- Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is due to give birth soon.
- Buckingham Palace recently announced the couple’s plans to skip the famous Lindo Wing photo op.
- The tradition of posing outside the exclusive maternity ward at St. Mary’s Hospital in London began with Princess Diana and Prince Charles after the birth of Prince William in 1982.
- Meghan and Prince Harry will release photos of their newborn, but it won’t be until a few days after the birth, and the photos will be at Windsor Castle instead of the Lindo Wing.
- Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told INSIDER that the decision could be linked to “Harry’s fiercely protective instincts.”
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting their first child in April.
From selecting the baby’s godparents to granting the young royal a title, there are many traditions the couple will be expected to follow after their first child is born.
However, one tradition the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not participate in is the famous Lindo Wing photo op.
The tradition of posing outside the exclusive maternity ward at St. Mary’s Hospital in London began with Princess Diana and Prince Charles after the births of Prince William and Harry in 1982 and 1984.
- David Levenson/ Getty Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton carried on this tradition, as the Duchess of Cambridge delivered all three of their children there.
However, Buckingham Palace announced last Thursday that Harry and Meghan planned to celebrate the birth of their child “privately.”
A statement from the palace said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby.
“Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
Palace officials also said the couple would take photos with their newborn at Windsor Castle a few days after the birth.
Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator and former editor of the “International Who’s Who,” told INSIDER that the Lindo Wing tradition marked a “change to the pattern of royal parenting” when Diana started it.
“Royal births that attracted enormous attention became identified with the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s and began with the iconic poses when Charles and Diana and later William and Kate showed off their new babies to the world’s press,” he said.
“William was the first heir to the throne to be born in a hospital. This was symbolic of a move away from the tradition that royals were born in palaces and a change to the pattern of royal parenting which included taking William on Charles and Diana’s visit to the Antipodes when he was only 9 months old.”
He added: “It did become something of a circus.”
He said that while waiting for the birth of Prince George in 2013, the BBC presenter Simon McCoy became “well known for his acerbic take on whether the wait was actually news.”
“Every detail was picked over, especially most recently Kate’s immaculate grooming only seven hours after giving birth to Louis, which led to enormous amounts of comment,” he said.
The statement from Buckingham Palace suggests there could be some truth in reports that Meghan is planning to have a home birth – and Fitzwilliams said that could have as much to do with Harry as it does with the duchess.
“Meghan’s return to the royal tradition of giving birth at home in so intimate a moment, as royal babies used to be born in palaces, also links with Harry’s fiercely protective instincts,” he said.
These “protective instincts” were made apparent even in the earlier days of Meghan and Harry’s relationship. When it was revealed in 2016 that the two were dating, Kensington Palace released a statement on behalf of the prince condemning the media’s “abuse and harassment” of Meghan.
In the statement, Harry said he was “worried about Ms. Markle’s safety” and “deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”
Fitzwilliams said: “With Baby Sussex seventh in line to the throne, they can do it their way.
“It will be fascinating to see how the flow of information is handled, whether the first pictures are posted on Instagram, if the tradition of the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace is observed, and so on.
“The world wants to know. If anything, the secrecy will heighten the sense of expectancy.”