Image: John Rainford/WENN
In the first week of May, the former Meghan Markle and current Duchess of Sussex made Prince Harry a father. The baby is a boy, the first child for both his parents. He's also breaking royal tradition just by being. He's the first accepted multiracial child in the monarchy, (though some argue that Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, ancestor of Queen Victoria, may have had surreptitious African DNA). He and his mama will not be immediately made available to the press like the Duchess of Cambridge was after her three births.
In fact, many signs point to this child's upbringing being quite different than those we've seen before in the royal family. Princess Diana broke the mold when she raised her own sons, and it looks as though Harry and Meghan may follow that same rebellious journey. Read below to see our predictions about how Meghan and Harry will be as parents, including both how they'll conform to tradition and the ways in which they could deviate. Whatever they choose, we extend our congratulations to the new parents! In less than a year they've married, taken their first royal tour together, announced a pregnancy, moved from Kensington Palace to Windsor, and had a child. Like the initial stages of their romance, they've been at the center of their own personal whirlwind.
Meghan hasn't shied away from expressing her feminist leanings. She said, "Right now with so many campaigns, like #MeToo and Time’s Up, there is no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that." The New York Times also said of Meghan, "Citing a phrase she had seen in a documentary about “the embryonic kicking of feminism” during pregnancy, she said, “I loved that, so boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that’s the case with our little bump.”' Therefore, we can only assume that Meghan and Harry's son will be raised in a household that treats the sexes as equals, where opportunities and expectations are both a level playing field.
Meghan hasn't completely given up American traditions. Proof of this came when Meghan had a glittering, A-list attended baby shower in New York. You can find out more about her not one but two showers here. Meghan also reportedly took her "California" up and at 'em, gung-ho attitude with her into the family. There was a rumor floating out there that Meghan's early rising and expectations of her staff to do the same were seen as pointedly American by household employees. Whether or not that was true, Meghan definitely hasn't shied away from public appearances or charity work since her marriage. Some have wondered of Meghan's son will have dual citizenship.
While there's been an ongoing rift between Meghan, her father, and her sister (since the latter two seem unable to stop themselves from blubbering to the media), Meghan has remained close to her mother. We expect that her little boy will do so as well. Doria Ragland, now the proud grandmother to baby Sussex, was at Frogmore Cottage helping the new parents adjust the day of the baby's birth. Doria has also been by Meghan's side during several public outings. It was said that, eventually, Doria would give up her California home in order to help with childcare at Windsor. So far, this hasn't been the case. Perhaps she'll be sticking to her state side homestead where she can provide a bit of normalcy for the royal grandchild.
Meghan embraces her biracial heritage, something she outlined in a powerful essay for ELLE. In it she said, "Yet when your ethnicity is black and white, the dichotomy is not that clear. In fact, it creates a grey area. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. When I was asked by ELLE to share my story, I'll be honest, I was scared. It's easy to talk about which make-up I prefer, my favourite scene I've filmed, the rigmarole of 'a day in the life' and how much green juice I consume before a requisite Pilates class. And while I have dipped my toes into this on thetig.com, sharing small vignettes of my experiences as a biracial woman, today I am choosing to be braver, to go a bit deeper, and to share a much larger picture of that with you." Click here to read the entire piece. We can assume that she will teach her son to embrace his many diverse heritages as well.
Meghan Markle has a very political history. After all, she worked at the US Argentinian Embassy with the Secretary of the Treasury right after college graduation. She also double majored in college- theater and international relations. While the royal family is strictly politically neutral, we can imagine that Meghan will raise her child to have strong opinions about the ethics and morality of certain political actions. After all, Refinery29 says that Meghan, "posted an image of a protest sign that reads, “If EU leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me.”' She's also called Trump "divisive" and "misogynistic."
Meghan was raised Episcopalian, attended a Catholic girls school, was baptized into the Church of England, and had a mother who taught yoga. We can only assume that these different branches have each taught her something, a broader view that she will no doubt be able to share with her child. Yet, Meghan's touchstones don't just fall into the Christian faith. Meghan was previously married to a man of Jewish faith. While she did not convert prior to or during that marriage, she must have picked up a thing or two. Hopefully this means her privileged child will be able to relate to people from all walks of life.
Meghan and Harry's child is currently seventh in line for the throne, behind grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William, and cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, as well as Harry himself. This means that the little Sussex baby won't inherit the throne and will need to do something other than royal duties with his life. That's okay, though. Princess Beatrice worked as a production analyst and her sister, Eugenie, is the director of a gallery. The baby's mother has also held down jobs that are fairly standard. We've already said that she worked in the embassy, snagged roles on General Hospital and Suits, and started out her Hollywood career as a briefcase girl on Deal or No Deal.
