We know the royal baby drill by now; there's the announcement of labour, then the birth itself with details of the baby's gender and weight, swiftly followed by an appearance from the new royal outside the hospital in the arms of its proud (if not tired) mother.
But it's unlikely to work that way with the birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's baby, according to a royal photographer. Tim Rooke, Shutterstock Royal Photographer, has photographed all three of Kate Middleton's babies outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital in Paddington, London.
He's pretty au fait with the royal baby process, and he's convinced Harry and Meghan won't pose outside the hospital with their newborn when it arrives in a few weeks' time.
"I don’t think we’re going to get the same thing with the Duchess of Sussex’s baby," Tim told Cosmopolitan.com/uk. "I don’t think we’re going to see it at all. I think it’s going to be private."
The reason Tim is so confident is because of the lack of information he's had so far from the Palace. "At this point with Kate’s babies, we’d been briefed by the Palace, but we’ve had no briefings whatsoever," he noted.
The photographer, who has been taking pictures of the royal family professionally since the early 1990s, explained he believes Meghan's whole labour scenario will be different to her sister-in-law's three births.
"At this time, at St Mary’s for all the other three births, there was parking restrictions and all sorts of other things, and there’s none of those," he told Cosmopolitan. "They’ve already moved into Frogmore Cottage so why would they come up to West London to have the baby?" the photographer pointed out.
With reports circling earlier this week that Meghan has chosen her own team of female-led gynaecologists to oversee her labour, as opposed to the Queen's hand-picked team of medical experts, it does seem likely that the Duchess of Sussex will go in her own direction with various other aspects of the birth, too.
But considering the high profile Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have, plus the fact it's their first child together, it's not as if they'll just be able to have the baby and then disappear off into a privacy-shrouded sunset. They will need to satisfy the waiting media somehow once their newborn arrives, and the royal photographer has a suspicion about how they'll do it.
"Obviously they just launched their Instagram. If they want to keep it private... they’ll just issue a picture and put it on Instagram," suggested Tim.
It's a likely eventuality. Having recently established their own individual Instagram account, separate from William and Kate's, what better way to help it flourish than to use it as a platform for the first photographs of their baby?
That way, Meghan could avoid the arguably anti-feminist tradition of appearing in public with perfect make-up and coiffured hair just hours after giving birth, and they could invite the world to celebrate the birth of their first child on their own terms.
According to Tim, Meghan and Harry would have the leverage to make such a bold step away from the royal norm because of their status in the royal family.
"There’s a big difference between the Cambridges and the Sussexes, in that the Duchess of Cambridge will be Queen, whereas Harry is sixth in line to the throne. Any child that he has with the Duchess of Sussex is going to be seventh in line to the throne, so I think there’s different expectations," he told Cosmopolitan.
"The longer we don’t hear anything, the more it looks like it could well be private," added the photographer.
And while, selfishly, I'd love to see Meghan, Harry and baby Sussex just hours after it's born, if it's right for the family to do things their own way, then that's absolutely what they should do.
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