This article was originally published on JustStarz
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are relatively new to parenthood. They've certainly taken a detour from royal family traditions so people are anticipating their parenting might be worrisome. But now that they've stopped abiding by the royal rules, how exactly are they raising their kids any differently, and what does the royal family think? Let's dive in and see.
They Announced Their Pregnancy Against Protocol
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry really shook the world and the Windsor family when they decided to step back from their appointed royal duties. During Meghan's pregnancy with their firstborn, Archie, they were still considered working royals; so they had to abide by certain protocols regarding the pregnancy announcement. However this time around, with the pregnancy of Lilibet, things could be a little different and they were able to experience having more control and freedom.
With Lilibet, the couple didn't release an official statement through the royal social media pages; instead, they chose to reveal their second pregnancy with cute professionally photographed photos.
This Baby Bump Might Cause Family Rivalry
There have been many speculations around Harry and Meghan intentionally causing rivalry with some family members. One event in question was during Princess Eugenie's wedding where apparently Meghan chose to share about her pregnancy with Archie. Meghan and Harry allegedly wanted to announce their special news on his cousin's wedding day to spite them. Then like clockwork, they chose to reveal their second pregnancy with Lilibet, only a few days after Eugenie gave birth to her very first child.
Although this seems completely ridiculous, people can't help but take notice. Maybe it is intentional and quite bizarre for them to purposely overshadow other family members' exciting news. Or maybe it is just a coincidence?
The Pregnancy Announcement Date Connects Prince Harry and His Mother
Regardless of many people speculating the couple's pregnancy news was only shared out of spite for Harry's cousin, it turns out the date actually had some other significance to them. The date is February 14, and it's not special just because of Valentine's Day. It also happens to be the date that Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced they were expecting their second child; which of course was Prince Harry himself. Announcing they were pregnant with their own second child on the same date was a meaningful way to stay connected to Harry's mom.
In a very wholesome and sweet way, Prince Harry and Meghan find a way to connect to Princess Diana. Even if it's as small as this.
Does the Royal Family Approve of the Couple?
Since Meghan and Harry's relationship began, they've been under loads of criticism. Undoubtedly the royal family and even the public, have shunned them numerous times; especially when they decided to step down from their royal duties as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Presumably, the targeting really had something to do with Meghan's skin color and not fitting into the stereotype of what a princess should be or look like. However, there was finally some positivity shared around Harry and Meghan!
When they welcomed their latest child into the world, Lilibet Diana, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen was “delighted with the news." Uncle William and Aunt Kate also shared their excitement on social media, saying that they "are all delighted by the happy news of baby Lili's arrival." Delight all around.
Meghan Is Done Having Babies
Meghan and Harry have already been through a lot as a couple and have been barraged with tons of unsolicited advice. As they recently welcomed their second child into their family, people are already questioning when is the next one due. It doesn't seem that adding more children into the mix right now is what the couple needs...or wants! In their interview with Oprah, the Duchess said, "Done. Two it is." A third child isn't in the cards, at least as of now.
Of course, they are ecstatic with their son, Archie, and their new daughter, Lilibet! Maybe a third baby will eventually be on the way but for now, there is no intention of expanding the family.
Lilibet's Birth Was Extremely Hush Hush
According to royal customs, when a senior royal gives birth they immediately let the public know. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, notified the press whenever she was pregnant, gave birth, and even showed her new baby to the media shortly after the birth itself. Meghan and Harry are different and never took a liking to these traditions. Even when they still had full duties they didn't follow these customs with Archie.
With the couple's first baby, Archie, they waited hours after his birth to announce he had entered the world. Two days later, the public got their first peek at what the baby boy actually looked like. This time with Lilibet Diana, the couple waited two days before they revealed she had even been born.
Home Away From Home
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world with their royal exit. Now they've left the royal kingdom in the UK for something a little more low-key, a $14.7 million megamansion in Montecito, California. During their exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, they shared that their new life in the United States felt like "peace and being able to live authentically." Though California has never housed a royal British family, there's a first for everything. But that's not all.
The couple first settled down in Canada but left after it was rumored Canadians didn't want them there. A poll, released by Angus Reid Institute, found that 73 percent of Canadians didn't want to cover any costs relating to the couple living in their country. They ultimately made their move to the States in March 2020.
The Kids Were Suddenly Robbed of Their Royal Titles
All of Prince William's children were given princess and prince titles, which the public only assumed would be the same protocol for Prince Harry's children. Only that is not what happened, both of his children were suspiciously deprived of royal titles. Since Archie is high up in the line of succession, it was likely he would also gain prince status or something of that nature. However, the couple exposed that Archie never received one and even after requesting it for security purposes, it was denied.
After seeing how the request for a title was handled for Archie, it comes as no surprise that Lilibet was also born without one.
