Rules Meghan Markle Has To Follow When She's Pregnant

Royal baby rumors may have picked up steam after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married, but they actually started long before the royal wedding. In October 2017, OK! magazine claimed "palace insiders" reported Meghan was already three months along. Of course, if that were the case, Meghan would've already had the baby a month before her wedding. Unless the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have some magical powers we don't know about, Meggers was not preggers. That's not to say that the royal couple doesn't want children.

When BBC asked the then-engaged couple, "Children?" to get their thoughts on the matter, Harry joked, saying, "Not currently, no." He explained that he and Meghan will take things "one step at a time" before adding, "I think hopefully we'll start a family in the near future." Although Meghan didn't give her thoughts, she nodded and smiled approvingly. 

While the couple undoubtedly looks forward to having children, there are a whole lot of royal rules Meghan will have to follow when she's pregnant. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Don't expect a gender reveal party

Whether you love them or hate them, gender reveal parties have become increasingly common over the years. According to USA Today, there are over a half-million YouTube videos on the subject. The royals, however, don't take part in the trend — at least not publicly. 

When Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their third child, many non-royals kept busy placing bets on the sex they felt the baby was most likely to be. This is because the sex — and name — is withheld until after the child is born.

Although modern technology has altered some of the royal family's traditions, Buckingham Palace still opts to announce royal births by way of framed proclamation, which is displayed on a gold-trimmed wooden easel and set up behind palace gates for public viewing. While there's no pink or blue ribbon in sight, the official proclamation does denote the baby's sex with the word "son" or "daughter." Twitter is also utilized to spread the word, but as a royal spokesman told The New York Times, "We wanted to retain some of the theater of the notice."

Meghan can also forget about having a baby shower

In the United States, baby showers are a dime a dozen. It may be hard for you to remember a time when an expecting mother didn't have a celebration planned for her new addition — whether it was baby number one, two, or three. In the United Kingdom, however, baby showers don't seem to be as common. A London-based writer for SheKnows admitted she'd never attended one after moving out of the U.S. some nine years prior. Just because they're not as common, though, doesn't mean Brits never throw showers — with the exception of the royal family.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to Express why a baby shower would be in bad taste for a royal. Members of the British royal family are, as Arbiter put it, "very wealthy," meaning "a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate." She added, "There's nothing they can't go out and buy themselves." Well, you can't argue with that logic.

She'll likely need to have a midwife on call

Although midwife-led births throughout England have been on the decline for decades, midwifery is still favored amongst royals. Speaking with Town & Country, Tiong Ghee Teoh, a consultant and gynecologist, told of Princess Charlotte's birth. "We had a huge team. For anything that could possibly go wrong we had a team of people behind each speciality." As you'd imagine, Teoh said each professional was "sworn to secrecy." The teams — for both Charlotte and first-born Prince George — were made up of more than 20 people, including two obstetricians, three anesthetists, four pediatricians, one laboratory technician, and three midwives — amongst many others.

Anesthesiologist Johanna Bray revealed her experience too, saying, "We were on call for three months. You never know when you need to be called — you need to be in town and available." Bray furthered added that car keys had to be at the ready and, if someone were attending a party, there'd have been "no drinking!"

Midwife-assisted or -led deliveries may be becoming antiquated for the public, but since Prince Louis' birth plan included midwives as recent as spring 2018, it seems probable that Meghan's future children's birth plan will too.

Will she give birth here?

At the beginning of the twentieth century, women were starting to forgo home births and opt instead for the hospital. Margaret Marsh, a professor of history at Rutgers University, told WHYY that between the 1940s and 1960s, "doctors, especially obstetricians" were the ones in charge of delivering these babies. 

This trend took a while to catch on within the royal family. As BBC reported, Prince William was actually the first member of the family to be born in a hospital. Later, Prince Harry would also be born at that same hospital, in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital just outside of London.

Following suit with his own children, William and wife Kate Middleton decided to welcome all three of their children at the Lindo Wing, thus replacing the long tradition of home births at Buckingham Palace. Subsequently, another tradition was born. Since William's birth, royal parents have taken to the front steps of the Lindo Wing to introduce their newborn to the public. Unless Meghan bucks tradition, you can expect her and Harry to do the same.

