Last week Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would keep the birth of their child out of the public eye. “Hune Royal Highnesses have made a personal decision to keep the plans for their baby’s arrival private,” the palace said. “The duke and duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had the opportunity to celebrate it as a new family.” It was a break from royal births of modern times – Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as Princess Anne, all participated in photo calls at the hospital with their newcomers. This time, though, the audience won’t catch a glimpse of Baby Sussex until Harry and Meghan release a photo (probably on their own Instagram.)
And, it turns out, it’s not the only way the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do things differently.
To begin with: the hospital. Princess Anne, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton all gave birth in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London – making the brown double doors an iconic place for royal spectators. However, according to several reports, it is unlikely that Markle will use the same maternity ward. Because Markle is based in Windsor, outside of London, there are other hospitals nearby (and further from the spotlight). A popular guess? Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, where the Countess of Wessex gave birth.
That is, if she decides to use a hospital. There are rumors that the Duchess is considering a home birth, a departure of most Windsor women for her. “Their decision does not confirm that they are planning to be born at Frogmore Cottage, their new home in Windsor,” The Times of London reported. “Their decision means that it will be the first major royal birth in decades that has not been accompanied by the circus of photographers, reporters, and camera crews.”
Although it may seem like a departure from tradition, it is actually more like a return: Queen Elizabeth gave birth to all four of her children at home.
Not that this choice is old-fashioned: Markle reportedly hired a doula to help her during the birth. Working with a doula, or someone who provides emotional and physical support during birth, is a growing trend among expected women, especially in the United States. “Meghan focuses on calm and positive energy around birth, which she believes strongly in,” Us Weekly said.
And with the expected end date probably at the end of April or early May, it seems that the world welcomes Baby Sussex every day.