Are Archie and Lilibet Still in Line for the Throne?
Harry and Meghan are no longer working members of the Royal Family, and their children didn't receive titles but this doesn't necessarily mean they will never be senior royals themselves. Though Prince Charles, Prince William, and his children all precede Prince Harry, there is still a slight possibility for him to take the throne. Which also means his children still have a chance as well, Archie being seventh in line and Lilibet being eight.
Archie and Lilibet will continue to drop down the line of succession; therefore, the likelihood of either of them taking the throne are very low, but the possibility is there.
Why Harry and Meghan Denied Gifts for Their Children
Meghan and Harry have always been passionate about helping others and are involved in many charitable organizations. Their wedding day was dedicated to seven different charities and they launched their own nonprofit organization, Archewell, when they stepped down from their royal duties and moved abroad. So it wasn't surprising that when Lilibet was born they announced on the Archewell website that anyone who wished to gift them something should donate to charity instead.
They made it very apparent that they are not in need of gifts or money and their kids will have whatever they needed.
Meghan Suffered a Miscarriage Before Lilibet
Around the same time that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry left the monarchy, Meghan suffered a miscarriage. After a year full of constant stress, pressure, and disappointment, the couple was absolutely devastated. Meghan shared her traumatic experience in The New York Post, where she described it as “an almost unbearable grief.” Announcements about royal babies and serious health issues relating to members of the family usually come from Buckingham Palace, so for her to speak publically about this matter is ground-breaking.
It seems like Meghan knows there is a stigma around miscarriages and wanted to push past that barrier by speaking openly and honestly about her own experience.
The Most Private of All Royals
Apparently keeping information regarding a pregnancy relatively secretive is unheard of for royalty! Well, Meghan and Harry might have done just that. During Meghan's first pregnancy, she showed off her bump all the time, but the couple didn't share much else. The public was expecting to learn of their expectations or excitements around parenting yet they were silent. However, Archie's pregnancy was much more publicized compared to their second time around with Lilibet.
Meghan didn't show off her belly during her pregnancy with Lilibet; the couple didn't even announce they were expecting their second child until the Duchess was over halfway through the pregnancy. In fact, they also kept hidden the due date, gender, and even the name for a long while.
Lilibet's Connection to Princess Diana
Prince Harry has always spoken fondly of his mother Diana and he even named his latest child, Lilibet Diana, to honor her. However, her name isn't the only thing connecting her to her grandmother or connecting Harry's mother to his current life. Lilibet Diana was born on a day that comes with some significance for the couple. It happens to be the same day that Princess Diana visited Northwestern University in 1996.
Northwestern University is the college that Meghan graduated from. Although Diana and Meghan never crossed paths, it's a sweet way to tie them all together.
Lilibet's Birth Was Uncharted Territory
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement on their Archewell website, sharing that Lilibet Diana was born in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Usually, royalty is born in the UK and babies make their grand appearance at Buckingham Palace, so for the pair, this is again going against the grain. The hospital is reportedly only ten minutes away from their home so it was definitely the most convenient option.
Meghan expressed her interest in having an at-home birth, but with this not possible, this was the next best thing. All the private details of the delivery have understandably remained pretty confidential, but as far as the public knows, it was a healthy birth!
Their Kids Will Not Be Spoiled
Being born into a family of English royal lineage is not something to be taken lightly. Well, these parents want to make sure of that and insist on raising their kids to be unpretentious and grateful. A source shared that one Christmas, they bought Archie books, building blocks, and a baby ball pit because they don't feel extravagant gifts are necessary. Their goal is to give Archie the most normal upbringing possible.
In honor of Archie's 2nd birthday, they had something charity-related and set up a fundraiser; they really want Archie to grow up understanding the importance of giving back.
Say Bye Bye to the Haters
Meghan and Harry have faced a constant stream of hate and shared some of their hardships in exclusive interviews. They are definitely a strong pair and have to be a good support system for each other while being picked apart in the spotlight. This is especially why they are so grateful for the support they receive, especially during their latest pregnancy with Lilibet. They choose to keep themselves and their children's lives under the radar and are appreciative of those fans who don't pry.
The couple released a statement after the birth of Lilibet, expressing thankfulness and gratitude to their fans for their continued love and prayers. It's nice for them to feel adoration and not criticism, especially when dealing with a newborn baby.
Let's Not Forget About Meghan's Mother
The pair chose to name their daughter Lilibet Diana, and there is no denying that her middle name derives from Harry's late mother. But what about her first name? Well, the name Lilibet also happens to be Queen Elizabeth's nickname but some fans are speculating that it could potentially also be a nod to Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland. Doria often calls her Meghan by the nickname, Flower. Therefore the Lili in Lilibet could also be representative of a lily, which is indeed a flower.
