It’s an exciting time in the Royal Family. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to welcome their firstborn into the prestigious family. The world is patiently waiting to find out if it’s a boy or a girl – then comes the details like names, weight, and more.
Of course, moving from Hollywood to the British Royal Family is quite a difference. Here, we outline some of the rules that the new Duchess must follow now she’s a member of The Firm.
No Gender Reveal
Gender reveals are a very trendy thing to do these days – if you still believe in gender. The internet is full of soon-to-be parents making hilarious videos revealing the sex of their baby. Sadly for these two, they won’t be able to join in on the craze.
Even the reveal of the pregnancy shocked the world. Even if they secretly know what they’re having, there’s no way the public will find out before the little one is born. Not that much longer!
Baby Showers Aren’t Allowed
Many women dream of a baby shower to share the experience with their nearest and dearest. It’s a chance to get together and get excited about the new bundle of joy entering our lives.
The Royal Family remains incredibly humble despite their wealth and refuse to be showered with gifts. Weirdly, the new Duchess broke tradition and flew to New York City for a two-day baby shower in February 2019.
Keep It Conventional
Even though they won’t be restricted to family names going back generations, don’t expect any trendy names for their new baby. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were somewhat restricted when they named their children, and Harry and Meghan won’t need to stick so strictly to The Firm’s rules.
However, the name will need to be somewhat traditional. We can’t imagine they’ll name their child Apple any time soon! Currently, the highest bets are Arthur for a boy and Diana for a girl.
Royals Must Announce Their Pregnancy By 12 Weeks
The British media had guessed for a while that Meghan was secretly carrying a baby before it was officially announced. The 37-year-old was showing a small bump only a few months after the wedding day.
It was not officially announced to the public until the 12-week mark. This is to keep things as discreet as possible during the most turbulent part of the pregnancy. Sometimes crucial tests are necessary and sometimes hopeful parents aren’t always so lucky the first time around.
Travel Is Not Recommended
Royals are expected to maintain their duties and responsibilities through their pregnancy, but it is requested that they travel as little as possible. This is because of the sheer amount of doctors, midwives, and security that is expected to travel with them.
Again breaking tradition, the Duchess has traveled extensively throughout her pregnancy, but we expect her itinerary will slow down significantly once the baby arrives!
The Queen Is The First To Know
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex finally welcome their new baby, Royal laws dictate that the head of the monarchy must be the first to know. That means that Queen Elizabeth will be the first person to know the sex of the baby.
When Prince George was born in 2013, Prince William personally called the Queen to inform her of the sex of the baby before anyone else. It is expected that Prince Harry will call her before the rest of us find out.
The Duchess Will Be Expected To Pose Soon After
It’s an incredibly taxing experience, but the world’s media has no patience for recovery when it comes to childbirth. The Royal family is expected to pose for the cameras only a mere few hours after the delivery of the new baby. For fathers, this is no big deal – but the new mothers might think differently.
Once the new baby is born, the Duke and Duchess will stand and wave to the camera holding their new baby. Let’s hope the makeup team is ready!
Meghan Broke Her Own Rule
Speaking to reporters last year, Meghan Markle was pretty determined to wait at least a year before becoming a mother. She explained that it was important for both of them to enjoy each other’s company before becoming parents.
Of course, we all know that she became pregnant only a few months after her wedding. This might be because of her age: at 37, she is a relatively old first-time mother.
No Princess or Prince Title!
The best part of being in any Royal Family is the prestigious title of Prince or Princess. Prince George and Princess Charlotte are referred to as His or Her Royal Highness. Sadly, this won’t be the case for the Duke and Duchess.
Their children won’t be born with Royal titles due to their ranking in the monarchy. As it stands, the baby will be technically an Earl or Lady upon its birth. The Queen can grant them the titles if they wish – we will find out soon enough!
She Can Give Birth Anywhere
Ok, so she can’t exactly give birth anywhere, but the Duchess is not restricted to some of the rules and regulations that Kate Middleton or Diana Spencer were bound by. We imagine that the couple will have only the best care possible, but we will have to see.
