.
Here’s a round-up of what we know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s kid — and what we can only speculate on, based on past precedent within the British royal family, including what we saw with the soon-to-arrive baby’s first cousins: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Where Will Meghan Deliver?
While members of the British royal family — including Princess Diana and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge — have delivered at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, no one is sure where Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, will give birth. It’s likely she’ll choose a hospital closer to the couple’s new home in Windsor, and rumors have it a home birth has been considered.
The Baby Might Wear A Shawl From A Famous Clothing Company
When “Baby Sussex” does come into the world, he or she might appear wrapped up in a lacy, merino-wool shawl from G.H. Hurt & Sons. The royal family has turned to the company for hand-finished royal baby blankets since Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles in 1948. Princess Diana used the blanket for her children, as did Prince William and Duchess Catherine. The shawls retail from $79.
The Press May Not Get A Front Steps Photo Op
It’s also not clear if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will opt for a public debut of their newborn shortly after he or she arrives, as many other British royals have done in recent years. Since the location of the hospital (or even home birth site) is currently unknown, the duo may decide against allowing media to see the baby revealed live in the days following the birth. Hello! Canada reports that the duo may consider releasing an official picture instead.
An Instagram Announcement?
Harry and Markle recently created their own Instagram account at @sussexroyal. It’s a safe bet to say they will announce the birth of their firstborn on the social media site soon after he or she arrives. The very first post says the Instagram account will feature the Duke and Duchess’ work, their favorite causes, key issues and “important announcements.” We think a royal birth qualifies!
The Official Public Announcement
The standard protocol after a royal birth is that the reigning monarch is first notified. That means Queen Elizabeth II will be one of the first to know about her great-grandson or great-granddaughter’s birth. Other family members will also likely be given the news quickly. Next, an online or social media announcement is likely to beat the official public posting of the birth.
But the official announcement is always customarily done through a framed letter on an easel placed in front of Buckingham Palace for the public to see. It lists the time of birth and the gender of the new royal, with signed certification by the baby’s attending doctors.
The royal baby will also get a gun salute.
The Baby Will Come Home To Frogmore Cottage
Markle and Prince Harry have opted to set up their household at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, as pictured here in 1872. Their wedding was held in Windsor, so the place likely holds a special place in their hearts.
However, Frogmore Cottage required extensive renovations before the royal couple could move in. The work was only recently finished, just in time for the royal baby’s birth. Reports say the cottage has been outfitted with a gender-neutral nursery, a gym/yoga studio, a security system, and many more special touches and creature comforts for the young family.
Speculation Abounds On Baby’s Name
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What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child. In lieu of sending gifts, the couple have long planned to encourage members of the public to make donations to select charities for children and parents in need. If you already made a donation, the couple send you their greatest thanks. If you are thinking about it, they ask that you kindly consider the following organisations they’ve selected, which we will highlight here over the next few days: @thelunchboxfund @littlevillagehq @wellchild @baby2baby The Duke and Duchess remain appreciative for your warm wishes and kindness during this especially happy time in their lives! Thank you for sharing the love ❤️
Bets are being made on what the royal baby’s name will be.
Back in 2015, Markle told Hello! Canada that she had a Cartier watch enscribed “To M.M. From M.M.” and planned to give it to her daughter someday. Which makes one wonder if an “M” name is in the running for the royal baby if it’s a girl. Mary, perhaps?
Prince William and Duchess Catherine didn’t immediately announce the names of their three children after they were born. The public revelation of their chosen names came a few days later. Could this be something the Duke and Duchess will release through their Instagram account?
What About Baby’s Title?
While Prince Harry may be a prince, it’s not certain his child will become a little prince or princess in title. Queen Elizabeth II gave a dispensation to have Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s children granted prince and princess titles, but Markle and Prince Harry’s child may end up being either a Lady or an Earl. Still, the queen could decide to honor her new grandchild with a different title.
Meghan’s Mom Will Be There to Help
Doria Ragland reportedly has her own spare room set up at Prince Harry and Markle’s new digs at Frogmore Cottage. The pair plan to have Markle’s mother help with childcare early on in the baby’s life. Some even think Ragland will move from the U.S. to England permanently, although many reports have her returning to Los Angeles to continue her yoga business instead.
Will Meghan’s Dad Meet the Baby?
Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, is estranged from his daughter. He did not come to her wedding and has said some mixed things in the press about her and the royal family. However, some speculate that father and daughter may reconcile after the baby is born.
Will Prince Harry Take Paternity Leave?
Per Britain’s national guidelines, fathers are usually entitled to one or two weeks of paternity leave after the birth of a child. Royal dads, too, customarily take two weeks off. Prince William took several weeks of leave after the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte but only three days off after Prince Louis’ birth.
That said, most do expect Prince Harry to take some paternity leave after his firstborn’s arrival.
They’ll Both Be Pretty Tired
Prince William showed he was experiencing the lack of sleep that follows a new child’s arrival when he appeared to be struggling to stay awake at Anzac Day Services in April 2018, just a few days after the birth of his third child, Prince Louis.
