There’s another royal baby on the way: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting their first child together, Kensington Palace announced on Monday. Markle’s due date is next spring, around a year after the couple’s May 2018 wedding.
Though there has been constant speculation about Markle being pregnant even before her marriage to Harry, the guessing game intensified at Friday’s other royal wedding: that of Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank. Markle wore a loose-fitting navy coat dress by Givenchy, the fashion house that designed her wedding dress. She also arrived in Sydney on Monday rather uncharacteristically carrying two large binders in front of her midsection, further increasing speculation.
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. pic.twitter.com/Ut9C0RagLk— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 15, 2018
Like pretty much every piece of news about the royals, this one comes with its fair share of drama. Though many in the royal family have released statements expressing their congratulations and well-wishes, British tabloids have accused Harry and Meghan of upstaging Princess Eugenie’s wedding. The Daily Mail reported that the couple told senior royals about the pregnancy at the wedding, and alleged that Sarah Ferguson, Eugenie’s mother, retaliated by tweeting photos of her daughter around the same time the royal baby news went public.
As she has during her entire relationship with Prince Harry, Markle will certainly be under enormous scrutiny for the rest of her pregnancy. She is American, divorced, and biracial, which has long made her a target of racist remarks from the British press and elsewhere online.
Her pregnancy will only increase that relentless attention. Media has never handled celebrity pregnancy particularly well — often when a famous woman simply walks in public while pregnant, headlines will claim said woman is “flaunting her bump,” not to mention society’s rather creepy way of ogling pregnant celebrities in general. Considering Markle is 37 and it’s her first child, she’ll be scrutinized for everything she wears, eats, and does for the next six months.
Meanwhile, the grand British tradition of betting on every public occurrence has already begun: Betfair’s latest odds have the leading possible names of the royal baby, who will be seventh in line for the British throne, as Diana, Arthur, and Alice.