The Duchess of Sussex will most likely give birth in one of London’s most prestigious hospitals with plenty of care and attention. We will only have to wait and see what happens next!
Royal Births Used To Be At Home
Before the birth of Prince William, Royal births used to occur outside a hospital. Traditionally, Royal women gave birth at home under the careful watch of a doctor. The rule was changed by Lady Diana when she gave birth to Prince William in 1982.
Now, Royals are allowed to give birth wherever they want. There might be a few restrictions for more ‘high profile’ births, but generally, the rule is far more relaxed.
Harry Will Witness The Birth
Another revolutionary precedent set by Lady Diana is the opportunity for the father to witness the birth of their child. This never happened in Royal history until 1982 when Prince Charles could be in the room to welcome his son.
37 years later, Prince Harry will also be allowed in the same room as his wife as the two of them welcome their first child.
Meghan Must Have A Midwife
Even though the Royal Family has modernized in many ways, there is still one rule that is yet to change. The Royal Family must have a team of midwives by its side when a new child is brought into the world.
These are simply additional safety and care factors that are considered when a woman goes into labor. If you’re delivering the future king of England, you’ll want to make sure it all goes to plan!
The Country Finds Out With A Handwritten Note
Even though the Queen sends tweets and Instagram posts, some things are best left to tradition. Like most Royal births, the announcement of the baby and its name will be posted outside Buckingham Palace via a handwritten note on a board.
This traditional method is a callback to history and the importance of tradition for The Firm. Obviously, once the board is made public journalists will get tweeting!
Bombs Away! There Will Be Real Explosions
Once the sex and name of the baby are revealed, it’s time to celebrate! Upon the announcement, there will be 62 gunshots into the air to salute the new baby. London better be prepared for the bangs!
During any given salute, 21 gunshots are fired. Since the baby is considered a special occasion, 41 have been added making for the 62 we will hear upon the birth.
Princesses and Duchesses Get Maternity Leave
When The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince Louis, she received six months of maternity leave. While they don’t have conventional 9-5 jobs, Royal engagements were reduced and her workload was minimalized.
The same will apply to Meghan Markle. Once the baby is born, it is expected that the new mother will have six months of maternity leave. Let’s hope the press leaves her alone!
Royals Are Encouraged To Breastfeed
It might seem strange today, but the Royals weren’t always the ones who breastfed their babies. In line with a tradition dating thousands of years, Royals used to have a team of ‘lactating nurses’ who would be on call to feed the baby when it got hungry.
It seems bizarre, and now this is no longer the case. Of course, Royals are encouraged to breastfeed their own baby. The tradition changed with Queen Elizabeth’s mother, Princess Elizabeth, who opted to feed the future Queen herself.
When the new baby enters the world, Meghan and Harry will hire a nanny. Even if most people don’t opt for a nanny, the Royals aren’t like most people! Usually, The Firm hires a nanny from Norland College. It is the most prestigious nanny school in the country, where its students learn all about nannying.
Of course, being a nanny to a Royal Baby makes for some unique work, indeed. As well as the normal workload, the new nanny will be required to learn self-defense from the paparazzi, history, and other Royal duties.
Here’s The Future Nanny!
The Duke and Duchess have reportedly decided to hire a nanny from Atlanta, Georgia, to serve as the help for the Royal Baby. Mrs. Simpson is not just any old nanny, but she’s famous for being Hollywood’s best caretaker.
Over her career, Mrs. Simpson has helped Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, and Emily Blunt with their newborns. It’s safe to say she has what it takes to deal with The Firm!
Meghan Can Only Eat When The Queen Does
Even though Meghan Markle is currently eating for two, it doesn’t mean she no longer abides by the Royal rules when it comes to her food. When she eats in the company of the Queen, she must finish eating once the Queen stops. It is considered incredibly rude to eat when the Queen has finished.
