Royal Pregnancy Rules Duchess Meghan Will Have To Follow

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, greets royal fans in Sydney
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

This morning, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant with her and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex’s, first child, due in Spring 2019. For most people, this would mean an exciting but uncertain time ahead as they learn to navigate the special new future together.

For the Sussexes, however, the future is all but uncertain. According to the Mirror, Meghan, like all pregnant royals before her, will have particular rules that she will have to follow in the upcoming months. Being royal comes with a set of rule books longer than the entire Harry Potter series, and there are rules pertaining to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting included in these large volumes.

No Baby Showers

While a popular way to celebrate an imminent arrival in most homes, a baby shower for a royal would be seen as “highly inappropriate,” according to royal commentator Victoria Arbiter.

“They are clearly very wealthy. There’s nothing they can’t go out and buy themselves.”

If pregnant members of the royal family are given gifts, they are expected to “respectfully” return them, per Daily Mail.

Overseas Travel Will Be Limited

Harry and Meghan’s current Australasian tour notwithstanding, the couple won’t be traveling overseas during Meghan’s pregnancy. Traveling is grueling for pregnant women, and completely discouraged in the third trimester anyway, but traveling as a royal with a busy schedule of engagements would not be healthy for Meghan or her unborn child.

Although this probably hasn’t been a problem for many royal women before, Meghan’s family and friend base is largely across the pond in the U.S. and Canada. Any well-wishers will have to travel if they want to see the pregnant duchess upon her return to the U.K.

Meghan is clearly not suffering from any major morning sickness as her sister-in-law Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, did during all three her pregnancies, as the Duchess of Sussex seems to be quite happy to undertake the 16-day tour of Oceania.

Pink or Blue?

As with previous royal babies (think all three of the Duchess of Cambridge’s children) the sex of Harry and Meghan’s child will be a closely guarded secret. Rumor has it that William and Catherine didn’t find out the sexes of either one of their little ones until they were born, and even if they did, members of the public were kept well in the dark about it.

The Medical Team

When Catherine delivered her three children, she had a massive team of medical staff on hand throughout the nine months, who were on call for the entire third trimesters of her pregnancies. According to the Mirror, the team consisted of “two obstetricians, three midwives, three anesthesiologists, four surgical staff members, two special care staffers, four pediatricians, one lab technician for blood tests, and three or four managers.”

Meghan will likely be given the same kind of attention during her pregnancy as she prepares to welcome the next royal baby.

Announcing The Arrival

While the whole world will likely know the minute Meghan goes into labor (expect the media to be camped outside the hospital for days before), the announcement of the birth is done in a specific order. The royal family expects that Queen Elizabeth II, the baby’s great-grandmother, will be the first to know that the baby has been born. After that, the couple is free to let other members of the family know before Buckingham Palace makes an official announcement to the public.

As with William and Catherine’s children, the announcement will probably first go on social media before the hand-printed announcement is placed up on the golden easel at the palace.

Family Leave

Following the birth of his first child, Prince Harry will be afforded some (unpaid) paternity leave to spend time at home with his wife and new baby. Meghan will also enjoy a lengthy maternity leave, as her main priority will be caring for the newest member of the royal family. Just how much leave she will be granted is unknown, but the Duchess of Cambridge was given six-months before she returned to royal duty after the birth of Prince Louis in April this year.

Location of the Birth

While home births were previously the norm (Queen Elizabeth delivered all four her children in Buckingham Palace) Princess Diana broke away from this tradition when she welcomed William and Harry. The Princess of Wales opted instead to deliver her sons in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital. When it came time for Catherine to give birth, she followed her mother-in-law’s example, welcoming George, Charlotte, and Louis in the Lindo Wing as well. Meghan will likely also follow this trend next year.