Image: Instagram / @kensingtonroyal
Soon, there will be a new royal baby in town now that, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their first child. Royal baby coming spring of 2019. Now that the newest royal bride, Meghan Markle, has fallen pregnant she’s going to get a fast-tracked lesson in royal pregnancy etiquette. Did you know that there are royal pregnancy rules Meghan Markle has to follow? You didn’t think the same rules that apply to us, as commoner pregnant women, are going to apply to royal baby mamas, did you?
Well, actually they do. They are susceptible to all the same issues that we are like hyperemesis gravidarum, swollen feet and an ever-changing center of gravity but they also have a whole set of rules they have to follow while being pregnant. While we may be able to take a day here and there to just feel our pregnancy and succumb to some of it’s more unpleasant side effects, a royal mom-to-be has to keep up appearances and follow these royal pregnancy rules.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are definitely one of the coolest royal couples that there is. They have all the status and a lot less of the responsibility than William and Kate. However, now that Meghan is pregnant with a child who will be the seventh in line to inherit the throne, cool may have to take a backseat to traditional. The first traditional rule that will need to be followed?
Henceforth, Meghan will be referred to as “fallen pregnant” per British vernacular opposed to the crude American, “gotten pregnant.” In the United Kingdom, a woman “falls pregnant.” No, she didn’t slip, trip and fall on something and end up pregnant. She is not in any danger, other than never sleeping for more than 4 or 5 hours straight for the rest of her life but she is most definitely pregnant!
Sorry L.A. Woman, you’ll have to cover up. Pregnancy is a private matter and one must remain demure and appear chaste. Classy is awesome. Pregnancy should be celebrated in your cutest clothes but they should fit. Meghan is a member of the royal family now and she can’t be gallivanting around the world looking like her outfits are made for t.v. Basically, Meghan is in a lifelong episode of What Not to Wear and must ask herself each morning WWQED (what would Queen Elizabeth do?) if the answer is, “not wear this” toss it to the giveaway pile. A good rule of thumb is to cover them ever growing bosoms, knees and toes, Duchess.
If Meghan Markle suffers from morning sickness or pre-eclampsia, the whole world will be informed by the palace. There are certain things that come along with pregnancy that women like to keep between themselves and their obstetrician. You know what we’re talking about. The whole world doesn’t need or particularly want to hear about the glowing mom-to-be’s gas issues, hemorrhoids, constipation, swollen cankles or compulsive projectile vomiting. Some things, we pregnant moms just want to keep to ourselves.
While normal moms to be are warned against traveling in the last three months of pregnancy, royals are warned against travel for their entire pregnancy. It makes sense, they are not common. There are far less of them than the rest of us and they need to carry on the monarchy so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Of course, Meghan and Harry announced their pregnancy right before heading off on a tour of Australia. Apparently, not being the next in line of succession has its privileges like a little travel wiggle room.
No matter how swollen Meghan’s poor pregnant feet become, she will not be allowed to wear open-toed shoes. She must preserve appearances and keep those feet covered up, along with her growing bosom. Covering up so that your body isn’t falling out of your clothes, as a royal makes sense. There has to be a modicum of integrity and decorum but depriving a pregnant woman of comfortable is just cruel. We’ve even heard of some desperate moms to be impulse purchasing CROCS in a crisis when motherly feet became too swollen and caution and heels had to be thrown to the wind or in the garbage, whichever was nearer. Not saying we know who did such craziness but there have been rumors.
Obviously, the royal family is very wealthy and there is nothing they can’t buy for themselves. A fancy, over the top baby shower, is unnecessary and could even be seen as inappropriate so it is frowned upon. However, it was overheard by a little birdie, that Pippa Middleton threw her sister a baby shower when she was pregnant with Prince George. Not needing a baby shower for the purpose of gathering all of those necessities that a regular new mom might need for her baby shouldn’t mean that Meghan is deprived the sisterhood of motherhood.
The purpose for baby showers is not just to alleviate some of the financial burdens. Another big part of a baby shower is to shower the new mom-to-be with love and support. It’s a celebration of an impending miracle coming into the world. And who, no matter their financial situation or station in life, can’t use a little more love and support?
