6 royal baby traditions Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won't be expected to follow

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Mikhaila Friel
·5 min read
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Harry and Meghan and royal baby
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at their official photo call with baby Archie Harrison in May 2019. Dominic Lipinski/ AFP/ Getty Images.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their second child later this year.

  • They recently announced they will not return to the royal family after stepping back last year.

  • The couple won't be expected to follow royal tradition, including an official baby photo call.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

1. Harry and Markle won't be expected to pose on the hospital steps like Prince William, and Kate Middleton did.

prince george birth lindo wing
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George after his birth. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Princess Diana started the tradition of posing outside the hospital steps after Prince William's birth in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued this tradition by holding official photo calls outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital after all three of their children's births.

Harry and Markle opted out of this after the birth of their first child, Archie Harrison.

A statement released from the couple via Buckingham Palace at the time explained that they wanted to "celebrate privately as a new family."

2. Nor will they be required to take part in a private photo call or share any photos of the new baby.

Baby Sussex windsor
Harry and Markle during their official post-birth photo call with baby Archie at Windsor Castle. Dominic Lipinski/ Pool/ AFP.

While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn't pose for photographers before leaving the hospital, they did hold a private photo call with Archie two days after his birth at Windsor Castle.

Speaking to the press during the photocall, Markle said: "It's magic, it's been pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm pretty happy."

When their second child arrives, however, the couple may choose not to release any official photos. It has become more common in recent years for non-working royals to opt-out of photo calls.

The couple recently confirmed that they will not return to royal duties and will remain as non-working royals indefinitely after their one-year review period ends in March.

A recent example includes Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, who shared a black and white photo of their son's hand on Instagram rather than an official photo after his birth on February 9.

3. They might not have a royal christening ceremony.

FILE PHOTO: This official christening photograph released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shows Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor at Windsor Castle with with the Rose Garden in the background, near London, Britain July 6, 2019. Chris Allerton/Pool via REUTERS
The christening ceremony for baby Archie, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, at Windsor Castle. Reuters

Royal babies usually receive an official christening ceremony after their birth, which is performed by the Head of the Church of England.

Every royal baby is christened with water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

The baby will be expected to wear the traditional royal christening gown, a replica of a gown made in 1841 for Queen Victoria's children. The original, made by Janet Sutherland, was worn by 62 royal babies.

The replica, made in 2004, has been worn by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, and more recently, baby Archie at his christening in July 2019.

It is unclear whether the couple will go ahead with an official royal ceremony. It is likely dependent on whether they can travel from California, where they currently reside, to the UK after the birth.

4. The baby probably won't have a traditional name.

Prince George & Princess Charlotte
Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The majority of babies in the royal family are given traditional names with historical or royal significance.

Markle and Harry broke from this tradition when naming their son Archie Harrison.

The name Archie has no royal significance, while the name Harrison means "son of Harry."

Royal babies are also usually expected to have more than one name.

"Three names are typical for those in line for the throne, so that they have another name to choose from if they were to become King or Queen," former royal butler Grant Harrold previously told Insider.

Markle and Harry's second child will be eighth in the line of succession, meaning he or she will be highly unlikely ever to see the throne. This means the couple can choose the name and could even opt out of giving the child a middle name.

5. Like Archie, the baby won't be given a royal title.

meghan archie cape town
Meghan Markle and her son Archie during their royal tour of South Africa. Toby Melville/Pool/Getty Images

Harry and Markle's child will not be a prince or princess because of a letters patent issued by King George V in 1917, which limited the title to: "The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales)."

While it's possible the child could be given a courtesy title, this is unlikely since they did not accept one for Archie.

Harry and Markle no longer use their HRH status, and therefore it would also be highly unusual for their child to be granted this.

6. The birth won't be announced by Buckingham Palace.

A photo of Buckingham Palace taken on October 15, 2020.
A photo of Buckingham Palace taken on October 15, 2020. Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace is usually the first to announce when a royal baby is born. The palace communications team announces the news via an official statement to the media, on their social media channels, and also on a traditional easel placed outside the palace.

Harry and Markle have used their own press team since stepping away from royal duties in March 2020. The couple announced that they were expecting their second child through a private spokesperson, rather than through Buckingham Palace.

Nonetheless, that's not to say the palace won't release its own statement after the birth announcement.

A royal spokesperson recently shared the family's reaction to Markle's pregnancy, saying in an official statement that the Queen, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles were "delighted" with the news.

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