Unlike many royal children whose meals come from palace chefs, baby Sussex will be treated to meals by mom. Meghan has chosen to cook everyday for herself and Prince Harry, a tradition we can imagine she'll uphold when baby grows. However, Meghan has said before that she's pro farm to table and healthy eating, so there probably won't be much McDonald's in baby's future, although Princess Diana made sure to treat William and Harry to the fast food chain when they were young. Meghan's friends have said that she's taken up making tea everyday, a very down to earth British habit she's adapted.
Meghan not just her son's mama, she's her fur babies' mama, too. Meghan has a deep love of animals, and she and Harry have dogs that lived with them first in Nottingham Cottage and now at Frogmore. She lets her fur babies out, and people have seen her towel drying the mud off their fur when they come in. One of her chosen royal patronages is Mayhew, an animal welfare center. We can imagine that Meghan will teach her son to care about animal rights and welfare, since it's something she's so involved in. She's already made a mark on the royal family in this way- Prince Harry chose not to hunt with his family over the holidays out of respect for Meghan's views.
Meghan embraces both her Caucasian and African heritages. She's a proponent of feminism. She's also an ally to the LGBTQ community. Will she raise her child to be an ally as well? We have believe that'll be the way it goes. In fact, Daniel Martin, Meghan's makeup artist and close friend, called himself baby Sussex's "proud guncle" on Instagram. What's a guncle, you ask? Why, it's a gay uncle! Meghan even chose an LQBTQ friendly bishop to preside over her wedding, proving that this lady practices what she preaches. Her son will have quite a colorful group of supporters with Martin, Meghan's Hollywood friends, as well her famed close girl group popping into his life.
Meghan was a practiced globe trotter before she met Harry and they had that game changing date in Africa. In fact Meghan said, "My most recent trips in the past year and a half have been biking through Vietnam, camper-vanning through New Zealand, and touring the whole coast of Croatia and the islands there. I always want off the beaten path, Anthony Bourdain-inspired travel," in 2013, years before the two knew each other. This baby will get to travel so much thanks both to Meghan's interests and the royal family's tours. There's even a rumor floating out there that Meghan and Harry are planning an extended trip to the African members of the commonwealth very soon as a way to raise baby outside of the harsh spotlight.
On May 8th, Meghan and Harry debuted baby Sussex. During the brief meet and greet with the press, Meghan rocked a white trench dress. And, fearless lady, she wore a belt that cinched it in empire waist style. She showed the remainders of her bump and didn't try to hide it behind a billowing dress. Some said they noticed Meghan's ankles were still a bit swollen, and yassss Queen! This is what women face after delivering babies. You know why? Because it's hard! No matter how healthy or figure conscious a woman is, all pregnancies effect mom's body. It's okay to be real about these things, and Meghan's only more relatable for it.
In a Vanity Fair article, sources reportedly close to Meghan and Harry said that Meghan plans to ignore common gender stereotypes in the raising of baby Archie. Specifically, "The duchess is understood to have told at least one friend that they want to raise their baby without gender-stereotyping, which means the nursery might not be filled with toy trains and cars if it is a boy. The Sussexes have already planned a gender-neutral nursery and opted for whites and grays over conventional blue and pink color way," the source outlines. With Meghan's strong pro-equality opinions, this isn't terribly surprising.
We have a hard time believing that Meghan will follow in royal tradition and be a hands off, reliant on nannies kind of mama. After all, her entrance into the royal family sparked scandal when she and Harry held hands and caressed one another's backs in public. They've certainly not taken a page out of William and Kate's book since those two keep a respectable distance int he public eye. Meghan is American, though, and more expressive with her love. Baby Archie is sure to receive some of that open armed affection. In this way, Meghan and Harry will be taking after Princess Diana, who didn't hesitate to hug or put her arm around her boys when they needed it.
Meghan said one of the things she loved about Toronto (where she lived while filming Suits) was its many hidden green spaces. Meghan was an avid runner before her marriage, and with her dogs we imagine this lady hasn't lost her love of the outdoors. Also, living in Windsor will grant the couple and their kiddo more privacy than they'd have living in London. Harry's family has a history of being outdoorsy as well, often taking to the woods around Sandringham. Although we know Meghan won't be participating in the family's holiday hunts, there're a ton of other outdoor activities she can join in on.
While no one looks forward to talking to their parents or their children about those weird adolescent changes, it's something that has to be done. Meghan, it seems, has no problem jumping into the stigma with honesty and pragmatism. How do we know? Meghan penned an essay about menstrual stigma, talking about how in many nations it can stop girls from getting the education they need to break free from poverty. She took trips to Delhi and Mumbai to learn about this taboo, and you can read what she wrote on the subject here. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be guided through his life by his mother's very capable hands.