Former Suits star and current lead actor in the original version of The Crown, Meghan Markle, is due to give birth; a huge congratulations in advance from The Handbook. And, like all expectant mothers, press speculation into every single aspect of her pregnancy is rife. So as we all want the inside track, here’s what we know, what we think we know and what we’re completely hypothesising about the upcoming royal baby.
When’s it due?
Last month Meghan Markle let slip that she was six months pregnant, while in October she said she was at 12 weeks. Which, by the power of maths, means that the royal baby’s going to be born in April or May. Given the royal couple only got married last May, that’s pretty sharp work. Of course, given that the Queen would not be overly impressed to discover Meghan was already pregnant as she walked down the aisle, perhaps we wouldn’t be too shocked by a surprisingly large but premature baby?
Did she have IVF treatment?
We simply don’t know. There is speculation that a secretive trip in summer to Toronto might have been related to IVF treatment. At 37 she’s classed as a ‘geriatric’ mother and fertility at this age can sometimes be an issue (around 50% will be able to get pregnant without any problems at all), but there’s no reason to assume that this was anything other than a natural pregnancy. After all, in December Michelle Obama revealed she’d used IVF to conceive, and this might have been a good moment for Meghan to come forward and publicly support a good friend of the royal couple and help battle this stigma.
What sex will the baby be?
Obviously we don’t know. Like, obviously. But maybe they don’t either. The royal couple have done nothing to steer the public one way or the other, announcing that they want to keep it a surprise. Which may just mean a surprise from you and me, as they’ll have now had their 20 week scan and will certainly have the means to know. It seems plausible, though, that they really have decided to keep it a surprise, after all, with so much else pre-destined in their futures, a bit of uncertainty might be welcome. Of course, at least one person does know the future sex, the couple’s obstetrician, who is presumably keeping a seriously low profile.
Here’s a piece of utterly unscientific research for you I did on the back of a piece of discarded photocopier paper. Since Queen Victoria, there have been 40 children born to monarchs (including assumed future monarchs, Prince Charles and Prince William), which evens out at 13 girls and 17 boys. So maybe there’s slightly more chance of a boy? Maybe? If you don’t take account of the fact that this brings in no data from Meghan’s, Princess Di’s, Prince Philip’s family and so on. So yeah, ignore this entire paragraph (unless you’re a tabloid, in which case go ahead).
Wait, what about Zika?
Meghan and Harry travelled in zika-hit regions while she was pregnant, visiting Tonga and Fiji on an official visit. However, the royal couple ‘took precautions’. Bizarrely this consisted of wearing long sleeves, light colours and baggy clothes. As zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, this low-tech strategy hopefully held the mozzies, and the zika, at bay.
Will they have it on the NHS?
It’s become tradition for the royals to have their babies in the £7,500 a night Lido Wing. When it comes to births Kate and Wills were very keen to make clear that they weren’t at one with their people. Meghan and Harry, meanwhile, are more touchy feely and are reported to be considering Frimley Park Hospital for their delivery. To be fair to the royals, the media circus surrounding these events means that muggle mothers in the bays around the princess might suffer in a regular hospital, but we’re pretty sure the Lido Wing is significantly more comfortable too.
What else do we know about the birth?
Meghan’s using a ‘doula’, a birthing partner called Lauren will be helping the duke and duchess prepare for the birth.
What will it be called?
Well unless they’re going to go full-on Moon Unit, it’ll probably be something relatively sensible (at least, more sensible than putting an ‘h’ in Megan). James and Victoria are bookie’s favourites, though. We wonder if there’ll be something a bit more ‘out there’, after all if it’s never going to be king, you can live a little. Perhaps Maud, for a girl? Maud of Wales was one of Edward VII’s children.
Where are they going to live?
Like so many in their thirties, the royal couple are leaving London. But probably not because of overcrowding on the tube or worries over house prices. Their new home will be in Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle estate. Built by Queen Charlotte in 1801 it’s a little grander than most cottages, but is relatively modest for royalty. The move will also replace their top-secret Cotswolds bolthole they’ve been quietly renting for the last year or so.
What about titles?
The royals love their titles! But Prince Harry’s child won’t automatically receive be a prince or princess, a relatively new precedent thanks to George V who declared in 1917 that only oldest son of the Prince of Wales’s oldest son was entitled to be styled His Royal Highness and a Prince. However the Queen issued letters patent (ie changed the rules) to ensure that all Prince William’s children will be HRHs and Princes and Princesses. It’s unclear if this will apply to Harry’s children. However, given their parents are a Duke and Duchess, their eldest son will be an Earl and their daughters will be ladies. So still not too bad.
Will they dress them like creepy Edwardian ghosts?
There’s something a little odd about how the royals dress their children. They always look like they’ve walked off the set of some period drama. The big question is, will Harry and Meghan continue the tradition? Let’s watch this space.
Either way, we’ll know the answer to nearly all these questions in just a few months time. Perhaps there are more important things in the world to be stressing about?