Meghan Markle, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, revealed they were expecting their first child together back in October last year. The announcement by Kensington Palace said the Duchess of Sussex’s due date was in spring 2019. And, while the exact month has not been confirmed, Meghan has told well-wishers that the youngster is likely to be born towards the end of April or start of May. As fans eagerly await the arrival of the newborn, it’s time to take a look at what royal traditions could happen shortly after the birth.
While the British Royal Family have no shortage of traditions, it’s not thought that they have to stick to a strict royal protocol, as such.
This means that the Meghan and Prince Harry will probably be able to make the arrangements they want for the birth of their baby boy or girl.
However, there are some things which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be likely to do.
For instance, according to reports, following the safe arrival of the child, royals must contact the family’s most well-known figure, as a priority.
The unusual rule came to light in a report by the Daily Mail back in 2013, ahead of the arrival of Prince William, now 36, and Kate Middleton’s, now 37, first child, Prince George.
According to the publication, the new parents would’ve had to have called Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Cambridge’s grandmother, ahead of contacting anyone else.
And, it’s said that this conversation must be made via an encrypted mobile phone.
This means that, if the couple’s parents weren’t in the building, the Duke’s grandmother could have heard the good news ahead of Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, and their own fathers, Michael Middleton and Prince Charles.
Other senior figures, such as the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, are also thought to be on the list of people to call soon after the birth, this time by the royal’s private secretary.
It’s not been confirmed whether Kate and Prince William did contact the Queen first.
Traditionally, royals have made the announcement of a newborn to the world by placing an easel outside Buckingham Palace.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opted for a very different platform for sharing the news of Prince George being welcomed into the world.
Taking a more modern approach, the couple’s good news was first announced in a statement posted on Twitter.
Similarly, it’s unknown as to whether Prince Harry will call his Granny to share the happy news, before getting in touch with anyone else.
Meghan and Prince Harry have reportedly hired a doula, to help them in the run-up to becoming parents for the first time.
A doula is a non-medical professional who is on hand to private emotional support both before a pregnancy, as well as during and after childbirth.
Who is Meghan Markle? Quick profile
Meghan Markle was born Rachel Meghan Markle, on August 4, 1981 to parents Doria Ragland and father Thomas Markle.
Her father was previously married to Roslyn Loveless and Meghan has two elder half sibling – sister Samantha Markle and brother Thomas Markle Junior.
Meghan’s first television appearance in the USA was in an episode of the medical drama General Hospital in 2002.
She later moved on to roles in CSI, Without a Trace and Castle along with bit parts in Hollywood films including Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me and Horrible Bosses.
Meghan was also a “briefcase girl” on Deal or No Deal – but her most famous role was as Rachel Zane in legal drama Suits, which launched in 2011.
She was written out in the finale of the seventh series when her character got married, which aired in April 2018 – just before she got married herself.
Charity and humanitarian work
Meghan Markle’s career in television has gone hand-in-hand with her support for causes close to her heart.
She wrote about the stigma around menstrual health in an article for Time magazine and was a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada – with whom she travelled to Rwanda for the charity’s Clean Water Campaign.
And her commitment to gender equality has seen her work with the United Nations – receiving a standing ovation in 2015 for her speech to mark International Women’s Day.
In September 2011, she wed film producer Trevor Engelson, who she began dating in 2004.
But the pair divorced two years later in August 2013, citing irreconcilable difference.
She was in a relationship with celebrity chef Cory Vitiello for almost two years, before they broke it off in 2016 but the two remain good friends.
And in June 2016, she met Prince Harry on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
Their relationship began in October that year and just over one year later, on November 27, 2017, the pair announced their engagement.
They married on May 19, 2018 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Some have claimed Meghan Markle is the first mixed-race member of the Royal Family.
Historians are still arguing about Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.
But Meghan will be the first royal to openly embrace a mixed-race heritage.
She has written about the difficulties of being a biracial actress in Hollywood as she claims she is not black enough for some roles and not white enough for others.