It seems like every day we learn something new about Royal protocol, and today's lesson is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry can't know the gender of their baby before birth.
OK, let's back it up just a touch here. Technically, there's no rule saying they can't, rather, it's more of a philosophy, according to Honey's Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter. The idea is to keep something a surprise in an age where we know everything instantly, but it's not just a Royal practice. In fact, the publications says it's a common practice in the UK.
To piggy off that idea, the Royal family doesn't partake in baby showers, and the reason is twofold. First, this is actually more of an American custom, and second, it's not a good look for the family that has everything to get gifts. Still, there's a chance that there's a small get together with Markle and her friends for tradition's sake.
Speaking of tradition, it's also protocol to inform the Queen of the baby's birth first. This is a pretty obvious one, since she is the ruler of the country, she should know of any major news first.
This seems like a lot to take in, especially for someone who's lived a majority of her life outside of the Kensington Palace bubble, and apparently, this isn't by mistake. Arbiter suggests that the public has been a little more strict on Markle. For someone who comes from such a different background, it's easy to nitpick everything she does wrong, but the times are changing, and not just with Markle and Harry.
One doesn't have to look far into the Royal Family to see that what was considered "Royal Protocol" is being altered almost daily. In fact, Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have implemented a parenting strategy that flies in the face of Queen Elizabeth's requests. Dubbed, active parenting, this style sees the mother or father bend down to the child's level to speak to them directly, essentially giving the child a little more agency as a human being. According to reports, Queen Elizabeth wasn't a fan of this, but it hasn't stopped the future King and Queen of England from practicing.
Obviously, there are a lot of strange rules the Royals must adhere to, but with a younger, more progressive generation becoming more prominent, it won't be too shocking to see these philosophies change. Maybe in our lifetimes, we'll know a Royal baby's gender before birth.