Image: John Rainford/WENN
Prince Harry is a dad for the first time! He and Meghan Markle welcomed a son on May 6, and the family is doing well! Having a child is such a life-changing experience, for moms and dads. And you really don't know how someone is going to be as a parent until they are a parent. But we can make some pretty good guesses, right? Just based on their personality and things they've said and done. And we can look at how people close to them handle parenthood, too. Take Harry and Prince William, for example! Wills has been at this dad thing for a while now, and surely his little brother will be following in his footsteps a bit.
But, as we all know, Prince Harry and Prince William are very different people. A lot of that had to do with the older brother/younger brother dynamic. Plus, William's duties as the eventual King of England are a bit more intense than Harry's! Harry got bumped down quite a bit when William and Kate's kids were born. It'll be interesting to see what Harry is like as a dad, after watching William all these years. Here are some ways we think he'll be a different dad than his big brother.
Now, we're not saying William isn't a fun guy. He probably is! But because he's guaranteed to take over the throne at some point in the near-ish future, he has to be a bit more reserved. But Harry is like sixth in line! He's way back there, so he can be more himself. And he seems to be a really fun-loving, silly dude. He's always joking around, he's very at-ease in front of the press and in public, and he's been known to send the palace scurrying to explain some pickle he's gotten into on more than one occasion! We imagine that Harry as a dad will be very similar, just having fun with his son and enjoying the little silly bits of parenting.
Prince William is a lock for the throne. Seriously, it's only a matter of time! As such, he has a whole lot of royal duties he has to fulfill as eventual king. But again, Harry is way down on the list, after his dad, his brother, and his niece and nephews! So his calendar is a bit more open. Sure, he still travels for royal work, and he has charities and other responsibilities that he manages. But he doesn't have to spend as much time away from home as William. And we imagine that Meghan and Baby Sussex will be by his side on whatever official royal business he needs to attend to! Sometimes it's good NOT to be king.
Prince William and Duchess Kate are under a lot of pressure when it comes to the future of the British monarchy. William is next in line after his dad, and his children George, Charlotte, and Louis are in the third, fourth, and fifth spots. It's been reported that William and Kate haven't yet told George that he will be the King of England one day, and we don't blame them one bit! Can you imagine growing up with that kind of weight on your shoulders? Since Harry and Meghan's son is unlikely to ever sit on the throne, there's no need for any secrets within the Sussex family.
"Future King of England" isn't an entry on Prince Harry's resume. Instead, he was able to follow his heart and served in the military for 10 years before retiring from active duty. He reached the rank of Captain, and did two tours of duty in Afghanistan. His military service is something Harry is incredibly proud of (as he should be!), and he continues to work with organizations that do outreach and assist with active and retired servicemen and servicewomen. The Duke and Duchess have both expressed that they'd like their kids to pursue "normal" careers, in whichever industry they choose.
So Prince Harry has himself quite a few royal titles. He's officially known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, but also holds the title Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Meghan Markle's title is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. But because of their place in the line of succession, their children won't necessarily hold the title of Prince of Princess. They CAN, if the Queen makes the change (like she did for Charlotte and Louis), but Harry and Meghan don't seem too keen on that. The title of Duke of Sussex can be passed down to male heirs (Duchess goes to female heirs), so theoretically their first son will inherit the title when Harry passes it on. Before that time, they'll be Lords or Ladies, if Harry and Meghan choose to use a title at all.
Every time we see a picture of Prince Harry with kids, he's right down on their level, talking to the them and playing with them. He seems to really dig being around kids and actually interacting with them. Harry really challenges the old "stuff royal" stereotype (sorry, Wills!), so we imagine that he'll be super hands-on and involved with his son. Can't you just imagine him and yet-to-be-named Baby Sussex kicking a ball around, or playing tag, or playing with the dog out in the yard? Prince Harry was pretty much meant to be a dad, and his kids are going to have a blast with him.
If you missed Harry's gushing video following the birth of his son on May 6, then you missed an overjoyed dad sharing the excitement of welcoming a brand new baby. It was so cute! He looked completely bewildered and like he could barely hold back from blurting out all the details of the birth and new baby. William speaks about his children publicly from time to time. However, he exercises a great deal of restraint and never shares too much information. Prince Harry always looks like he's sitting on the mother of all secrets that he just can't keep to himself. We imagine he'll have a hard time not sharing a lot of tidbits about life as a dad.
He's the new, modern royal! OK, so a lot of the ways Harry will differ from William as a dad go back to the differences in their royal responsibilities. But once again, Harry is going to be much more present and involved since he doesn't have to, you know, prepare to be king. EVERY dad should shoulder an equal share of the parenting duties. But we all know how that goes, right? We have a feeling Harry is going to actually want to change the nappies and do bath time and help feed his son. He seems like he'd thoroughly enjoy it! And he also seems like a very supportive partner and husband. Plus, no nanny yet, so there'll be plenty to do!
