Prince Harry and Meghan Markle do not plan to have any more than two children for the sake of the environment, Marie Claire reports.
Meghan was the guest editor for this month’s edition of British Vogue, and used her editorial control to solicit the skills of her husband, Prince Harry, to interview world-renowned conservationist and animal researcher Jane Goodall.
One subject that came up was the topic of children and leaving the world a better place for them. Specifically, Harry said, “Being as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.”
While he was trying to make his point, there was a brief exchange of interruptions between him and Goodall. When Harry mentioned children, Goodall interjected, “Not too many!” To which Harry responded, “Two maximum!”
Having fewer children is something that environmentalists have been recommending for a while. For example, back in 2017, The Guardian‘s environmental editor Damian Carrington wrote, “The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child.”
Specifically, an individual can be expected on average to contribute 58.6 tons of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere during their lifetime. Therefore, for each child a person has, they’re contributing that same amount of greenhouse emissions. Therefore, by having fewer children, families can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they will ultimately be responsible for.
And of course, having fewer children means there will be less demand for food, water and other resources.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) July 30, 2019
When it comes to European aristocrats, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are in good company if they do decide to limit their number of children to two. However, that could be less to do with environmentalism and more to do with aristocratic tradition.
As The Conversation explains, for centuries, it’s been a tradition among European aristocrats to only have two (male) children — “an heir and a spare,” as the saying goes. Having two children ensures that should the first die, there will be another to inherit the father’s lands, titles and, in the case of the monarch, throne.
Modern European aristocratic families are filled with pairs of siblings. Harry and his brother, Prince William, are one example. As are Queen Elizabeth and her only sibling, the late Princess Margaret. However, that tradition isn’t iron-clad. Queen Elizabeth herself, for example, had four children.