This has been a rule throughout history, making for some awkward state dinners. It’s one thing for a small family dinner, but what happens when the Queen eats dinner with hundreds of people? Apparently, she is known to play with her fork even after she finishes eating, allowing others to eat in her presence.
Her Children Will Have A Dress Code
Harry and Meghan won’t be able to dress their children in anything they want – certainly not out of the house, anyway. It turns out that Royal children have their very own dress code and must dress accordingly in line with Royal tradition.
You might notice how Prince George only wears shorts in public and Princess Charlotte wears a very particular dress. These rules apply until the child turns a certain age and they can wear what they want. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Meghan Must Wear Heels
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it attracts not so nice qualities – like swollen feet! Most women can tell you how their hands and feet swell up when they grow. Nothing feels more comfortable than slippers or sneakers.
Unfortunately, pregnant Royals are expected to keep wearing high heels in public even when they are with child. This must make for some uncomfortable walking, which is maybe why they spend less time in the public eye.
The Christening Outfit is Already Chosen
All royal children get christened within their first year – and this new baby is no exception. When the christening takes place, the newborn will be wearing a lace and satin christening gown first used in 1841.
The gown was made by Queen Victoria for her oldest daughter at the time. To date, it has been worn by 62 Royal children! A few years ago, the Queen ordered for a replica to be made since 160 years is quite a long time for the same gown to be worn. We can’t wait for the photos.
Meghan Now Has A Bodyguard For Life
Now that the new Duchess spends her days out meeting the public, it’s important to have security with her at all times. When in Australia in 2018, Meghan and Harry were accompanied by a blonde woman who was looking pretty serious.
You don’t want to mess with her: she’s Army trained and would be able to do some big damage if you attempted to hurt the Duchess or any other Royal member.
Meet The Parents
It looks like Meghan’s mother, Doria, wants to be close to her future grandchild. The mother and daughter will be living in Royal quarters for the first few months when the newborn joins the family.
Sources close to The Firm believe she is ready to move into Kensington Palace once the baby arrives. This isn’t to say the Duke and Duchess won’t already have all the help they need – but it’s still nice to have the family around!
The Baby Must Have FOUR Names
Not only are the Duke and Duchess banned from naming their child something trendy or gender-neutral, but they have to pick four names in total. To keep the tradition and culture alive, there is a list of existing and pre-approved names from which they pair must choose.
Not only do they have to choose from a list, but they have to choose four. For example, Prince Harry’s full name is Prince Henry Charles Albert David – quite a mouthful!
Meghan’s Father Is Banned From The Family
If you invite Americans into your family, you can expect a bit of drama along the way. With her father, Thomas Markle, stirring controversy at every step since the engagement, the Palace has banned him from contacting her.
That’s right. He no longer has access to his daughter and will not hear from the family when the baby is born. He will be finding out about his new grandchild at the same time as us!
There’s Drama In Every Family
If there’s someone who understands family drama, it’s her father-in-law, Prince Charles. He had his fair share over the years with his affair, and subsequent divorce, from Princess Diana.
According to sources, it seems that the Prince took an immediate liking to his new daughter and they bonded over the drama together. It’s nice to have an in-law so understanding!
Absolutely No Shellfish
The Royals are completely banned from eating shellfish – so the Duchess will have to overcome her pregnancy cravings! The ban came into effect nearly 100 years ago when a Royal got food poisoning.
Of course, food is much safer to eat today and the risks of getting sick are pretty rare. Still, The Firm has not reversed the decision yet so she will have to go without it. Shame – apparently it’s her favorite food!
She’s Now A Lifelong Trendsetter
Never underestimate the purchasing power of the Royal Family. The British public is incredibly impressionable when it comes to the items that the family invests in. One example? Her baby’s new shawl.
When the Duke and Duchess revealed Princess Charlotte to the world, she was wrapped in a GH Hurt & Son brand – which immediately sold out! Turns out the Royal Baby Effect is a real thing, so Meghan should plan accordingly.
A Royal Lady Never Stops!
