Image: John Rainford/WENN ; Lia Toby/WENN.com
Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, she's been compared to her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. It's hard not to compare, let's be honest! Two women, plucked from relative obscurity, marrying into the royal family. But just as William and Harry are very different, so are Meghan and Kate. In fact, that's probably why Meghan and Kate are so different - they are each very suited to the men they married, so it stands to reason that they'd be unique. Regardless of the surface differences (hi, British and American accents!), it's pretty clear that the Duchesses are wonderfully themselves, and that's what matters.
But now that Meghan Markle is about to become a mom, we're seeing the comparisons come up again. Kate is an old pro at this mom thing at this point. Three kids under five? She's practically an expert. Meghan and Harry are about to start on this journey for the first time. And they'll be doing it under the scrutiny of the world's eye. You just know tabloids are chomping at the bit to start with the, "Well, KATE did it this way!" stuff. We all know there's no wrong way to be a mom, right? So however Meghan decides to raise her kids, it'll be perfectly perfect for their family. However, it's really interesting to look at all the ways they'll be different as moms. Not in a bad way! But in a we're-all-doing-the-best-we-can way.
Meghan caused quite the royal kerfuffle when it was announced that she wouldn't be using the same royal docs used by those who came before her. Instead, she went with a woman-led medical team and doula. So the doctors who delivered George, Charlotte, and Louis have some free time on their hands coming up. Additionally, Meghan won't be delivering at the Lindo Wing, nor will she and Baby Sussex be participating in the immediate postpartum photo call. Meghan and Harry are reportedly considering a home birth or a hospital birth nearer to their home at Windsor Castle, and will release photos a few days after the baby is born.
Sure, Baby Sussex will grow up in the UK (and possibly Africa). But their mama is an American and as such, we imagine they'll be exposed to more Yankee customs and traditions. It's being reported that Meghan and Harry are hiring a nanny and are looking for an American to fill that role. And when it comes time for Baby Sussex to attend school, they're allegedly looking into the ACS Egham International School in Surrey, which is a co-ed private school with a more diverse curriculum. We all know that your environment can certainly influence who you become, and it sounds like Meghan is bound and determine to bring a bit of home into their home.
Listen, we could not imagine the pressure Kate is under all the time. She's married to and birthed the future kings of England! Like, it's a done deal - William and George will both be king one day. For Meghan and Harry, the pressure isn't as intense. Baby Sussex will be seventh in line for the throne, just behind their papa. So the chances of them actually ascending to the throne are pretty small. But regardless of their place in the line of succession, it seems as though Meghan is making a concerted effort to keep Baby Sussex out of the royal fame bubble. They've moved out of London into a more private home, she's doing her own thing when it comes to staff, and she's forging her own path that diverges from the royal one.
Chalk it up to their different backgrounds, Meghan's former career, or just a difference in personality. But Kate Middleton seems like she was born to be a royal, and she is always on. In the nine years Kate has been the Duchess of Cambridge, we can't think of a single time she's "slipped up". Meghan, on the other hand, is new to the royal life, and (if you believe the royal gossip mongers) has had her fair share of gaffs already. Now, we think she's been the picture of perfection and seems to be adjusting really well to all of this. Her "slip-ups" seem to stem from the fact that she doesn't find the pomp and circumstance of the royal life all that important. She definitely seems much more laid back, and we imagine that will come through in her parenting as well.
OK, we admit that Meghan Markle didn't exactly have a "normal" career before she married Harry, LOL. But listen - acting is not a sure thing. Most actors struggle for many, many years before they land the role that changes it all. So girl worked, and she worked hard! But the Sussex kiddos aren't going to be encumbered by the duties of future patriarchs like their cousins. So it's entirely possible that Meghan and Harry would encourage them to pursue more normal career paths, and not rely on their royal roots. They may even follow in Harry's footsteps and pursue a career in the military!
Kate and William likely didn't have much of a choice when it came to finding a place to live. As the second in line for the throne, and with the third in line right behind him, the Cambridges had to stay at Kensington Palace! But Meghan and Harry have a bit more freedom in that regard, and Meghan was like, "Get me out of this city". The family will settle in Frogmore Cottage, located in Windsor. That means they'll be away from the hustle and bustle of daily royal life, and removed from the immediate scrutiny of living at Kensington. We're sure there are plenty of reasons why this appealed to them. But Meghan's desire to raise her child away from the limelight and give them as normal a life as possible is probably a big one.
Kate's been at this for a while, and you can see her adherence to the royal rules in the way she parents. The kids are always dressed to the nines, she never loses her cool in public. She's raising little royals, and it shows! But Meghan has sort of shrugged off the rules in favor of what works best for her. From her fashion choices to her etiquette, she marches to the beat of her own drum. So it stands to reason that when it comes to motherhood, Meghan is going to forge her own path and not worry so much about what's expected of her (or her kids).
