Let’s face it – we all can’t get enough of the royal family, and ever since Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for them to expand their brood. Sure enough, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their first child this spring and we’ve been fascinated with Markle’s spectacle of a pregnancy.
While impending motherhood is exciting for all moms-to-be, Meghan’s royal pregnancy is especially interesting because it comes with a whole set of rules that most of us commoners can’t quite relate to. Since Meghan married a prince and has become British royalty, she is expected to adhere to a very specific set of standards. While Meghan’s pregnant predecessors have been practicing the ways of the royals for centuries now, some of the guidelines she’s supposed to follow are different than anything we’ve ever heard of. Here are 10 royal traditions that Meghan Markle must uphold during her pregnancy.
Finding out whether you’re having a boy or a girl can be a super exciting moment for expecting parents, but gender reveal parties aren’t exactly an option for Meghan Markle. It’s royal tradition that couples don’t find out the gender of their child until the baby is born and it’s something the family has been doing for generations. Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t know the gender of any of their children until they were born, and the same could be said for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
In following the rules of the royals, Meghan is expected to wait until the birth of her child before finding out the gender. Of course, we can hardly wait to find out whether the next royal baby will be draped in a pink or blue baby blanket, but it looks like we’ll just have to keep waiting along with Meghan and the rest of the royal family.
Being a part of the royal family means always looking your best...even at times when you’re feeling your worst. While most women revel in wearing their husbands over-sized t-shirts and baggy sweatpants during pregnancy, Meghan must follow a strict dress code that doesn’t change simply because she’s expecting.
As the Duchess of Sussex, she is always required to wear conservative dresses while exuding an image of class and poise. On top of being told what to wear during her pregnancy, Markle is not allowed to wear garments that expose her chest and knees, and her toes must always remain concealed. Maybe being a royal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all.
Naming your child seems like a right of passage for most expectant mothers, but when it comes to finding the perfect moniker for the next royal baby, Meghan Markle just doesn’t many options. It’s customary for royals to pick classic names for their children that have deep meaning to their family’s heritage - so there’s about zero chance we’ll ever see a royal baby named Apple or North.
If she abides by royal tradition, Meghan and her Prince will also have to get approval from the Queen herself before they are given their blessing to name their child. Not only that, but royals are expected to give their offspring multiple middle names...all of which have to be given the green light by none other than Queen Elizabeth. Can you imagine one of your in-laws make all of the decisions when it comes to naming your baby? No thanks!
One of the first things ordinary women do when they find out they’re pregnant is call their obstetrician or midwife. But preparing for the birth of a royal is serious business that requires special attention. Of course, it’s important to get proper prenatal care during while pregnant, but rather than having one doctor for the job The Duchess of Sussex must enlist an entire team to monitor her pregnancy.
Upon falling pregnant, Meghan was assigned a staff of twenty-one caregivers that included surgeons, anesthesiologists, and pediatricians just to name a few. Her entire team is on-call to cater to her every need and they’re required to meet monthly to discuss the status of her pregnancy.
Pregnancy isn’t always glamorous and sometimes there are things about it that we’d just rather keep to ourselves. While the average pregnant woman can keep most aspects of her pregnancy personal, Meghan Markle doesn’t really have the option for privacy. Not only does the media obsessively chronicle as much about Meghan’s pregnancy as humanly possible, but all important matters regarding the baby Sussex are also presented to the public via official royal announcements.
Every intimate detail is shared to the masses, whether the mother-to-be is experiencing anything from morning sickness to back pain. The royal tradition is to over-share when it comes to pregnancy, so Meghan better get extra comfortable with telling the world all about it if she wants to adhere to royal standards.
One of the more serious components about being pregnant is choosing the right location to give birth. Some women may lean towards a home birth while others envision delivering their baby in a birthing center or a hospital of their choosing. Let’s just say that once Meghan married into royalty she didn’t have to worry about picking the perfect spot to give birth, because that decision has already been made for her.
Since Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William in 1982, royals are expected to deliver their babies at St. Mary’s Hospital just outside of London. Not only has her birthing location been predetermined, but Meghan will be specifically assigned a room in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital to keep up with the family’s new tradition. After Meghan delivers the royal baby, she and Prince Harry are then expected to introduce their little one to the public for the first time on the front steps of the Lindo Wing entrance.
After having a baby, you probably can’t wait to tell your mom, dad or closest girlfriends about your newest arrival, but Meghan Markle isn’t the one who makes those decisions. Naturally, Meghan must keep all birth announcements at bay until she takes care of some royal business. In following royal tradition, it’s actually Queen Elizabeth who has to be informed about the birth first before anyone else.
The Queen also has hours where she is not to be disturbed, so the baby news will have to be delivered on her terms. Only after the Queen has become privy to the birth of the next heir to the royal throne will Meghan and Prince Harry be able to let others in on the big news.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just ran a marathon or endured grueling labor and delivery - royal rules insinuate that even new moms have to be camera-ready at all times. Image is everything to the royal family, and that means the public’s perception plays a major role in their legacy. It wasn’t long ago that a smiling Kate Middleton was pictured wearing a dress, high-heels and perfectly coiffed hair just hours after giving birth to Prince George.
As a member of the royal family, Meghan Markle will be expected to look fresh-faced and chipper when she presents her newborn to the public for the first time...and every time after that as well. While it’s astounding that royal women are able to maintain a near-perfect image immediately after having a baby, it’s not exactly realistic to the rest of us.
It’s pretty common for new moms to want to share photos and cute stories about their new addition with their friends and family on social media, but Meghan surely won’t be one of those people. Trust us - you won’t see any sonogram shots on Facebook or any baby bump pics on Instagram from the Duchess any time soon.
Although Meghan got her start as a Hollywood star, her social media presence isn’t something that takes priority these days. In fact, during her early courtship days with Prince Harry she formally shut down her lifestyle blog and deleted all of her social media accounts in order to keep in line with royal protocol. It may not be a set-in-stone rule, but it is heavily implied that Megan herself refrains from posting anything online without recipe icing approval from The Kensington Palace first.
Now here’s one royal tradition we can all get behind! While some of us may struggle with getting an adequate amount of time away from work after having a baby, royals such as Meghan Markle are actually required to take a leave of maternity per the Queen’s orders. It’s important for new moms to bond with their baby and not get overcome at the thought of leaving their newborn in someone else’s care.
According to royal tradition, both Meghan and Prince Harry will receive maternity and paternity time to spend time with the new heir to the throne. Both parents can look forward to being relieved of all their duties for several weeks following the birth but are expected to fall right back in line as soon as their leave time expires.