Meghan and Harry's royal baby: Everything you need to know

If you're excited about the upcoming arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby, you're not alone. Back in October 2018, Kensington Palace took to Twitter to break the news of the Duchess of Sussex's pregnancy. At the time, it was also revealed that the child is due in spring 2019. Since the announcement, the tweet has garnered over a quarter of a million likes. Suffice to say, most of us have come down with royal baby fever — and we're not mad about it.

Despite all of the public attention the family draws, though, the royals still don't share too many details about their lives — at least, not directly. Unlike celebrities who tend to be more accessible, these famous Brits don't often sit down for interviews. But don't fret, we've managed to uncover some of the biggest details you need to know about the soon-to-be newest royal. If you've been jonesing for more news about Meghan and Harry's forthcoming bundle of joy — and we know you have — you'll want to keep reading.

The "over the top" baby shower

In late February 2019, Meghan traveled to New York City and had the baby shower of the century. For starters, the swanky event was held at The Mark Hotel in Manhattan. According to Tatler, the Penthouse suite reserved for the occasion comes with a hefty price tag of $75,000 for just one night. That said, it is speculated that Meghan's bestie, tennis champion Serena Williams, footed the bill. 

Along with Williams, other famous friends were in attendance, including Meghan's former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, actress Priyanka Chopra, and television personality Gayle King. All said and done, royal expert Katie Nicholl estimates the shower to have cost around $200,000. Wowza.

Despite having a baby shower that King said was unlike anything she'd ever seen, not everyone thought that was a good thing. "Baby showers, it's very much an American thing," Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth II's former press spokesman, told Us Weekly. "We don't do it here in the U.K. It was a bit over the top in terms of expense…"

The expected sex

Boy or girl? It's the question everyone wants to know. Though, it's entirely possible that Meghan and Harry don't even know. "Traditionally, the royal couple does not learn the sex of the baby until the birth," Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, revealed when speaking with Glamour. The etiquette expert continued, saying, "While there are many royal baby traditions that have been broken in recent generations — such as Princess Diana being the first to birth a royal baby outside of a palace and, instead, in a hospital — saving sex reveal for the day of birth is likely one that will stay for generations to come." 

While it seems highly unlikely that Meghan and Harry know what they're having, you can argue that there's a chance. In an interview with E! News, Serena Williams mentioned a friend who is pregnant. And, when referring to the baby, Williams used the pronoun "she." Cue gasp. Williams didn't name her pregnant friend, but because she'd been talking about Meghan earlier in the interview, many are wondering if the tennis champ accidentally spilled the beans, er, tea, about the sex of Meghan and Harry's baby.

The likely due date

Speculation about when exactly the duchess is due began nearly as soon as Kensington Palace announced that Harry and Meghan's baby would be arriving in spring 2019. A major clue came in January 2019 when royal expert Emily Nash tweeted a conversation she'd overheard. "Meghan has told wellwishers in Birkenhead that she is six months pregnant — due end of April/beginning of May!" she wrote. The following month, Cosmopolitan set about calculating Meghan's "exact" due date. After piecing together various clues, the publication revealed their best estimate: "around May 10."

In an article for Vanity Fair in mid March 2019, royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed that Meghan had completed her "last official royal engagement" before beginning her maternity leave. However, the duchess would continue taking "private meetings." The publication further revealed that Meghan was, at that point in time, "believed to be eight months pregnant." A due date of late April or early May seems probable.

The birth plan

When Global News asked royal expert Victoria Arbiter where Meghan was planning to give birth, Arbiter said that's the "million-dollar question." She provided further explanation, saying, "The Lindo Wing has seen more royal births than any other hospital, but that doesn't mean it's a tradition. I think where to give birth is very much a personal choice." 

As Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, mentioned when speaking with GlamourPrincess Diana broke the unofficial "tradition" by becoming the first royal who did not opt for a home birth. The princess chose to give birth at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London, which was a custom later adopted by Diana's own children.

It's been speculated that Meghan will opt to have a home birth, but it's also been speculated that she will give birth at St. Mary's. According to The Telegraph, a "source" revealed to them: "Staff at the Lindo Wing have been asked not to take holiday in April. Everyone thinks it's got something to do with the royal baby but no one is confirming anything." The truth is: we don't know for sure. But we're ready to find out.

