Meghan Markle breaks with royal tradition as she chooses her own doctors for baby's birth

(Image credit: REX/Shutterstock)

It was the news everyone had been hoping for since their May 19th wedding - on 15th October 2018, it was announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting a baby!

Since then, reports have been coming in thick and fast on the new arrival – with speculation on everything from the name, the gender and whether the Sussexes will be having twins.

Not much has been confirmed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex themselves, as there's usually a strict veil of privacy around a royal pregnancy. But here’s what we do know about the new baby Sussex...

Who will deliver Harry and Meghan's baby?

According to reports, Meghan has parted with years of royal tradition and decided against the Queen's highly-regarded doctors for the birth of her first child, insisting she doesn’t want "men in suits" there to oversee the delivery.

Royal Household gynaecologists Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who were at the births of all three of the Duke andDuchess of Cambridge’s children, will only be on hand to help out if something were to go wrong with the birth, but Meghan is said to be bringing in her own team, led by a female doctor.

“She was adamant that she wanted her own people." a source told The Mail on Sunday.

The Queen's doctors were also there with Princess Diana for the births of Prince Harry and Prince William, as well as that of Princess Anne's children, Zara and Peter Phillips.

But of course, this is Meghan's first baby, and we reckon she's perfectly entitled to have the delivery room look however she wants.

It has also been claimed that Meghan has decided against following in Catherine's footsteps and will not give birth in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. It has not yet been confirmed where the Duchess of Sussex will give birth.

When is Harry and Meghan's baby due?

Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s pregnancy on 15th October 2018, and at that point, Meghan had had her 12-week scan. Working on that time line, many expect that the baby is probably expected to arrive sometime this month (April 2019) or early May 2019.

After a conversation with a royal fan, many speculated that the Duke and Duchesses baby could arrive much earlier than expected.

Karen Anvil, who took the famous first photo of the 'Fab Four' at Sandringham last Christmas, returned to the royal stomping ground in December, and was lucky enough to speak to the Duchess of Sussex herself.

On Twitter, she revealed that she asked the mum-to-be about the baby, saying, "Meghan said she was excited, there wasn’t long left to go. She cradled her bump. She was so sweet!"

Hinting that she doesn't have long left to go at Christmas had many fans believing that the new arrival could have arrived as March - however, Meghan is still very much pregnant.

But there's not long left now.

What might Harry and Meghan name their baby?

The baby name isn’t likely to be revealed until the day he or she is born, and according to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, Meghan and Harry will have to run the name past the rest of the royal family before going public.

This is standard royal protocol, but will also allow the new parents, and the extended family, to get used to the name privately before announcing it to the world.

Of course, this long wait hasn’t deterred bookies from making a list of the favourite names in the running.

If the baby is a girl, the top contenders are Diana, Victoria, Alice and Alexandra. For a boy, the names Albert, Arthur and Phillip are likely choices.

Prince Charles has also weighed in, saying that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may choose an Australian name for their child.

During a recent celebration at the centenary of Australia House, Charles revealed, “My son Harry tells me that during their recent tour of Australia, he and his wife were offered countless thoughtful suggestions for the naming of their forthcoming baby.

“Just between us, I suspect that Kylie and Shane may possibly make the shortlist.” Now wouldn't that be brilliant!

Potential godparents for Harry and Meghan's baby

While godparents are typically chosen just before the baby’s christening, there has already been reports that George and Amal Clooney will be chosen as godparents to Harry and Meghan’s baby. The Duke and Duchess are thought to be very close to the celeb couple, having spent a few weeks with them last summer at their Lake Como home.

The A-list couple aren’t likely to be the baby’s only godparents, however. As a reference, Prince George was given seven godparents, Princess Charlotte was given five and Prince Louis was given six. Prince William and Harry both had six godparents.

Is Meghan Markle having a boy or a girl?

The gender won’t be revealed until the day of birth, but Harry has already expressed his desire to have a girl.

When the Duke was at a cycling race in Australia, a member of the crowd shouted, “Congratulations, I hope it’s a girl,” to which Harry replied, “So do I!”

Will the baby ever become the monarch?

It’s highly unlikely the Sussexes new addition will ever become King or Queen, as he or she will be born seventh in line to the throne.

Ahead of them will be Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and dad, Prince Harry.

Harry and Meghan's baby will be first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, but may not be a prince or princess themselves unless the Queen goes against protocol ahead of its birth. It is not standard protocol for the children of a second child of a monarch (Prince Harry), to have royal titles.

However, they may be styled HRH.

The baby may well be a lord or lady “like the children of any other duke,” said royal biographer Robert Hardman. This is because Prince Harry is not in the direct line to the throne.

Isa Jaward

Isa Jaward is a journalist from London who has written for the likes of Time Out, The Guardian and Music Week.