10 Royal Baby Rules Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Must Follow
The arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first baby is right around the corner. And while the 34-year-old Duke and 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex have marched to the beat of their own drum and broken royal decorum on many occasions, some rules weren’t made to be broken. Here, ten rules Markle and Prince Harry must follow when Baby Sussex arrives.
Traditionally speaking, all royal babies are named after the royals before them. That’s why mini-royal Prince George (5) has the middle names Arthur and Charles and Princess Charlotte (3) has the middle names Elizabeth and Diana. Interestingly enough, all royals have at least three names. (Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles have four, however.)
Since members of the family don’t technically have last names, they often use their parents’ titles as surnames. This is why Prince George goes by George Cambridge at school. It’s expected that Markle and Harry’s baby will use Sussex as a last name.
Royal protocol states that Queen Elizabeth must be the first person to be given details about a royal-baby birth. So before anyone knows the deets about Baby Sussex, Gan-Gan Queen Elizabeth will. After that, royals are welcome to tell the rest of the family and eventually a statement is released to the press.
The royal family celebrates each birth by issuing a statement, which includes gender and arrival time details, outside of Buckingham Palace. The statement is of course issued online as well. A town crier has also been traditionally used to announce the news. However, since Markle and Prince Harry intend to make Baby Sussex’s arrival private, this likely won’t occur.
The Official Documents
They might be royal, but even the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have to fill out a birth certificate. Prince William famously listed his job title as “Prince of the United Kingdom” when Prince Louis (11 months) was born.
G.H. Hurt & Son has been responsible for making the baby blankets that royal newborns make their first debut in since 1948. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip started the tradition when Prince Charles was born and Princess Diana followed suit with the birth of Prince William and Prince Harry. Kate Middleton also introduced Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to the world wrapped in a G.H. Hurt & Son blanket.
The Gun Salutes
Now, this is a rather unconventional one. At the birth of a royal baby, 62 rounds are fired at the Tower of London to harken the arrival. A traditional salute is 21 rounds, but since these are royals, they get 41 extra. Meanwhile, another 41 rounds are shot off at Green Park, which is known as the official royal park. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery also celebrates occasions like the queen’s birthday in the same way. How…loud.
The U.K. introduced statutory paternity leave in 2003 and all men are able to participate—even royals. When Princess Charlotte was born, Prince William took six weeks of from his then-job as an air ambulance pilot to be with her and the rest of his family. Historically, royal mothers have also taken several months of maternity leave to bond with their children.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, always performs the christening ceremony for little royals. He uses water from the River of Jordan to baptize the children, as it’s supposedly the same water Jesus was baptized in by Saint John. Newborn princes or princesses always wear a gown made of Honiton lace that’s modeled after the original version Queen Victoria commissioned. But that’s not all. They’re also all dipped into the same bowl, which is an ornate gold fountain with cherubs seated at its base, that was created around 1840.
We plebeians usually only get two godparents. Royals, on the other hand, get a gaggle. Princess Charlotte has five, Prince George has seven and Prince Louis has six. That’s a lot of cooks in the christening kitchen. Time will tell who Baby Sussex’s godparents are. Until then, we’re crossing our fingers for the dream team of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Nick and Priyanka (Chopra) Jonas.