Now, obviously we have no idea what life is like behind palace walls for George, Charlotte, and Louis. They're kids, so we're assuming they live a life similar to other kids! They play and have free time and are able to explore and grow. But, they are bound by certain rules and expectations (yes, even as kids). Living away from that spotlight will allow Meghan Markle to give her kids the freedom that their cousins may not have. Want to walk around the estate in a onesie, carrying your lovey? Go nuts, kid. Popsicles in the summer in nothing but a diaper? Obviously. The ability to think freely and act like kids whenever they go out, and not just when no one is watching? Country living at its finest.
We've already started to see Meghan pull back from her duties as she nears the end of her pregnancy. And good for her! A woman needs time to just relax and ready herself before giving birth. This isn't to knock Kate and Will AT ALL. Again, they are probably bound by much different rules, given that their kids are third, fourth, and fifth in line for the throne. They don't really have the option of keeping the kids out of the public eye, although they really don't bring them out much (and kudos to them for that). Meghan and Harry have a bit more leeway here. So we wouldn't be surprised if they make appearances without Baby Sussex, at least for the foreseeable future.
Obviously, this kid is going to be a jet-setter. Their parents are members of the royal family and take royal tours all over the world, after all! But Meghan is also American, and her friends and family are all back in the states. So it makes sense that they'll be making frequent trips to the US to visit grandma and Serena Williams and all her other amazing group of friends. We can totally see Meghan and Baby Sussex taking a holiday to the US on their own. It's their second home, and it's obviously very important to Meghan that her kids know that side of their family and heritage, too.
With Baby Sussex being born in the UK to a British father, they'll automatically be a citizen of the UK. But Meghan Markle is American and holds citizenship in the US. So unlike Kate, she has some options here! It's not yet known if Meghan and Harry will seek dual citizenship for their children. According to the US Department of State, a baby born to an American citizen outside of the US is eligible for US citizenship, as long as the American parent lived in the country for five years before the birth. If they decide to purse dual citizenship, the royal couple will have to go through the application process. Meghan herself is not yet a UK citizen, although she may choose to pursue that in the future.
Before she became the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle ran a fairly popular lifestyle blog called The Tig. So she's pretty accustomed to sharing tidbits of her life on social media. And now that she and Harry have their own Instagram account, we may see more of Baby Sussex update outside of the official palace releases! That would be a major departure from how Kate does things, since the only information released about her kids is through official channels. But Meghan definitely seems like the type to want to manage what is shared and what isn't, and since she's well-versed in social media, we wonder if she'll take the reigns.
A couple of months ago, a rumor started going around that Meghan and Harry were planning on raising their baby "gender fluid". The palace was quick to quash that particular rumor, but we can actually see that being the case. Meghan is a bit of a free spirit and follows her own beat, and it makes sense that she'd want the same for her kids. It's pretty clear from Meghan's own fashion choices that she picks pieces that work for her and that she loves. We imagine that she'll allow her own kids to be just as creative with their clothing. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but considering royal boys can't even wear pants until they're 12, this would be pretty major.
By all accounts, Meghan jumped into this royal thing with both feet, and is very involved in her duties and day-to-day scheduling. She's taken upfront roles with the patronages given to her and Harry by the Queen, communicates regularly with her staff, and is usually up early sending texts and emails about her upcoming schedule. Does that sound like someone who would be OK with not being 100% hands-on with her own kids? We think not! Meghan and Harry are reportedly considering a nanny, but they haven't hired one, and aren't looking for one to start for at least three months. It seems like Meghan is going to handle this motherhood thing the way she does everything else: on her own terms.
Meghan Markle is well-known for being a major foodie. A lot of the content she shared on The Tig was centered around food - eating it, cooking it, appreciating it. Just one more thing we have in common with the Duchess of Sussex! Honestly, when you're a foodie, introducing your kids to new foods and flavors is a really exciting prospect. We're sure Baby Sussex will love the British fare they'll get, but we'd also bet that Meghan will be working to expand their palates and expose them to many cultures and countries through food. All prepped and cooked by Meghan herself, of course.
It's sort of cliché, but Meghan Markle was the quintessential California girl growing up. It's definitely a lifestyle that you truly appreciate and understand if you're from California. Beaches and yoga and lots of time spent outdoors. She's spoken before about her love of California-esque activities, so we imagine Baby Sussex is going to spend plenty of times outside exploring and playing and developing a love for nature. Maybe that's another reason for the move to the country? Concrete jungles within palace walls just aren't the same as the real deal. Maybe some mommy and me yoga is in their future!
It's no secret that Meghan Markle is an animal lover (Ellen DeGeneres once convinced her to adopt a dog!). She even relocated her beloved beagle Guy to London when she got engaged to Harry. The couple has since added another fur baby to the family. Harry says that the Queen's corgis took to Meghan immediately. Plus Harry himself grew up tending to sheep and his pet rabbit at his family's country estate. So Baby Sussex is going to have some furry siblings right from the start, and we imagine that Meghan will make sure her kids grow up loving and respecting all animals.