Even though the Duchess of Cambridge took some time off during her pregnancies, it is untraditional to do so. Special circumstances made Kate Middleton exempt from performing most of her Royal duties since she suffered from acute morning sickness.
Meghan, on the other hand, will need to perform all her duties until the very day she gives birth. Then, she will receive maternity leave.
Prince Harry Will Get Unpaid Leave
Nowadays, everyone wants to have leave after childbirth. Showing he’s a man of the 21st century, Prince Harry will also take time off from his duties once his first child is born.
Unlike maternity leave, paternity leave is unpaid, so it is unsure how much time he will take. Generally, men prefer to take less time off than women, so we might see him back at work after a few weeks. How much time do you think Harry should take?
A Team Of Help
We know that Royals get help when their babies are born, but just how much is pretty impressive. As well as the three mandatory midwives, the Duchess will also have the help of three anesthesiologists, two special care staff members via the baby unit, four pediatricians, two obstetricians, four managers, and one lab technician who is responsible for blood samples.
That’s quite a list! Let’s hope she has some time for herself and she can spend time with her baby on her own.
Sworn To Secrecy
All the help that the Royals receive must sign confidentiality agreements and are sworn to secrecy. This ensures that the mothers and fathers receive the privacy they deserve during this intimate time.
It also helps ensure that The Firm upholds certain standards. You don’t want to hear about all the problems these folks face – even if they are Royal! Once you help the family, you are forbidden from discussing your work with anyone.
Doctors Are Booked Months In Advance
Even though soon-to-be parents get a rough due date for when to expect their new baby, that doesn’t stop The Firm from preparing. According to an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph, doctors are on call for THREE MONTHS before the birth.
Here’s a quote from a consultant anesthesiologist for Kate: “We were on call for three months… You never know when you need to be called, you need to be in town, and available. If you are at a party, you need to have your car keys at the ready. No drinking!”
Social Media Protocol
It’s a totally new ballgame for these Royals than it was for previous generations. Now, news of Royal engagements can spread to billions of people in a matter of hours. How did the Duke and Duchess deal with it?
They took a picture of Prince George and posted it via Kensington Palace’s social media accounts. Technically, Meghan Markle isn’t allowed her own social media account – but who knows if there’s a secret one out there? We can expect Meghan to do the same as Kate, here.
Meet The (God)Parents
It’s a common tradition to pick a godparent at a christening to make sure they have a guardian in the event of a tragedy. For most people, a godparent will be an aunt or uncle – someone who is closely in the family.
Things are usually a little different for the Royals. Since they’re a naturally close-knitted family, godparents are more likely to be out of the main circle. For example, Prince William chose college friends, cousins, and even some of the staff to be Prince George’s godparents.
A Royal Crier Will Announce The Birth
As well as the board outside Buckingham Palace, some traditions will continue for Meghan and Harry once they become parents. Dating back from Medieval times, a Royal Crier will shout the breaking news to the public.
Tony Appleton is 81-years-old and was the official town crier when Prince George was born. He will finish the announcement by ringing a bell and shouting ‘God Save The Queen!’
Thank Diana For A Clean Diaper
It’s crazy to think today that a baby wouldn’t wear a normal diaper, but you can thank Princess Diana for this ‘innovation’ for the Royal Family. Traditionally, Royal Babies would wear cloth diapers that would be washed. Gross! Thankfully, she got rid of that tradition.
Now, the newborn will wear the same disposable diapers as regular babies today. Diana was quoted at the time, saying: “I think it will be ordinary nappies, the ones that most people’s babies use… I think the royal family will, like any family, adapt with the times.”
The Duke And Duchess Can Be ‘Harry and Meghan’ If They Want
What if this all starts to sound a little much? The Duchess is humble American who may not want to abide by all the Royal rules and customs to which she is foreign. Well, they are perfectly in their right to abdicate from the Firm and live life as commoners.
It wouldn’t be the first time Royals have departed from the throne, but we can’t imagine it would help. They’re already so famous that they can’t live life alone and anonymous.
