The Next Royal Baby

On Monday, October 15th, 2018, Kensington Palace made a statement confirming that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their first child. The child is due to be born in the Spring of 2019. Following the news, a royal source has confirmed that Meghan has had her 12-week scan and is “feeling well.”

Harry (34) and Meghan (37) got married 5 months ago, on May 19th, 2018. Kensington Palace released the statement on Monday, and released another statement later that same day stating that “their Royal Highnesses [has] 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.” Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, issued a statement via Kensington Palace, stating that “Ms. Ragland is very happy about this lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.” Harry’s brother,Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton, have said that they are “delighted” for the couple, as well as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the palace says.

The royal couple is currently on a sixteen-day tour, where they are exploring Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand. They have received a welcome reception at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia. On Monday, the royal couple received their first official baby gifts from the Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, and his wife, Lady Lynne Cosgrove. Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove presented them with a multitude of gifts, including ugg boots, a stuffed kangaroo, and a pair of Akubra hats.

When the child is born, it will fall behind Harry in the line of succession to the throne, as he or she will be seventh in line. This announcement is also special because the child will also be one of the first ever members of the mixed race in the British royal family. (Queen Charlotte in the 1800s was believed to be of mixed race and went on to have 15 children.) Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, is Black, while her father,Thomas Markle, is white. When the marriage was announced, it made headlines because Meghan would be the first biracial spouse of a member of the royal family, therefore making her a cultural icon.

Dr. Sarah E. Gaither, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University who also runs the Duke Identity and Diversity Lab, commented on the significance of Meghan Markle and her heritage. “The U.K. has one of the fastest-growing mixed-race populations in the world,” she said. “To the biracial community, she’s really serving as a symbol of this changing demographic that Britain is facing in addition to the United States.”

Meghan has also commented on her identity. In 2015, she stated that “while my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman. That when asked to choose my ethnicity in a questionnaire as in my seventh-grade class, or these days to check ‘Other,’ I simply say: ‘Sorry, world, this is not Lost and I am not one of The Others. I am enough exactly as I am.”