How cuuuuuuute is this photo Harry snapped of Meghan on their royal trip to New Zealand?! Kate Middleton is a pretty talented photographer and takes a lot of the official pictures of her kids. But it looks like Harry has the eye in the Sussex family. And now that he and Meghan have their own Instagram, we bet they end up sharing more snaps of Baby Sussex. It doesn't even look like Prince Harry will need much direction in how to take a good picture. He's got the best subjects around, and clearly has an eye for framing and dramatic light! Please let him become a prolific Instagrammer, we need regular updates.
From the outset, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have played by their own rules. They've done things differently, and have politely sidestepped royal rules and traditions during the pregnancy. We don't know how they fared during the delivery just yet. But we do know that they used their own doctors and decided against giving birth in the Lindo Wing and participating in the royal baby photo call. They're going to encourage their kids to live as normally as possible, and are reportedly embracing a more modern parenting style. This isn't going to be the usual royal childhood, from the looks of it. And Harry isn't going to be the aloof, by-the-books royal dad.
Just look at how he conducts himself around kids he doesn't know! It's clear Prince Harry LOVES kids, and he just loses it when they're around. By all accounts, he's been a very involved and hands-on uncle to George, Charlotte, and Louis. So when it comes to his own son? Well, this guy is going to be mush-ball central. No firm hand shakes and head pats for the Sussexes, oh no. Hugs and kisses and public displays of affection, just like he shares with his wife. Could we possibly see a baby-wearing Prince Harry one day?! We wouldn't put it past him, and we would swoon into unconsciousness.
This is admittedly quite hard to do when you're one of the most famous and recognizable men on the planet. But growing up in the royal fishbowl and seeing what that fame and scrutiny did his mom has given Harry a different perspective. He and Meghan left the city and moved out to the more secluded Frogmore Cottage for more privacy as they prepared to welcome their baby. He doesn't have to participate in the royal functions in the same capacity as his brother. And Meghan has expressed a desire to raise their family out of the spotlight. So we imagine Harry will exercise even more caution when it comes to his son. Might be a while before we see Baby Sussex out and about.
Listen, we love the little shorts and knee-high socks George wears as much as the next person! He looks ridiculously adorable, like a right proper little man. But for some reason, we have a hard time picturing Prince Harry enforcing the royal clothing rules with his own son. For instance, did you know young royal boys can't wear pants until they're like 10?! Just like Harry doesn't have to follow the same rules as William, his kids will likely be spared the same strict royal rules as their cousins. We're thinking more breathable and comfy fabrics, less starched jumpers and stiff shoes. Plus, Meghan seems keen on letting her kids be expressive and creative, and clothing is a great outlet for that.
Harry wasn't always the dapper, head-firmly-on-shoulders guy we see now. In fact, for a while it seemed like he was going to become the tabloid-favorite of the royal family. As a young man, he had his share of scandals and missteps (all gleefully reported on by the media, of course). Now, that sounds absolutely normal to us, but it really isn't so normal for the royal family! They make their mistakes in private, LOL. But his early years undoubtedly taught him a lot of valuable lessons, and helped make him the man he is today. We can see him being open and honest about his wild side with his kids, rather than trying to keep it mum and swept under the rug.
First of all, Prince Harry is definitely more of an outdoorsy guy. He's athletic, he loves nature and animals, and loves being outside. But aside from that, he's been pretty vocal about his dislike of certain video games. Harry recently shared some pretty negative opinions about the video game Fortnite, and actually called for it to be banned outright. We're sure royal families are just like ours in a lot of ways, even when it comes to screen time. But it sounds like Harry and Meghan are going to be leaning more towards limiting screen time for their kiddos when the time comes. And really, why play video games when you can go outside and play around on the estate grounds with your dad?
Unlike Prince William, Prince Harry has more freedom when it comes to what royal duties he does and does not participate in. Sure, he's at all the big events, and does his princely duty when called upon. But again, he's not going to be the King of England, so his presence at a lot of these events is sort of ... voluntary, LOL. Harry will be able to put his actual family first, rather than serving the royal family first. And we're pretty sure that suits him and Meghan just fine! We wonder if it ever makes William a bit jealous?
Maybe he gets it from his mama? Prince Harry served in the military for 10 years, even doing two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He was dedicated to his military career and his unit in the army, even refusing to be removed from his post when the press discovered his location. After he retired, he dedicated himself to serving the greater good. He's founded several charities that serve communities in the UK and around the world, from vulnerable children in Africa to wounded veterans. He clearly has the heart for helping people, and it's very near and dear to him. We just know he's going to encourage his kids to do the same as they get older.