14 Royal Pregnancy Rules Meghan Markle Had to Follow When She Was Pregnant
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed baby Archie in May of 2019. When Meghan Markle was pregnant, she had to learn to follow these rules for royal pregnancies.
Learning to “fall” pregnant
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are far from what many consider a traditional royal couple. But when Meghan was pregnant with baby Archie (who will be seventh in line to the British throne, according to the rules of succession), there were many traditions to uphold. And the first was that in British terms, one does not “get pregnant.” Rather, one “falls pregnant.” So if you hear that Meghan had “fallen pregnant,” know that there is no cause for concern. It was perfectly good news.
The maternity wardrobe couldn’t be too adventurous
We saw a lot of Meghan during her pregnancy since she was still very active, but what we didn’t see a lot of was her skin. While maternity fashions have become more body-conscious in recent years, it’s virtually unheard of for an expectant royal to show cleavage—despite that larger breasts are as much a natural part of pregnancy as a swollen belly.
Morning sickness is a public matter
Kate Middleton suffered terrible morning sickness in all three of her pregnancies. It was so bad, in fact, that it had a clinical name: hyperemesis gravidarum, which the official royal website explained in a press release is “very acute morning sickness, which may require supplementary hydration, medication, and nutrients.” Meghan’s morning sickness was not a severe as Kate’s, but she did feel tired and like she was “running on adrenaline” while attending to royal engagements throughout her pregnancy.
Forget comfy shoes
A woman’s bosom isn’t the only thing that swells when she’s expecting. Swollen feet are a normal part of pregnancy, and many women cope by wearing comfy shoes, especially sandals, which allow those poor tootsies to breathe. But not expectant royals. Just as they must maintain decorum around their décolletage, they must also keep their toes covered, no matter how swollen their feet or how sweltering the temperatures. Of course, Meghan Markle is not always known to follow the rules; here are a number of ways in which Markle has already broken royal protocol.
Travel is truncated
Most pregnant women are advised against traveling in the third trimester. Royals, however, are advised against traveling at all during their pregnancies, especially overseas. But Meghan got some wiggle room. The pregnancy news was announced right before she and Prince Harry launched a tour of Australia, so during her pregnancy she traveled to Australia, Morocco, and New York City. Of course, she was able to travel on a private plane with her own medical team. Here’s what it’s like to travel like royalty.
No gender-reveal festivities
Since the 1950s, eager-to-know expectant parents have been happily dispensing with the “mystery” of whether they’re having a boy or a girl via sonogram. And some royals have joined in, including Princess Diana, who learned that Prince Harry would be a boy sometime during the pregnancy (although she didn’t tell Prince Charles, and here’s why). However, what a royal must never do is reveal the gender to the public in advance of the birth.
And about that christening gown…
Since 1841, every royal baby has been christened in an identical robe. The original robe was made for the christening of Queen Victoria’s oldest daughter. Queen Elizabeth was dressed in the same robe for her christening, and so were all her children. In fact, all the Queen’s grandchildren were dressed in that very robe until 2008, when the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son was dressed in a replica designed to preserve the original, according to the BBC.
A limited layette
With the gender of the heir a tightly-held secret, Meghan wasn’t able to prepare an elaborate layette for baby Archie and instead had to go with neutral colors. In addition, anything but “formal” attire is frowned up for royal babies, so if Meghan had always dreamed of putting Archie in a bib embroidered with, “Spit happens,” sorry, but it’s not happening.
No baby shower
In the past, royal mums haven’t had baby showers—including Kate Middleton and Princess Diana. But, Meghan Markle chose to have a private one with about 15 of her closest friends in New York City. The event was co-hosted by one of Markle’s best friends, Serena Williams. To shower an expectant royal is considered “bad taste,” but Meghan still wanted to celebrate. Don’t worry, the baby will still get lots of toys, just not these popular items that royal parents have banned.
Only special receiving blankets are used
A popular baby shower gift is a receiving blanket, which is a small, lightweight blanket used for swaddling your baby. But there will be no point in gifting Meghan and Harry with receiving blankets, as royal babies have theirs made by G.H. Hurt & Son, which has been making all royal receiving blankets for the past century. Although when Prince George was born, he was famously introduced to the world in an Aden + Anais swaddle.