The potential godparents

Whenever a new royal baby is on the way, there's a lot of hubbub about prospective godparents. According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, royal parents choose godparents who will help the child throughout their "spiritual journey." Whom the royals choose is not stipulated by the Church — nor the Queen — of England. So, who will Meghan and Harry choose for this task?

"It's likely we'll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family, and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too," Arbiter revealed to Global News. Meghan's close friend Jessica Mulroney could also be chosen. More than likely, though, Meghan will not choose her sister-in-law Kate Middleton — but this isn't anything personal. At around the time of Prince George's birth, royal expert Robert Jobson told USA Today that Harry, along with Kate's sister Pippa, would not be considered as godparents because "they already have very important roles in [the baby's] life" as the uncle and aunt, respectively. If history repeats itself, this means Kate and even William are out of the running.

The first name options

Naming a baby is no easy task and naming a member of royalty has got to come with some added pressure. In April 2019, royal expert Katie Nicholl told Time: "There's a lot of speculation that Meghan's going to want to go for something quite untraditional, possibly an American name or a modern name." While she said "it's possible," she thinks the couple won't buck tradition. Instead, she feels the soon-to-be parents will choose a royal baby name that reflects "the family tree." Because the royal family tree extends so far back in time, there are many names from which to choose. 

Those willing to chance their luck have even bet on which names they think the couple could select. As of this writing, the online betting site Ladbrokes lists the frontrunners as Diana and Elizabeth for a girl and Albert and Philip for a boy, but we won't know for sure which name the couple chooses until the child is born and the official announcement goes out

The stand-in last name

Although you might assume that Harry and Meghan's child will have the same last name as William and Kate's kiddos, it's not quite that simple. As Prince Louis' birth certificate revealed, his full name is listed as "His Royal Highness Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge." Phew, that's a mouthful. 

Royal expert Marlene Koenig explained to Town & Country that "Cambridge" — William's dukedom — acts as William and Kate's children's last name. It seems likely that Harry and Meghan will follow the same pattern. As they are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the child will likely use Sussex as a last name. If the couple opts not to use that last name, the child would use the hyphenated last names of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II's descendants: Mountbatten-Windsor. And, if you're wondering why they don't just use Markle, Meghan's maiden name, it's because it's not an option. The duchess renounced it upon marrying into the royal family. It seems whichever name they choose, though, their child is guaranteed to have a long name.

The royal title

At birth, Harry and Meghan's child will not be considered a prince or a princess like William and Kate's children. This is because their little one will be too far removed from the throne. Yet and still, the child will likely use "one of Harry's subsidiary titles," royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to Global News. "If a boy comes along, he will likely be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry's subsidiary titles." Arbiter said it's possible that, if they have a girl, she could go by "Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor."

And, just when you think you've got this all figured out, the child's title is subject to change when Charles becomes king. At that point, Harry and Meghan's kiddo wouldn't be too far removed and, according to Arbiter, would "technically become HRH Prince or Princess." She added, "…The thing is, Charles has been clear he wants to slim down monarchy. He may issue new letters patent and so this baby wouldn't be eligible." Lastly, Meghan and Harry could decide that they don't want their child to have a royal title and refuse the Queen's offer, just as Princess Anne did.

The updated line of succession

Once the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby arrives, the line of succession to the British throne will change. "This baby will be seventh in line, right behind dad Prince Harry", royal expert Victoria Arbiter told Global News. Although the little one won't be given the title of prince or princess at birth, as Arbiter confirmed to the publication, it is technically possible that the child could end up ruling, but you shouldn't count on it. "It's very unlikely that this baby will ever be monarch," the royal expert explained. "It would take a catastrophe of unforeseen circumstances if we were to wipe out Charles and the entire Cambridge clan."

Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — for Queen Elizabeth II's third child, Prince Andrew, the new baby will take his place in the line of succession and bump him down to eighth from the throne. As such, his two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, will also get bumped to ninth and tenth in the line of succession, respectively.

