The history-making birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first child is almost here and as baby frenzy reaches fever-pitch around the globe, fans of the the famous couple are counting down to Baby Sussex’s arrival.
While Harry and Meghan have made the decision to enjoy private time with their newborn, before announcing the birth, there are still some non-negotiables that will come with the latest addition’s entry into the world’s most famous family.
Battle of the sexes
Although Harry and Meghan continually pedal a campaign of gender equality – their child will inevitably be treated differently depending on whether it’s a boy or girl.
If they have a son, he is expected to be given the title Earl of Dumbarton, Prince Harry’s secondary Scottish title.
A baby boy will also one day become the next Duke of Sussex, a privilege which cannot be passed on to any of the couple’s daughters.
If Baby Sussex if a girl, she is expected to be styled as Lady (her first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.
However, if and when Prince Charles becomes King, all of the Sussex children will be entitled to become a prince or princess – as they will be male-line grandchildren of the monarch.
The Queen must know
As head of the Royal Family – and the Commonwealth, which Harry and Meghan represent through their work – the Queen will be the first to know of Baby Sussex’s arrival.
The top-secret information will be communicated on an encrypted phone in a call expected to be made by Prince Harry.
After the Queen is informed, then the royal couple’s staff will tell other high-profile individuals, such as the prime minister – and of course, their own excited families.
What’s in a name
For any royal baby, their birth means much of their life will already be mapped out without much hesitation – beginning with a decidedly traditional name.
While there’s no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to naming a royal bub – let’s not forget Princess Anne’s daughter Zara – the family tend to stick to naming their offspring after notable ancestors.
Prince George was named after both the Queen’s father and grandfather, Princess Charlotte was named after Prince Charles, and little Louis’ moniker is said to be a nod to Lord Louis Mountbatten, who acted as a father figure to both Prince Philip and his eldest son.
In fact, Harry’s own birth-name, Henry, dates back to the days of the infamous King Henry XVI and his equally-interesting predecessors.
A royal announcement
Not much in Baby Sussex’s life will be low-key, including how their arrival is announced to countless eager well-wishers across the globe.
In addition to a thoroughly modern announcement on social media, an easel is expected to be placed outside Buckingham Palace informing the public of the birth.
Following this, a 41-gun salute may be conducted by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in London and union jacks are expected to fly across government buildings across the city.
Baby’s first gown
When it’s time for Baby Sussex to be baptised into the Church of England, he or she will wear a christening robe that is an exact replica of one that has been used by the royals since 1841.
The original was commissioned for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Vicky, in 1841 and was worn by 62 royal babies including the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
But in a bid to preserve its splendour, the replica was needed and the Queen’s youngest grandson, James, Viscount Severn was the first to wear this version in 2008.
One strange rule is no more
Meghan will be counting her lucky stars the royal family got rid of one very unusual childbirth rule.
In years gone by, female members of the royal family were put through a very different process when giving birth, which included the presence of two people you probably wouldn’t want in the room.
In the past, whoever was Home Secretary at the time would need to be at the birth. It was widely assumed that this was to ensure that no baby would be replaced with another who isn’t of royal birth, but there’s little evidence to support that.
Thankfully, they put an end to that practice just before Queen Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles in 1948, and the last royal to be born in the presence of the Home Secretary was the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra.
Oddly, the Archbishop of Canterbury used to also attend the birth of the royal babies, but now the person who holds that job christens the baby instead.
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