It’s safe to say that both Prince Harry and Markle aren’t going to be getting the best sleep after their firstborn is here. Harry even asked a mom of a baby at a recent public event how the baby was sleeping, which means he’s already thinking of those long nights up with an infant!
There Will Be A Christening
Baby Sussex will most certainly be christened into the Church of England a few months after he or she is born. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Church of England, and her family members in the line of royal succession to the throne must also be members of the faith. Markle herself joined the church before marrying Prince Harry in 2018.
The baby is likely to wear the same christening gown that all of Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s children have worn. Other royal babies have sported it for their christenings, too. The gown is a replica of an original that dates back to the christening of Queen Victoria’s first child in 1841 and was ultimately retired in 2004.
He Or She Will Have Multiple Godparents
Royal babies often have multiple godparents. Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s three children each had between five and seven godparents.
It’s a safe bet that Meghan Markle’s good friend Jessica Mulroney will be picked as one of the godmothers. Mulroney sat in the front row at Harry and Meghan’s wedding and her three children were in the wedding party.
Eventually, The Little Royal Will Get A Nanny
While Markle and Prince Harry may want to be hands-on parents, eventually they’ll need professional help due to the large number of public responsibilities they have as members of the royal family. Prince William and Duchess Catherine chose their nanny from a professional nanny school that teaches everything from traditional child-rearing to defense techniques. She has now cared for all three of the couple’s children.
Baby’s First Portraits
Prince William and Kate Middleton have released official photos of all of their children at home as babies. After Prince George was born, for example, Middleton’s father took some photos of the baby and his parents relaxing at their Berkshire residence (one of them is seen here). More formal portraits are also unveiled for the kids, usually tied to their birthdays. Prince Harry and Markle are likely to do something similar. Maybe they will even ask Duchess Catherine, who is a skilled photographer, to do the portraits.
The Family Dogs Will Have To Adjust
Meghan Markle had two rescue dogs before she moved to England. One of them, Bogart, a labrador/shepherd mix, was too old to make the move and was left with Markle’s friends. Markle’s other dog, a beagle named Guy, did move with his owner. Markle and Harry have also adopted a female dog, though exact details about that dog’s name and breed have not been released. No matter what, both pups will have to adjust to sharing Mom and Dad with a new human baby.
Will They Throw A Party?
Middleton and Prince William had the medical and hospital workers who helped deliver Prince George and Princess Charlotte come to a garden party as a way of thanking them. Meghan and Harry might similarly thank those that helped them in the wake of their child’s birth. After all, delivering a royal baby requires a team of dedicated professionals to make certain sacrifices in terms of privacy and lifestyle.
What Will The Royal Child Call Queen Elizabeth II?
Queen Elizabeth II may be the monarch of Great Britain, but she’s also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. So what do her grandkids and great-grandkids call her? Duchess Catherine has said that Prince George calls the queen Gan Gan. Baby Sussex may follow in that nickname tradition — or perhaps he’ll come up with an adorable moniker of his own.
The Baby Will Be An American Citizen At Birth
While Baby Sussex will be a British royal, Markle’s firstborn will automatically qualify as an American citizen at birth because the child’s American mom hasn’t yet become a British citizen. Whether he or she eventually renounces that citizenship remains to be seen. For tax reasons, however, it may be smart for both Markle and the baby to relinquish their identities as U.S. citizens.
First Overseas Trip
Royal children have gone on overseas trips at relatively young ages in recent years. Prince George accompanied his parents to New Zealand and Australia when he was less than a year old, and Princess Charlotte was still toddling when she went to Canada with her big brother and mom and dad. Given Markle and Prince Harry’s numerous responsibilities and ties in other countries, it’s possible this baby will also become a jet-setter at an early stage.
This Will Be a Fashionably Dressed Child
It’s safe to say Markle and Harry’s child will have quite the wardrobe of fashionable children’s wear. When the mom-to-be was in New York City in March for her baby shower, she was spotted shopping at the upscale baby boutique Bonpoint. You can see some of the label’s clothes below.
Baby As Royal Event Attendee
When you’re a member of the British royal family, even as a kid, you’ll be going to many public events — like this balcony appearance for the “official birthday” of Queen Elizabeth II in 2018. The royal child will have to start practicing a royal manner and wave early on. And he or she will have to get used to regular media appearances!
He Or She Will Likely Go To A Posh School
Baby Sussex isn’t even born yet, but people are already trying to gather clues as to where he or she will go to school. One potential option, considering Meghan’s American origins, is the ACS Egham International School in Egham, Surrey, which has an International Baccalaureate program.
The baby-to-be’s cousin, Prince George, attends Thomas’s London Day School, but Markle may want a different type of education to reflect the child’s U.S. background.
A Future Feminist
Boy or girl, Meghan hopes her future child will be a feminist. So she said at March 8 International Women’s Day speakers panel.
“One of the things they said during pregnancy was ‘I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism,'” Meghan said summing up a recent documentary on feminism she’d watched. “I loved that — boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that’s the case.”