Her options for baby clothes will be severely limited

In the U.S., dressing your baby accounts for over $9 million in revenue. From tiny tutus to baby beanies, it's not hard to find adorable accessories for your children. Well, if you're a commoner, that is. As a royal, baby shopping comes with a few more strings attached.

Have you ever noticed how George and Charlotte are always dressed to the nines? The littlest princess is nearly always photographed wearing a dress while George is in shorts, regardless of the weather — we're talking even winter time. This is because royal tradition dictates that children are to be "formally dressed" when in public, according to royal experts.

Believe it or not, the year-round shorts are actually an improvement to an earlier dress code. Etiquette expert Grant Harrold told BBC News that young boys wore "gowns or dresses" back in the 16th century. "Thankfully in late 19th Century and early 20th Century this developed into shorts. This tradition is carried on by the Royal Family to this very day," said Harold. If Meghan were allowed to have a baby shower, you can bet shorts or dresses would be on the registry.

Not your average hospital bag

If you have children, you can probably remember planning what to pack in your hospital bag. From your health insurance card to toiletries to magazines, you wanted to be prepared. You probably also packed a comfortable outfit to wear home. The American Pregnancy Association recommends an outfit that fit when you were around six months pregnant. While comfy maternity leggings or oversized yoga pants would work well for the average new mom, that's not the going-home outfit a royal would be able to choose.

Both Diana and Kate's postpartum ensembles involved a dress and high heels — not to mention perfectly styled hair and makeup. In fact, one of Kate's first visitors after giving birth to her third child was Amanda Cook-Tucker, the Duchess of Cambridge's personal hairstylist. Just a mere seven hours after delivering her son, Kate stepped out onto the steps of the Lindo Wing looking 100 percent camera-ready. As this has become tradition, the public will be expecting the same of Meghan.

Unique names will probably be out

You won't hear of any royal babies with names like Apple, Moon Unit, or Blue Ivy — but why? While somewhat unusual names (like Zara) do exist within the royal family, there's a reason William and Kate went with classic names George, Charlotte, and Louis.  

"The further down the line of succession, the more likely you are to have a more unique or untraditional name," Carolyn Harris, a professor of history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting, told Vogue Australia. Worldwide, royals have made it almost tradition to use a "shortlist of recycled names."

Prior to finding out the youngest royal's sex, recycled female names, including Mary, Alice, and Victoria were favored by Ladbrokes, a UK-based online betting company. The names that seemed most likely for a boy — Albert and Arthur — were also recycled. Although Harry and Meghan's children won't be incredibly high in the line of succession, a departure from these repurposed names would be unusual.

Will Meghan be required to have a certain number of children?

Every married member of the British royal family — apart from newlyweds Harry and Meghan — have children. While the royal family can be said to have some strict guidelines, there aren't actually any stipulations regarding the number of children a royal must have. Or, if there is, the royals aren't concerned with following it.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had a total of four children over a span of three decades. Each of the couple's children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, went on to have two children each. Were families of four becoming the new tradition? If so, it didn't carry on into the next generation. Zara and her husband, Peter Phillips, as well as Prince William and Kate, have had three children thus far. 

Whether Meghan and Harry decide to have one child or become the next Duggar family, it appears to be entirely up to their discretion.

The Queen must be one of the first ones notified about the birth

While the Queen may not have a say in how many children Meghan and Harry will go on to have, it is a requirement that the Queen be notified of a royal birth prior to any members of the public. According to People, when Prince George was born the media was notified around four hours later. While the public was kept in the dark, the couple was able to call family members and tell their closest friends.

Before any official announcement is made, however, Queen Elizabeth, as well as members of both families, will need to be informed. Don't get any ideas about waking Granny up, though. Ahead of the birth of Kate's second child, a palace source explained to People saying, "I wouldn't think anyone will be waking the queen before 8 a.m."

The same will likely be the case for Meghan and Harry, with no public birth announcements being made between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 a.m. GMT. Babies be damned, the Queen needs her beauty sleep.