Scroll To See More Images
We’re only a month or two away from the next royal baby. But as we prepare for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child, we can’t help but wonder: What royal rules has Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby broken? As fans know, Markle isn’t known to follow royal tradition. From wearing her hair in a messy bun, to painting her nails black, to carrying a cross-body bag, the former Suits actress has always been a rules-breaker in the British royal family—and we expect her child to do the same.
With Markle weeks away from giving birth, we thought we would look back on the TK royal traditions she’s broken with her pregnancy, as well as the royal rules she’s rumored to break with her birth. Unlike her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton—who has kept it pretty close to royal tradition for the birth of her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis—Markle is expected to stray away a little from tradition and carve out her own path as a royal mother.
With Prince Harry by her side, we expect Markle to be a royal mom like we’ve never seen in Kensington Palace, and if she’s anything like her husband’s mom, the late Princess Diana, we’re sure Markle will do just fine raising her child. Check out the royal traditions she’s broken with her pregnancy ahead.
She Threw a Baby Shower
There are a lot of reasons why royals don’t have baby showers. For one, baby showers are more of an American tradition, which is why people will often find that people in the United Kingdom—royal or not—don’t have baby showers. The other reason is that it often involve a lot of gift-giving, and considering that it’s frowned upon for a royal to accept a gift, there’s a no-baby-showers rule. “[There’s] added pressure that they are clearly very wealthy, and a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter told ABC in 2013. “There’s nothing they can’t go out and buy themselves.”
The tradition was broken by Markle on February 20 when Markle held a baby shower in New York City with friends Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney and Gayle King. Though she received gifts, she didn’t open them immediately, choosing to wait until she was back home to open them with her husband, Prince Harry, according to King. Can we blame Markle for having a baby shower though? She’s American.
She’s Considering a Home Birth
Markle made headlines in November 2018 when a source for Vanity Fair reported that Markle was considering a home birth. It’s a tradition for royals to give birth at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where Kate Middleton gave birth to her three children and Princess Diana gave birth to hers. However, according to Vanity Fair, Markle is considering a natural birth at home, at the suggestion of her mother, Doria Ragland. The birth would happen at the Frogmore Cottage in Berkshire, where Markle is considering building a nursery. “Doria will be involved and if she’s involved she will be encouraging Meg to go for a natural birth,” the source told Vanity Fair.
She May Not Take a Photo in Front of Lindo Wing
If Markle doesn’t give birth at St. Mary’s Hospital, a photo in front of the historic Lindo Wing, the hospital’s 7,500-pounds-a-night maternity wing, is unlikely. A post-birth photo in front of the wing has been a royal tradition for generations, with Middleton and Princess Diana posing for photographers with their husband and newborns after giving birth. If Markle was to not take post-birth photos altogether, that would be an even bigger broken tradition. Though we understand why she wouldn’t want to; the tradition of royal women posing for photographers hours—or even minutes—after their birth is out-dated and bizarre.
She Wore Open-Toed Shoes
According to Readers’ Digest, there’s a rule that royal women must wear close-toed shoes, even if they’re pregnant. Swollen feet are a normal in pregnancy, but for royals, sandals and other open-toed shoes are prohibited, no matter how big one’s feet become. That’s not a huge deal for Markle, however, who broke the tradition when she wore open-toed shoes in January 2019 at the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem in London. Not only did she wear open-toed shoes, but Markle also broke another tradition by wearing colored nail polish. That being said, Markle’s outfit wasn’t for a royal engagement, so her breaking tradition wasn’t that serious, though it was unusual.
She Traveled Overseas
According to the Sun, there’s a tradition that prohibits pregnant royal women from traveling overseas. The tradition was already broken when Markle announced her pregnancy in October while she was abroad at countries like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. The royal rule was broken again in February 2019 when Markled traveled across the pond to her native United States for a bridal shower in New York City.
She Wore Body-Conscious Clothes
Per Readers’ Digest, pregnant royal women are discouraged from wearing body-conscious clothes or showing their cleavage. That’s why Middleton was often seen in loose-fitting shirts and dresses and oversized coats. Markle has gone against this tradition several times by wearing body-conscious clothes that hug her baby bump—not hide it. “Hugging the figure compliments the bump without it being too much in your face, because not everyone likes that,” British designer Nadine Merabi told Express, explaining why Markle may be favoring more tight clothing.
Her Mom Will Be at Her Birth
There’s an outdated tradition that non-royal grandparents aren’t supposed to have a significant role in a royal child’s life, according to Marie Claire. That tradition, however, was broken by Middleton’s mother, Carole Middleton, who has been close to the Duchess of Cambridge’s children and was even rumored to live with them. The tradition will soon be broken by Markle’s mom, Doria Ragland, too. According to a source for Vanity Fair, Ragland plans on being involved with Markle’s birth and being close to her and Prince Harry as they raise their baby. “Doria plans to be around a lot when the baby arrives, and there are plans for her to have a dedicated space at their new home. She wants to be on hand to help Meghan and Harry with the baby,” the source said.
She’s Considering the Name “Diana”
According to The Mirror, it’s tradition for royal children to be named after former British monarchs (hence Prince William and Prince George), which is why the rumor that Markle and Harry are planning on naming their child “Diana”—after Princess Diana—is technically against tradition, no matter how sweet it is. However, because Markle and Harry’s child will be seventh in line for the throne, there’s some wiggle room there. (We saw it with Middleton and William naming their daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.) So perhaps we will see a mini Diana after all.
“The further down the line of succession, the more likely you are to have a more unique or untraditional name,” royal expert Carolyn Harris told Vogue Australia.