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are most definitely millennials, there is one millennial pregnancy tradition that they will have to skip the, fan favorite, gender reveal party. There will be no party for them. Royals are forbidden from revealing the gender of their babies ahead of the birth. Good luck to them. While gender reveals parties are a pretty recent thing, mom-to-bes have been surprising dads and grandparents around the world via sonogram with the sex of their babies since the 1950s. That’s a big surprise to keep under wraps. If you can’t shout it from the rooftops, maybe the way to go is to be surprised along with everyone else when they give birth.
As Meghan will not be able to reveal the sex of the newest royal to the public, she will be limited on her layette. She’ll have to keep to neutral, non-gender specific essentials as to not give away her secret. Also, no cute bibs like, “Does this diaper make my butt look big” that us Americans love to put on our sweet little ones for Instagram photos. Anything other than “formal” attire is frowned upon by the royal family. Royal tradition dictates that children are to be "formally dressed" when in public. That means shorts for little boys and dresses for little girls.
Meghan closed all of her personal social media accounts in January 2018 and closed up shop on her lifestyle blog, The Tig, in April 2017, ahead of her royal nuptials. No personal social media means no expectation of baby bump pics. Currently, Meghan’s social media is part of the royal family accounts. The Kensington Palace account gives the most up to date and frequent updates on her and Harry but don’t hold your breath waiting for a #bumppic there.
Here's hoping that Meghan hasn't spent her life dreaming of a crunchy, in the living room, water birth because it's not going to happen. Previous to 1982, all royal babies were born at home. With the birth of Prince William, a new tradition was born. All babies since have been born at St. Mary’s Hospital, in the private Lindo Wing, just outside of London and so will be Meghan and Harry's new addition.
With William and the tradition of being born in St. Mary’s Hospital, another tradition was born. Royal parents have been introducing their newborns to the public on the front steps of the Lindo Wing. This first photo op in front of the Lido Wing is a way for the royals to connect to their public by introducing their subjects to their baby. It’s very sweet. So, unless Meghan and Harry say forget tradition, you can most likely expect to meet their baby on the steps on the steps of St. Mary’s hospital.
A christening gown is not anything Meghan and Harry will have to concern themselves with because their baby will wear the same replica of the original one that all the royal babies have worn since 2008. Prior to that, every royal baby wore the same one since 1841 when it was created for Queen Victoria’s oldest daughter. Whew! One less thing to worry about.
Being the Queen definitely has its privileges. Queen Elizabeth must be the first person told of the birth of the newest royal birth. Of course, the Queen is not to be disturbed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. so the news will have to wait. Meanwhile, the public will just have to wait. The Queen gets to hear the happy news first and then it can be publicly announced.
After the Queen is notified of the arrival of Meghan and Harry’s sweet baby then, and only then, the baby’s arrival will be announced by a town crier. Who else loves that whole scenario? Puts those yard signs most of us have with our one’s arrival to shame. The town crier announcement will be followed by a typewritten statement placed on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace for all the public to see. With a birth announcement like that, not to mention every media outlet in the world, who needs paper birth announcements with the cute pics? Well, really, it would still be a sweet memento for close friends and family.
Being that she is a celebrity in her own right, besides just being Harry’s wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle is used to snapping selfies with her fans and she graciously used to. But now that she’s a royal (and so will be her baby) she has to say no to selfies with even her biggest fans. Commoners are supposed to make eye contact when having conversations with royals and that is impossible when taking a selfie with them. Therefore, selfies are not allowed because it would be breaking protocol.
You’ve heard the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps? Heed it. Did you know that if Meghan is dining or staying the night at the Queen’s home, she has to eat when the Queen eats and sleep when the Queen sleeps? No exceptions. She can’t start eating her meal until the Queen starts, no matter how hungry or in a time crunch she is on with the baby’s schedule. As soon as the Queen stops eating, forks down. Meghan also has to stop eating too, even if she’s mid-frenzied eating between feeding baby.
At bedtime, the Duchess of Sussex has to wait until the Queen goes to bed before Meghan can dismiss herself to bed. It may be wise to stay home for the first few months of the baby’s life or get a top-notch sleep coach to get that baby on the same schedule as Queen Elizabeth. That might not be such a bad thing, as previously stated, she sleeps from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., that’s a mom’s dream sleep schedule, 10 full hours.