5 Royal Pregnancy Rules Meghan Markle Will Have To Follow For The Next Few Months
The Duchess of Sussex is pregnant. And unlike the average woman, there are a number of royal pregnancy rules Meghan Markle will have to follow to stay on good terms with the Queen and co. That means no taking the day off if you're tired (although morning sickness is often looked at more sympathetically) and no travelling round the world.
Kensington Palace issued a statement on Monday morning, announcing that Meghan and Prince Harry will be expecting a baby in spring 2019. According to Hello!'s royal editor Emily Nash, the 37-year-old is 12 weeks along and relayed the exciting news to the rest of the royal family at Princess Eugenie's wedding last Friday.
Most of the rules pregnant royal women are expected to stick to aren't a huge deal — if you're born and bred in the UK. But it's easy to forget that Markle changed her entire lifestyle to marry Harry. The large majority of her friends and family (including her mum) are living in the U.S. and Canada. Although she'll have a firm support system in her adopted home, it can be a little lonely being surrounded by people you only met a year ago, especially during such an emotional time.
From odd baby shower bans to the issue of maternity leave, here's a few things Meghan is expected to stick to throughout her pregnancy.
1. No Travelling
OK, so this one doesn't make sense considering Meghan and Harry are currently on the other side of the world but, according to The Sun, royal women are advised to stay home in case of a medical emergency. The couple have just started a 16-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, and some of the South Pacific islands. That has surely involved a lot of planning and preparation, meaning they were probably reluctant to let a lot of people down by cancelling the whole thing.
There were concerns about Meghan entering Fiji and Tonga; two places known to contain the Zika virus. Despite the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advising pregnant women to avoid these areas, Meghan will be sticking to her original plans. The Daily Mail's royal correspondent Rebecca English said a spokesperson had said there would be no change to the tour programme, stating: "[Meghan and Harry] had sought medical advice and decided to go ahead with their plans."
Seeing as heavily pregnant women are advised not to travel overseas, Meghan will also be unable to visit her mum and friends later in her pregnancy.
2. Maternity Leave Is An Option
Some may argue that the royal family have never done a hard day's work in their life. I would say otherwise. It takes commitment to get up everyday and make small talk with people you've never met before. Most working women take a portion of their maternity leave before giving birth. Not the royals.
The Duchess of Cambridge continued to turn up to pre-arranged events right up until the birth of her three children. It's expected that Meghan will do the same. As for the post-birth maternity leave, well, the length varies. Kate returned to royal engagements six weeks after giving birth to Prince George, choosing a slightly longer period of four months after Princess Charlotte's arrival into the world.
Her third maternity leave was the longest by far. Kate gave birth to Prince Louis in April and decided to take the entire summer off, only going back to work at the beginning of October. It seems as if there isn't an official maternity leave length. However, you can expect to see Meghan fulfilling her royal duties right up until spring.
3. There's A Ban On Baby Showers
Baby showers are a common event both here in the UK and in Meghan's U.S. home. But it's unlikely she'll be allowed to have one. Although there were rumours that Kate's sister Pippa Middleton had thrown a bash for her sibling's first pregnancy, royal expert Victoria Arbiter thinks this is a load of rubbish.
"A lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate. There's nothing they can't go out and buy themselves," she told ABC News. I suppose a Kardashian-esque party is completely out of the question then.
4. The Sex Must Remain A Secret
Harry and Meghan may decide to find out the sex of their baby but they are not allowed to tell anyone else. Well, they may be able to tell select members of their families but the news must remain quiet until the baby is born. According to Cosmopolitan, Kate and William decided not to find out the sex of any of their children, making the secret-keeping a whole lot easier.
5. Royal Babies Must Be Born In Hospital
Meghan won't have to worry about this one right until the very end. It's an odd scenario considering the royals were renowned for giving birth at home. It wasn't until the Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, opted to give birth at the private Lindo Wing inside St. Mary's Hospital that the tradition came to a halt. Since then, several royals including Princess Diana and Kate have chosen to give birth inside the exact same walls. Meghan will probably choose to follow suit.
When the baby does finally arrive, the child's grandparents will have to wait to find out until the Queen has been informed. In 2013, Vanity Fair reported that "protocol dictated that William call his grandmother on a specially encrypted phone upon the birth" of Prince George.
I've said it once and I'll say it again. Being a royal really isn't a walk in the park.