Royals

9 royal rules Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry must follow when Baby Sussex is born

The countdown is well and truly on!

With Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry expecting the arrival of their first child any week now, we can imagine all the last minute preparations will be well and truly underway.
And while Meghan is taking a very modern approach to her pregnancy – think planning a gender-neutral nursery complete with vegan paint and reportedly hiring a pregnancy doula, according to Hello! there are a few royal protocols Meghan will have to adhere to when Baby Sussex does arrive.
Meghan's taken some modern approaches to pregnancy, but there are a few royal traditions she'll have to adhere to. (Image: Getty)

1. The Queen will be the first to know the baby has arrived

It won't be Prince Charles and it won't be Doria Ragland, as the person who gets the honour of the first call to say Baby Sussex has arrived is none other than Queen Elizabeth, the baby's great-grandmother.
According to Hello!, when Prince George was born, Prince William called his grandmother on an encrypted phone to tell her the exciting news. He then proceeded to tell Kate's family, then his, before the happy news was announced to the public a few hours later.

2. There will be an official statement by the Palace

An official statement will be posted on the official website and sent to media outlets. And of course, in the age of social media we can expect an announcement on Twitter, just like their pregnancy was announced.
The royal notice that was placed outside Buckingham Palace to announce Prince Louis' birth in 2018. (Image: Getty)

3. There will be an official notice placed on an easel and a town crier

As is the tradition, the birth will be confirmed with a notice placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace that will include the letterhead of the Palace and will be signed by Meghan's doctors.
The notice will include the baby's gender, time of birth and a short sentence about the wellbeing of the child and Meghan.
And in the days before news was available to us at the touch of a finger, a town crier was the preferred way of reporting the latest news to the masses.

4. The name won’t be announced until a few days after the birth

Prince George's name was released two days after he was born, along with Princess Charlotte's, while Louis' name was shared four days after his birth. Prince Louis' name was announced via a tweet on Twitter, so it seems likely that the same approach will be taken for announcement of Baby Sussex's name.

5. The baby will have three or four names, but no last name

Harry and Meghan's little bundle of joy will have three or four names, for example Princess Charlotte has two middle names; Elizabeth and Diana. For royal babies closest in line to the throne, the Queen must first approve the names.
And while the baby may have a long string of names, one thing it will not have is an official last name.
Instead, members of the royal family have a 'house' name – like the the Tudors or the Stewarts.
Princess Charlotte has two middle names, Elizabeth and Diana - we wonder what middle names will be chosen for Baby Sussex. (Image: Getty)
Under the rule of the Queen's grandfather King George V, the royal family's house name changed from the Germanic sounding Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to Windsor, which the Queen amended to Mountbatten-Windsor in 1960, which combined Prince Philip's last name.
And just to be even more confusing, Prince William and Harry were known to use the name Wales as their 'surname' throughout university and serving in the military – as the son of Charles, the Prince of Wales.
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie are known to take their father, the Duke of York's title as their last name also. So, if needed, it's likely Meghan and Harry's child may take up the last name Sussex.

6. The royal baby might not have a royal title

In 2012, Queen Elizabeth announced William and Kate's children would all be given the title of Prince or Princess, but the same rule doesn't apply with Harry's children.
This means Baby Sussex may not have any royal title at all, if Harry and Meghan choose to decline the offer of a title for their children.
While Prince Andrew's daughters Beatrice and Eugenie both hold the title of Princess, and Prince Edward's children hold the title of Lady and Viscount Severn, Princess Anne chose to decline titles for her children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.

7. There will be a gun salute

Royal tradition dictates that after a new member of the royal family is born, their arrival is celebrated by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.
Princess Charlotte (left) and Prince George (right) wearing the replica of the Honiton christening gown at their baptisms. (Images: Getty)

8. The christening

While it's likely we may get a quick glimpse of the newborn when Harry and Meghan leave the hospital, the first official public appearance for Baby Sussex will be at the christening, which can be anywhere from weeks to months after the baby is born.
More tradition comes in the form of the christening gown which has been passed down through the Royal family for eight generations.
Known as the Honiton christening gown (named because of the kind of lace it is made with), it was first worn by Victoria's first child, Princess Victoria in 1841 and has since been replicated, as you can imagine that at almost 180 years old it's probably quite fragile.
The original gown, which was worn up until 2008, has seen the baptism of 62 royal babies including five monarchs: the future Edward VII, George V, Edward VII, George VI and the Queen, as well as Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.

9. The royal baby could have up to seven godparents

The royals love a long list of godparents. Generally they'll choose close friends or relatives who are already aunts and uncles through blood.
Prince George has seven godparents and Princess Charlotte has five.
Hello! predict Harry's cousins Zara and Mark Tindall could be in the running as godparents for the newborn, along with George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Benita Litt, who are all close friends of Meghan's.