What Does Harry Think?
After all, Prince Harry was raised as a Royal – he will know more about the challenges that lie ahead. Of course, Harry grew up in the 1980s and 1990s when times were incredibly different. Prince Harry has often claimed that he sees being a Royal as more of a burden than a privilege.
Maybe he has matured past his problems with The Firm, or maybe he is concerned about doing it all again as a parent. Who knows? Either way, it certainly isn’t easy.
Rules That Fit Like A Glove
According to Royal rules, all members must wear gloves when they shake hands with the public. This is to make sure they don’t catch any germs when traveling and meeting people. It turns out, Meghan has already broken this rule.
The first time around, people turned an eye since she was new to the family and unfamiliar with all the customs. Now that she’s pregnant, it is a lot more serious than before. Let’s hope all is ok with The Firm! She’s not the first Royal to break this rule…
Princess Diana Broke The Same Rule
It looks as though Meghan Markle would have had a lot in common with her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana. When she would embark on Royal Duties, Lady Di would often touch the public without wearing gloves.
Famously, she held the hands of an AIDS victim in the 1980s during the peak of the epidemic. The times they are a-changin’. What was once revolutionary can seem old-fashioned today.
Royal Girls Don’t Cry…
We all know that pregnancy hormones can be a hard thing to deal with, but if you’re a Royal they can be even harder. When they’re out in the public, Royals are encouraged not to show any extreme emotions like anger, sadness, and especially tears.
This is because the Royals are supposed to show elegance and poise at all times. Next time the pregnant Duchess wants to let out a cry, it might be better to stay indoors and watch a sad film on TV!
We Can See Why They Like Each Other
One Day, Prince Harry broke protocol and did the unbelievable: he reached over and hugged a member of the public. This has rarely been done before and is vastly different from when Meghan or Princess Diana did it.
Prince Harry is a direct descendant of the British Monarchy and therefore rarely breaks protocol. Unlike his wife and mother who married in, it’s a huge deal when he does it. Just look at the girl’s face!
Meghan’s Sister Has Tried To Make Amends
Much like the drama surrounding Thomas Markle and his relationship with his daughter, much can be said about Samantha Markle, Meghan’s half-sister. According to the British tabloids, she is turned away from Kensington Palace when she tries to visit her sister.
It’s sad for Meghan that her dad’s side of the family can’t be connected to the rest of her new life. Samantha has written a book about her life and is expected to release it in 2019.
The Royal Outfits
She may have had a bit of attention before, but today Meghan Markle has the world’s media on her. Everything she wears is highlighted, criticized, or praised by women across the world.
Currently, the Duchess wears a $935 pinstripe jacket. Many fans adore it as she walks around and carries out Royal engagements in it. Since Royals must wear jackets when they go out, she might as well look good. And that she does!
Is It Ok To Miss Royal Engagements?
During her pregnancy, the Duchess had to miss an engagement while the couple toured Australia. According to Prince Harry, he said ‘pregnancy takes a toll’, on the Duchess, who is already 37 years old.
Common symptoms of pregnancy include dizziness, nausea, and mood swings. Since she hasn’t been a member of the Firm very long, Meghan hasn’t had a chance to get used to the toll of everyday life without a bun in the oven! Let’s see how she handles it as a new mother.
Training In Trainers
Have you ever seen a Royal wear sneakers? Usually, Prince Harry and other members of the Royal Family are restricted to wearing formal shoes. Well, Meghan broke yet another protocol by wearing trainers during her trip to Australia in 2018.
Most pregnant women will understand the desire to wear comfortable shoes, especially towards the due date. The new Duchess was quick to dispel of centuries of tradition as she walked around in ‘normal’ shoes.
No Black Allowed
Famously, members of the Royal Family aren’t allowed to wear black unless the occasion specifically requires it. This includes funerals and black tie events. Other than that, don’t expect them to wear any black clothing while they appear in public on during their royal duties.