Meghan and Harry haven't shared the intricacies of their decision in choosing their daughter's name but this sure won't stop fans from searching for a link between Meghan's family and her daughter.
The Most Senior Royal Baby Born Overseas
Princess Diana and Duchess Kate Middleton both delivered their children in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London. This seemingly is a customary tradition for most royals giving birth. But of course, not for Harry and Meghan. Not only did they choose a different path, opting to keep the birth plan private, and forgo the photocall outside the hospital; they weren't even in the UK for Lilibet's arrival.
Lilibet Diana had come into the world while her parents were already established in California. This means baby Lilibet set records from the very first second she was born, being the most senior royal baby born outside of England.
Meghan Really Wanted an at Home Birth but Things Didn't Work Out
The couple allegedly wanted to plan an at-home birth for both of their children which would have ensured they kept one of their most intimate moments completely intimate. Unfortunately with Archie, it wasn't possible, and it was later revealed that Archie was delivered at Portland Hospital in London. So with a second pregnancy, Meghan was set on fulfilling this wish, especially now that they lived in their Montecito mansion, they would have plenty of space.
However, doctors supposedly advised against the home birth, and Meghan wasn't able to follow through even the second time around.
Archie and Lilbet's Births Were Completely Different
Harry and Meghan never announced a specific due date for either of their children, but that's about as similar as their births get. While Archie was born in the UK to parents who were fully working senior royals; Lilibet was born in sunny Southern California to parents who have stepped down from their duties and royal payroll. The couple also waited to find out the gender of their first pregnancy until he arrived, whereas with Lilibet, they knew before she was born.
Though somewhat subtle differences, Harry and Meghan's lives were completely different by the time they had their second kid. The births were worlds apart from their expectations, routine, and even physical location.
Meghan's Acting Skills Must've Shined During Her Pregnancy
The duchess, along with many other rumors, was believed to be faking her pregnancies. People believed that she must have been wearing a fake bump in order to distract from the fact that she was actually using a surrogate. If we know anything about Meghan Markle, it's that she has a past as an actress, so this must've played a role in why the public believed this for so long.
Of course, if she is an actress, then she must know how to act pregnant. But after all, it was just another absurd rumor, one that for some reason people had a hard time letting go of.
Who Are Lilibet's Godparents?
The public has come to understand that Meghan and Harry like to keep their lives confidential, which means it comes as no surprise that Lilibet's godparents are still unknown. The couple faced criticism when they kept the names of Archie's godparents on the low because it's another royal tradition that they are once again breaking. However, Harry and Meghan stuck by their decision, apparently out of respect for the godparents' privacy, and will continue to do that with their daughter Lilibet as well.
Plenty of names have been thrown around in the media such as Oprah Winfrey, Princess Eugenie, and some of Meghan's close friends. Nevertheless, none have been confirmed by the Royal Family.
Let the Guessing Games Begin
As expected, the public was curious about what the couple would ultimately name their kids. The royal family tends to stick to names that have circulated the family for generations, so when it was revealed that Archie was their first born it was a surprise. Naturally, as time passed, the anticipation grew stronger to know what the newest addition to Harry and Meghan's family would be called. No one, however, could have guessed the name they went with.
Many guessed the couple would honor Diana in some capacity when naming their daughter, and they weren't far off. Though the name Lilibet is very unique, no one could've come up with it, not even the Queen herself.
Goodbye UK, Hello USA
Now that the Duke and Duchess are raising their children in America, some things are bound to be different than if they were growing up in England. Although Archie was able to have his christening in the UK and was surrounded by the royal family, Lilibet will have a slightly different experience. One main contrast will of course be the location, with reports sharing that the ceremony will have to happen in California.
This would break long-standing traditions and mean the Queen couldn't be present which is quite a controversy.
A Birthday Full of Mixed Emotions
The pair chose to grace their second child with a middle name honoring Harry's late mother, Diana. In fact, his brother, Prince William also named his second child and only daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Diana's children clearly have a lot of respect and love for their mom; wanting her legacy to live on in their children. If the People's Princess were alive today she would've turned sixty shortly after Lilibet entered the world. A bittersweet realization.
People like to speculate if Diana were still around, would Harry and Meghan's situation in the royal family be very different? But one thing people are for sure of is that Diana would've made an amazing grandmother!
Like Father, Like Son
Apparently, little Archie already loves nature so much that his parents enjoy taking him outside all the time! Prince Charles and Prince Harry are nature enthusiasts themselves so when Archie is excited at the sight of trees and getting covered in mud, they know he inherited it from his family. Meghan even shared that Archie and her take a walk through the woods every day together, just like any other family.
This is a great way for this family to escape the chaos and bond while getting some fresh air.
