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Meghan Markle pregnant: Royal baby traditions the Duchess will have to follow

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 15/10/2018 Caitlyn Hitt

Prince Harry standing in front of a building: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they're expecting a child together on Monday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they're expecting a child together on Monday Meghan Markle is officially pregnant with another heir to the British throne.

The Duchess of Sussex and her husband, Prince Harry, confirmed the exciting news in a statement from Kensington Palace on Monday, October 15. Now that Meghan, 37, is pregnant, she’ll have a whole slew of new Royal protocols and traditions to follow.

a person standing next to a car: Now that Meghan Markle is pregnant, she'll have to follow Royal protocol that dictates where she gives birth, who learns of her child's arrival first and more © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Now that Meghan Markle is pregnant, she'll have to follow Royal protocol that dictates where she gives birth, who learns of her child's arrival first and more The monarchy has established guidelines to almost every aspect of pregnancy, including when the news is shared with the public, where the birth takes place, who’s the first to learn of the baby’s arrival and even what the child’s named.

What are the rules and traditions Meghan Markle will have to follow now that she’s with child? Check it out.

Royal pregnancies are announced about 12-weeks in

Traditionally, Royal women announce their pregnancies about 12-weeks in. Kate Middleton went public about her third child a bit earlier due to severe morning sickness, according to PopSugar.

This could explain why Meghan didn’t appear to have much of a baby bump when she and Prince Harry announced the impending arrival of their first child.

There won’t be a baby shower

Unlike regular women, Royals don’t have baby showers. According to a 2013 ABC News interview with Victoria Arbiter, this is because ‘there’s nothing they can’t go out and buy themselves’.

She added that ‘a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate’ because members of the Royal family are ‘very wealthy’.

Should a pregnant member of the Royal family receive a gift, they’re expected to ‘respectfully’ return it to whomever gifted it.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Oct 15, 2018 at 12:40am PDT

Meghan probably won’t find out the gender of her baby

While this isn’t practiced so widely anymore, there was a time when it wasn’t uncommon for Royals not to find out the gender of their baby. Prince William and Kate reportedly didn’t find out what their third child was until he arrived.

Even if Meghan and Prince Harry do decide to learn what they're having ahead of the child's birth, that information will be kept from the public. 

Meghan probably won't do much overseas traveling

For the most part, pregnant Royals are discouraged from traveling internationally until the birth of their child, according to Metro UK. Meghan is currently with her husband in Sydney, Australia and is headed to Tonga and Fiji in the coming days.

Although there is a risk of contracting Zika in Tonga and Fiji, the couple confirmed that they consulted a doctor and were cleared for the trip. They did, however, alter their plans a little so that Meghan could avoid higher risk situations. 

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Oct 10, 2018 at 11:15pm PDT

Prince Harry will get paternity leave

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first child is born, the 34-year-old will take a leave of absence from his Royal duties and other work.

The leave is unpaid, however.

Meghan will go on a lengthy maternity leave

Expectant Royals get a long maternity leave period during which they’re not required to attend any events. This period typically begins before their due date and ends after a few months.

Kate began her maternity leave in late March, just before Prince Louis was born in April. Her time off ended in October, five full months after her third child’s birth.

Meghan will likely take a similar break from Royal duties.

Home births were once the Royal standard

There was a time when all Royal women were expected to give birth in their homes. That time has come and gone, however.

Princess Diana delivered both her children at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s hospital in London, as did Kate. Meghan will likely follow suit, though home birth is still an option.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Sep 20, 2018 at 9:00am PDT

Midwives are common and are very involved in the birth

Although Royals don’t generally have home births anymore, it’s not uncommon for expected mothers to have a midwife in addition to a team of doctors, nurses and their Royal gynecologist.

Midwives are at the bedside during each Royal baby’s birth. Kate had three midwives when she gave birth.

Each of the midwives are sworn to secrecy.

The Queen must be the first person to learn of a Royal baby’s arrival

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first call after the arrival of their son or daughter must be to Queen Elizabeth II. After she’s been informed, other family members and members of the public may be looped in on the news.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Sep 4, 2018 at 10:53am PDT

The birth of a Royal baby is celebrated with a 62-gun salute

After a Royal baby is born, a 62-gun salute takes place at the Tower of London. This takes about 10 minutes to complete.

An official birth announcement is posted outside Buckingham Palace

Although the Royal family tends to share updates about their lives on social media, they still hold the tradition of posting an official birth announcement on an easel outside Buckingham Palace.

Details revealed on the announcement include the child’s gender, when he or she was born and more.

An official portrait will be shared by the parents in the coming weeks. 

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jul 26, 2018 at 11:20am PDT

A town crier announces the Royal baby’s birth in London

Since medieval times, an unofficial town crier has been announcing the arrival of a Royal baby in London. Tony Appleton served as the town crier for Princess Charlotte’s birth.

Royal babies aren’t given surnames

Many Royals get more than one name, but none have an official last name. Queen Elizabeth II selected Mountbatten-Windsor as a last name in 1960 to separate her lineage from that of the Windsor house.

Still, surnames are optional and rarely used in the Royal family.

The Royal baby’s first official appearance will be his or her christening

Members of the public won’t get to lay their eyes on the Royal baby until his or her christening. Typically this event takes place in the days or weeks after the child’s birth, though there isn’t a set window of time in which it must be completed.

Each Royal baby wears a traditional christening gown that’s been passed through the monarchy for eight generations.

This protocol has evolved ever so slightly, as recently it’s become common for Royals to make an appearance with the baby outside the hospital wing. The child is well covered and hardly visible during this moment, however.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jul 15, 2018 at 2:30pm PDT

All Royal babies get the same baby blanket

The Royal family has a tradition of gifting each new baby with a knitted-lace shawl from GH Hurt & Son Ltd.

As previously reported, the company ‘has a long-standing connection with the Royal Family’. The blankets are identical to the ones Prince William and Prince Harry were wrapped in when they made their debuts.

All Royal babies must get registered.

Just like everyone else, members of the Royal family have to register their children with the British government. This has to be completed within 42 days of the child’s birth.

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Jul 10, 2018 at 11:37am PDT

Most Royals have about six Godparents

Royal children generally have about six godparents. Prince George has seven while his sister, Princess Charlotte, has five.

None of those chosen as Godparents can be blood relatives.

Pictures: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Romance timeline

According to The Guardian, the Queen has begun encouraging Royal mothers to breastfeed. She was breastfed after her 1926 birth, as were her own children, and she believes it’s the best practice. 

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