All the ways Meghan Markle's pregnancy will be different to her first

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
·6-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry brightened up our Sunday evenings yesterday with news that they're expecting another baby. The couple shared an intimate photograph of themselves plus bump - taken remotely by a photographer in the garden of their California home - to announce the pregnancy.

"We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child," read the accompanying statement, released via the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's spokesperson.

This baby will become the second child in Meghan and Harry's family, joining older brother Archie Harrison. A lot has happened since October 2018, when news of the Sussexes' first pregnancy emerged, meaning things are going to be very different this time around...

1. The pregnancy announcement was totally different

When it came to their first pregnancy, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared their happy news on the first day of their tour of Australia and New Zealand. On 15 October, 2018, the royal family issued a statement reading: "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019. Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public."

The news went on to be shared on the official royal family website, as well as various official social media accounts belonging to royal family members.

This time, however, the announcement was much snappier, much later on into the pregnancy - and there was no detail given about an estimated due date. Meghan and Harry released a statement via a spokesperson with an accompanying photograph, in which the Duchess of Sussex looks to be around five or six months pregnant with a fairly prominent bump. No rough due date was given in the announcement like last time, and the statement hasn't appeared on any formal royal family outlets (although Buckingham Palace did issue comment on the Queen's response to the news.)

2. Meghan won't be photographed throughout her pregnancy

There are so many photographs of a pregnant Meghan Markle from 2018 and 2019, which meant the public could gaze on has her baby bump evolved. But with this pregnancy, that most definitely won't be the case. Since moving to California, Meghan and Harry have remained very private, meaning they rarely share their own pictures and videos (except on special occasions, like Archie's first birthday). With the COVID-19 pandemic thrown into the mix, we're unlikely to see many photographs of Meghan out and about, meaning we won't be able to document her bump with quite so much fervour.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

3. The baby will be born in America

Baby Sussex 2.0 will almost certainly be born in California, making them the first royal to be born abroad in over 90 years. Prince Philip is the most recent example of a foreign royal birth, having been born on 10 June 1921 in Corfu, Greece. In contrast, baby Archie was born in London at The Portland Hospital, where Princess Eugenie recently gave birth to a baby boy of her own. By default, Meghan and Harry's second child will become a US citizen, while its big brother might have to wait a few years to become an official American.

4. The birth announcement won't take place on social media

Last time around, a formal announcement of baby Archie's birth came on the couple's official @SussexRoyal Instagram account, with typography reading, "It's a boy!". The accompanying statement read: "We are pleased to announce that Their Royal highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th 2019. Their Royal Highnesses' son weighs 7lbs 3ozs. The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days."

This time, however, the formal announcement won't come in the shape of an Instagram post from the couple, because Meghan and Harry don't have social media - and it doesn't look like they have plans to get it any time soon. Instead, we imagine the Sussexes will share their happy news with a statement from a spokesperson and perhaps a photo, just like they did with the pregnancy announcement.

5. There'll be no official photo call after the birth

Meghan and Harry strayed from royal tradition when it came to debuting their baby son in May 2019. While it is typical for royal mothers to appear outside the hospital immediately after the birth, alongside their husbands and with babe in arms, this was not something the Sussexes opted for. Instead, they chose to show off their newborn with a photo call, inviting a select number of journalists and photographers to Windsor Castle, located near to Frogmore Cottage, their family home.

Having stepped down as front line working royals, there will be no expectation of such a duty when it comes to their second child. It will be completely at the Duke and Duchess' discretion when and how (or if) they show their new baby boy or girl to the world, but it's very unlikely that they'll do it as any sort of photo call, considering the invasion of privacy that would welcome. Instead, the family might chose to take the 'two birds, one stone' approach of sharing a specially-chosen photograph of the baby alongside the initial announcement of its birth.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

6. Meghan could take a longer maternity leave

With her first child, Meghan Markle took six months off for maternity leave. In mid-March of 2019, the Duchess cleared her diary of events, with nothing further scheduled until the autumn. Bar two unplanned appearances - once to visit New Zealand House in London to pay respects following a terror attack, and a second for the Trooping the Colour celebration in early June - Meghan wasn't seen out working again until mid-September of 2019, when she launched a charity clothing collection. She then dived back into the deep end, heading off on a tour of Africa with husband Prince Harry and baby Archie.

This time around, however, Meghan will be free to take as much or as little time off as she likes with her baby. The couple have signed a deal with Netflix, they have a podcast with Spotify, and are also in the process of launching their non-profit organisation, Archewell, so there'll be lots going on - but nothing the Duchess won't be able to put on pause when she becomes a mother-of-two. Having said that, maternity leave is typically way shorter in the US than it is in the UK, so perhaps Meghan might go the other way and take less time off with her next baby - the freedom to choose is there.

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