The division of household

While we don't know who's going to be doing most of the diaper-changing, late-night feedings, or other divisions of household labor in the Sussex family, we do know that the couple's household has literally started dividing during Meghan's pregnancy.

In mid March 2019, the royal family announced on their official site: "The Queen has agreed to the creation of a new Household for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, following their marriage in May last year. The Household, which will be created with the support of The Queen and The Prince of Wales, will be established in the spring."

Previously, William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan were all part of one household. With this change, Harry and Meghan were given permission to move to the Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where the pair will raise their little one. The queen also granted the royal couple their own communications team separate from William and Kate's and, with that, their very own Instagram account. Exciting times, most def. As Harry and Meghan enter parenthood, we can only hope they'll share some baby pics with us!

The "monochrome" nursery

Vanity Fair contributor and royal expert Katie Nicholl reported that Harry and Meghan officially moved into their new digs at Frogmore Cottage on April 4, 2019. Prior to the expecting parents' relocation to Windsor, the royal expert revealed Meghan's clear vision for her baby's room. "…According to sources who are helping with [their new home] renovations, the nursery itself is going to be very modern. Don't expect to see any baby pink or baby blue." Nicholl further explained, "Apparently, it's going to be a monochrome palette — whites and grays, I'm told, will be the color theme for baby Sussex's nursery."

The Frogmore Cottage also happens to have special significance to Harry and Meghan as it is where they held their private wedding reception. How cool for them to now be able to live and raise a family there. If you want to peek inside their new home — but don't want to get arrested — the public is invited to tour the house and surrounding gardens as part of a charity event for one weekend in late May 2019, likely after the little one is born.

The expense

As nearly everyone will tell you, babies ain't cheap. In the United States, the cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 averaged in around $234,000 by 2015. Across the pond, that number was found to be even higher:  €230,000 (roughly $259,000). Either way, American and British parents are forking out over a quarter-million dollars to raise children. As you could probably guess, a royal baby is going to cost more than the average kiddo. A lot more.

Ok! Magazine estimated that Meghan and Harry's child will end up costing British taxpayers about $2 million. Yikes. Additionally, the Frogmore Cottage was in need of renovations. Said renovations have been estimated to cost nearly $3 million and are covered under a taxpayer-funded grant. Of course, these are all estimates. Since the royals probably aren't clamoring to dish out the facts and figures about how much the bundle of joy is going to set the country back, we may never know for sure. Still, Harry and Meghan have their own substantial fortune, so you can bet they'll be footing quite a bit of the bill. 

The taxes?

Meghan may be royalty in the United Kingdom, but when it comes to American taxes, the IRS doesn't exactly care. "When a child is born a U.S. citizen, they are a U.S. taxpayer irrespective of residency," international tax lawyer Stuart E. Horwich explained in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. And, as it turns out, Harry and Meghan's child won't be able to renounce his or her American citizenship until adulthood. The lawyer continued, saying, "The kid will have to list all foreign bank and financial accounts in which he or she has an interest."

David Treitel, founder of American Tax Returns, agreed with Horwich and expounded, "This baby will have access to trusts and the use of a nice home in Windsor and other financial assets that the royal family has, so there is a lot of reporting that will need to be done." And a lot of this will have to be done before baby Sussex can even read and write. In fact, it's possible that Meghan will have to file a tax return in her child's behalf pretty much right after birth. Nothing is certain but birth and taxes, it seems.

The present Meghan has planned for her daughter

We're not saying Meghan is having a girl, but if she does, she already has a present waiting for her. Back when Meghan was working as an actress on Suits, she sat down for an interview with Hello! Magazine. Meghan revealed that the jewelry she wore throughout the series was actually her own. In some instances, she even donned family heirlooms. "I've actually worn my grandmother's charm bracelet and pearls from my mom on the show," she admitted. 

When the actress discovered Suits had been renewed for a third season, she said she "totally splurged" for a Cartier French Tank watch. She explained that it "felt like such a milestone" in her career and decided to celebrate with a piece of jewelry that she'd "always coveted." She continued, saying, "I had it engraved on the back, 'To M.M. From M.M.' and I plan to give it to my daughter one day. That's what makes pieces special, the connection you have to them." We just hope baby Sussex likes the watch as much as she does!