From water births to baby showers...
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child together any day now, with the royal baby due this month.
The future arrival, referred to as the couple’s ‘little bump’, is already one of the most talked-about people in the world, with the public already speculating about everything from baby name predictions and god parent choices to nursery colour palettes.
However, Baby Sussex is most talked about for having rule-breaking parents, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex proving unafraid to rip up the royal rulebook for the sake of their little one.
Here are all the ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are breaking protocol with the royal baby…
While most royal couples have held a sense of privacy when it has come to royal babies, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken tradition in how guarded they have been – and understandably so.
The royal couple have faced more online backlash and speculation than most, with Meghan in particular getting vilified during her pregnancy. It was hardly surprising therefore when the royal family announced that the couple would be celebrating in private.
‘Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private,’ the statement read. ‘The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.’
The baby shower:
Meghan Markle’s New York baby shower made news for various reasons – partially for the star-studded guest list, but mostly for its break from royal tradition.
The 37-year-old’s ‘extravagant’ baby shower saw A-listers from Serena Williams to Amal Clooney congregate in The Mark hotel’s penthouse suite, something that the Queen was rumoured to have disapproved of. But while sources have insisted that the monarch wasn’t fazed, royal expert Victoria Arbiter among others explained that baby showers are ‘inappropriate’ for members of ‘The Firm’.
It’s hardly surprising that a lot of the couple’s breaks from tradition are americanisms, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following a modern US trend this year, taking a babymoon before their arrival.
The couple reportedly had a lavish three-night babymoon at Hampshire’s Heckfield Place, spending some quality time together in the Georgian manor house.
‘Meghan is only a couple of weeks away from giving birth, so Harry really wanted to treat her,’ a friend told The Sun, going on to explain that their break was filled with eating Michelin starred food as a two and going for long walks through the 400 surrounding acres.
The delivery team:
It has been reported that the former Suits actress is breaking tradition with her delivery team, opting out of using the Queen’s doctors, not wanting ‘men in suits’ delivering her baby, with royal gynaecologists, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston having to take a backseat.
‘Meghan said she doesn’t want the men in suits. She was adamant that she wanted her own people,’ a source told the Daily Mail. ‘It did leave a few of us a little baffled’. Another source reportedly added: ‘It is slightly surprising. These people are the best of the best, and when it comes down to it, their role would actually be very limited in the birth itself, assuming all goes to plan.’
Meghan is reportedly opting out of having the two male gynaecologists leading her delivery team, apparently going for a woman instead, though it is not known who she is.
The home birth:
While home births used to be the royal tradition, the protocol for the past four decades has been a hospital birth, with Princess Diana starting the current tradition of posing for a photo post-birth on the Lindo Wing steps of the hospital.
Meghan however is set to break the tradition, with sources close to Vanity Fair claiming that the Duchess of Sussex is considering a home birth. And that’s not all, with Meghan said to be additionally considering a natural birth, with her mother Doria Ragland said to be involved in the birthing plan.
The water birth:
Not only is Meghan apparently parting with four decades of tradition to have the royal baby at home, it has also been reported that she is planning on having a water birth, which would be a royal first.
‘Obviously Meg’s into all the homeopathy, so none of us were shocked when we found out she’d been talking about a water birth,’ a friend of Prince Harry reportedly told the Daily Star Sunday. ‘Apparently she wants it to be as natural as possible: no drugs, no caesareans and so on. It’s the next logical step from all her yoga, meditation and so on. Obviously when she goes into labour she might end up, medically speaking, having to go the more conventional route. But for now a water birth is absolutely her plan, is what they’re saying.’
The paternity leave:
Prince Harry is breaking tradition once more, following a modern post-birth approach rather than a traditional royal one. The Duke of Sussex is reportedly taking paternity leave to support his wife and spend some quality time with his newborn.
‘He doesn’t need to take paternity leave because he doesn’t work in the way most people do,’ a friend of Prince Harry’s told The Express. ‘But he thinks it’s a very modern Dad thing to do.’
While nannies are customary for royal babies, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are apparently going against tradition with their choices. According to The Express, the royal couple are taking a ‘modern American approach’ to the nanny they hire, reportedly opting for a ‘manny‘.
‘Hiring a “manny” is far more common in the U.S. — a nation that Meghan is more in tune with — than in the U.K. She’s keen to introduce the royal family to what she considers a more enlightened, modern American approach,’ a source explained. ‘[Prince Harry] and Meghan have discussed nannies and both have an open mind to a male nanny. They will definitely try to shortlist one.’
Congratulations again to these two royal rule breakers!