Trying to Shield Their Children
Considering Diana's unfortunate passing and its relation to the paparazzi, it is no surprise that the media would be a sore spot for Harry. So when Meghan shared that she was feeling smothered by the media and it was severely affecting her mental health, Harry was rightfully scared. As a result, the couple decided they wanted to ensure they had as much privacy as possible.
This is precisely why they've chosen to keep information and photos of their children mostly hidden, for fear of them experiencing a similar feat.
The Couple Still Wants the Queen's Influence on Their Kids
Harry and Meghan still want to cherish their relationship with the Queen despite living so far apart now. One way in which they showcased this is by naming their daughter after the Queen's nickname. Apparently, she used to call herself Lilibet when she was a child because she couldn't fully pronounce Elizabeth. This nickname stuck throughout her entire life and her family frequently uses it to refer to her. Now Harry and Meghan's daughter gets to sport a name just like her royal grandmother!
Despite the drama and move away from England, the pair still want their kids to know their grandmother and wanted to show her some sort of adoration.
The Future Monarch Mystery
Will Lilibet's future really be impacted by the fact that she is not growing up in England like her cousins? It is quite likely. Although she has a long line to surpass if she were to actually become a monarch, it's even more unlikely now that she will not grow up in the royal environment. She will lack the basic experience around royal traditions and duties that will be necessary for that position.
If Archie and Lilibet were presented the opportunity when they were much older, they would likely feel out of place and unprepared to take on royal responsibilities, especially if their upbringing remains in the US.
Harry, Meghan and Their Kids Can't Escape the Spotlight
Ever since Meghan became involved with Prince Harry, she has remained in the limelight more than she ever was before as an actress. Regardless of the couple no longer working as senior royals, they will always be connected to the monarchy. This of course also extends itself to their children and their association will follow them even in California. Although it can be exhausting to be scrutinized constantly, they have made good use of their fame.
Harry and Meghan have dedicated much of their time to charities and publicizing fundraisers whenever they get a chance. They try to call attention away from themselves and onto more important matters they believe in.
Maybe Lilibet Can Reunite the Royal Family
Meghan and Harry's departure from life in the UK and close involvement in the royal family came at the beginning of 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic following shortly after, travel between the US and the UK had been significantly restricted. Therefore their already tense relationships with fellow royal family members became strained due to the distance and time apart. Fortunately, with international travel possible again it seems they may be able to reunite and begin patching up where they left off.
Following the new birth of Lilibet, it's a reminder of how precious life is and hopefully, Harry's family will also have the opportunity to bond with Lilibet now.
Meghan Was Ridiculed While Pregnant With Archie
Meghan Markle opened up about the vicious rumors she was subjected to and how it seemed that her skin color may have prompted most of them. In her and Harry's interview with Oprah, they revealed that the racism and lack of support from Harry's family ultimately drove them away. Meghan's mental health suffered greatly, and she was misunderstood and judged in an environment that was supposed to feel like her new home.
Arguably the most shocking allegation that surfaced after their powerful interview was about a member of the royal family coming to Harry while Markle was pregnant with their son Archie with “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born."
Archie and Lilibet Are Already Coming Into Completely Different Worlds
Two years may not seem like a significant amount of time but for Meghan and Harry, it has made a huge difference. In the years between Archie and Lilibet's births, their parents have completely uprooted their lives. From working as royals and living in the UK, moving to Canada, to finally settling in the US and leaving the royal payroll and responsibilities behind. Archie was born into a world of rules and traditions, that his parents didn't even necessarily follow. Whereas Lilibet is welcomed into immediate freedom.
Archie and Lilibet will ultimately know a life of much more free reign than they would've if they grew up in the UK. Their parents will now enjoy doing things they would've been reprimanded for beforehand.
The Couple's New Found Freedom
There is no doubt that this couple felt immense pressure in every aspect of their lives. Their routine, clothing choices, pregnancy announcements, and births were all under heavy surveillance. Now that Harry and Meghan have taken a drastic step back from their royal duties, they can do what they please without retribution. They can share as much or as little as they want about their kids, and there is no pressure to act a certain way.
Now accusations of breaking traditions can slowly dwindle away and they can experience relief, paving their own way of life.
The Senior Royals Might Skip Lilibet's Christening
Since tradition is extremely valued by the Royals, Lilibet's christening is another cause of concern. A ceremony in the US would mean that Lilibet wouldn't be a member of the Church of England and would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for senior royals to attend. Though it is rumored Harry's brother, Prince William, told the couple to not have Lilibet's ceremony in the UK, it would be another event added to their long list of rule-breaking decisions.
According to Royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the family's schedules are usually planned six months ahead of time. Considering Lilibet's christening ceremony is a big deal, adding international travel to the mix will likely make attendance slightly more complicated.