This has most likely caused Meghan a bit of a headache since we all know black is the most slimming color! When you include the fact that the camera adds 10 pounds, we can understand why Meghan might be feeling a little restricted at times.
The Couple Must Accept All Gifts
Some people wait for hours to finally meet a member of the Royal Family. Can you imagine waiting for so long to give one of them a gift and they turn around and reject it? Well, luckily for members of the public, Royals aren’t allowed to turn any gift away.
Even though Meghan isn’t allowed to have a baby shower (she had one anyway), she is expected to accept every gift that is given to her. This can include anything from flowers, letters, drawings, or teddy bears.
Her Friends Must Reject Them!
This seems pretty unfair, but makes total sense when you think about it. Even though the Duchess must accept all the gifts that come her way, her friends are forbidden from accepting anything. In fact, Meghan’s best friend was offered an 81,000 euro Jaguar and she turned it down.
It is understood that The Firm doesn’t want to be used as a marketing opportunity for private companies. So, while members can accept small tokens from members of the public, they cannot accept large presents from corporations.
The Religion Is Set In Stone
Meghan’s new child has a pretty important great-grandmother – Queen Elizabeth! As the head of the Protestant Anglican Church, it is expected that her descendants will all follow in her religious footsteps. This means that Meghan has no choice in how her baby will be raised.
We’ve already mentioned how the newborn will be christened in the Protestant Anglican Church with his/her relatives. So no Scientology for this little one!
She’s Allowed Short Hemlines
Finally, some good news for a pregnant Royal! When a member is the Firm is carrying a child, some of the rules are more relaxed than others. One shining example is how they are permitted to wear shorter hemlines than usual.
You might remember how Kate Middleton wore shorter dresses than usual when she was pregnant. This is to show off the legs and basically make the ladies look more flattering during a traditionally uncomfortable time in their lives.
(Try) Avoid PDA
Traditionally, the Royal Family shies away from public displays of affection. With the exception of the famous kiss on the balcony during the wedding, we rarely see Royals kiss each other. This is to make sure they remain respectable in the eyes of the public.
Even though the occasional smooch is snapped, we generally don’t see them express their love for one another. However, we’re willing to give them a pass since they’re still in their first year of marriage!
They Must Fly Separately
This rule applies to most members of the Royal Family and crosses over generations. Although it isn’t ‘official’, members aren’t supposed to fly with their direct spouse or children. This is to protect the lineage in the event of a tragedy.
Growing up, Prince William was never allowed to fly with his father, Prince Charles, or his brother Harry. The Queen must provide formal permission for members to share a plane. Controversially, Prince William and Prince George flew together in 2014, which was considered a big deal at the time.
Meghan Won’t Have Custody Of Her Own Child
It turns out that Harry and Meghan’s child won’t technically belong to them. Officially, the Firm has total custody rights over the newborn and will do for the duration of the child’s life. The rule started in 1717 with King George II after he failed to find a suitable godson for his child.
Eventually, he passed a law through Parliament stating that all Royal children belong to the King and Queen. In the unfortunate event that Harry and Meghan divorce, she will immediately lose custody of her child. Not too different from her mother-in-law…
When Prince Charles and Diana eventually divorced in 1996 after a four-year separation, it took a toll on Diana. Since she immediately lost custody of her children, she found it harder and harder to see them as she liked. One example is when she wanted to take Prince William to Australia.
She sought permission from the Firm to take her children with her across the world and they denied it. For the year after they were divorced, she found it harder and harder to live a normal life. Sadly, she died less than a year later.
Say Goodbye To Privacy
Even though the Firm goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of its members, Royals can safely say goodbye to privacy. In a world with social media, camera phones, and paparazzi, Meghan has had to say goodbye to anonymity.
It won’t be too hard for her to adjust. Before entering the Royal Family, the Duchess was a famous actress in Hollywood, meaning she hasn’t had a ‘normal’ life in many years. Still, this is one thing she – and her children – will need to live with for the rest of their lives.