If you were hoping to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby outside the hospital immediately following the birth, well, that won't be happening. On Thursday, Meghan Markle announced her royal birth plan in a statement released by Buckingham Palace (via People). Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have done with all three of their children, Prince Harry and Markle will not be posing for photos right away. Furthermore, they won't instantly announce the birth of their first child, who is expected to arrive soon.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby," their statement began. It continued,
"Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."
According to People, Buckingham Palace also wouldn't discuss whether or not Markle was planning on giving birth at her and Harry's new home, Frogmore Cottage, or in a hospital. If she does choose to give birth in a hospital, People reported it probably won't happen in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital, where Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Seeing as Frogmore Cottage is 25 miles away from Middleton's hospital of choice, it seems more likely that Markle would choose to deliver somewhere closer to home.
As disappointed as some British royal family fans might be upon learning they won't get to see photos of Markle and Harry's first child immediately, there's a silver lining. People reported that the palace revealed after a few days of privacy, the couple will have a small photo op with their child on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Only one reporter, one photographer, and one TV camera will be present. According to Entertainment Tonight, press will also be permitted on the Long Walk in Windsor after it's announced that Markle is in labor.
It's been a royal tradition for couples, like both Middleton and Prince William and Prince Charles and Princess Diana, to pose for photos not long after welcoming a child into the world. And it's no surprise Markle and Harry are choosing to break tradition, which they've done before. They continue to make a name for themselves as a modern royal couple.
It's understandable why Markle is opting out of the photo tradition. Labor is a huge deal, not to mention it takes a toll on one's body, so why would she want to do her hair and makeup and put on a cute dress and heels right after delivering her child? She probably wants to be able to rest comfortably and heal, all while having as much privacy as possible with her family prior to introducing her new baby to the entire world.
Now that doesn't mean Middleton was in the wrong for choosing to take photos after all three births. Both she and Markle made personal choices and no one should criticize either of them for their decisions.
That said, Middleton's flawless appearance after welcoming all of her children has been a topic of conversation for awhile now. It was quite something to see how perfect the 37-year-old looked after giving birth to an actual human being only a few hours prior. The photoshoots, which could've been expected of Middleton as a royal family member, have been found problematic and seen as unrealistic by many, especially when there are already enough pressures and expectations put on mothers.
On the other hand, many have found Middleton's actions as heroic. Think about it, for her to be able to get out of bed after giving birth, put herself together, pose for photos, and suck up whatever she may be feeling about the situation to give the people what they want is applaud-worthy. Like Serena Williams told POPSUGAR (via Marie Claire) in April 2018 about Kate following Louis' birth, "That's one heck of a woman! Let me tell you: I was not in heels [after I gave birth]. I thought she gave birth maybe two days before! Wow."
Both Middleton and Markle are exceptional individuals, and no judgment should be sent their way for their postpartum decisions. Again, Middleton did what she thought was best after giving birth, and Markle is choosing to do the same.