What does having a new royal baby mean for the throne?
Days short of their first wedding anniversary, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcomed their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Archie’s birth was news the world over—for good reason; he was, after all, born seventh in line to the British throne.
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But with Harry and Meghan now expecting royal baby number 2, and this baby being born post his/her parents’ retirement as senior members of the royal family, what can we expect?
From the darkness
Last year, amid the pandemic, Harry and Meghan had the added struggle of dealing with a miscarriage. The announcement was made via a personal essay written by Meghan in the New York Times in November. “After changing [Archie’s] diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right,” she wrote, retelling that fateful day in July 2020. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
As Meghan went on to say in her essay, going through a miscarriage is not as unique as it should be, and yet it’s not talked about as often as it should. Needless to say, it’s because of this that the smiles around the world at the announcement of another royal baby were a little brighter.
The line of succession
Whatever gender the baby will be, he or she will be born as eight in line to the British throne. Preceding her, in order, are Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince Harry and big brother Archie.
Despite such a close grasp at the throne, however, Baby Sussex 2 won’t be born with a royal title. Unlike cousins Louis, Charles and George, this new royal baby won’t automatically be bestowed a HRH title.
Photo by Misan Harriman, taken from Town&Country
Raising a royal baby
As the first born post his parents’ retirement as senior royals, it’s likely that Baby Sussex 2 will be raised in a more normal environment—at least compared to the rest of his family. While it is unsure when Meghan will give birth specifically, we shouldn’t expect a big reveal in front of the gates of a hospital. Alternately, it is likely that Harry and Meghan will keep most aspects of this pregnancy private. Any announcement will be made days after the birth, and only on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s terms.
Harry and Meghan as parents
Harry and Meghan are doting parents, and each have gone on the record to say how great the experience has been for them thus far. Adding another member to their family will undoubtedly only multiply their happiness. But no matter how easy going they are with their parenting, we can expect that they will protect their children as much as they can. After all, they uprooted their family for the sake of their family. Meghan has fought tooth and nail for her privacy, and Harry has been nothing but supportive of this.
Will there be a third?
It’s definitely too early to make bets on whether or not there will ever be a third baby on the way, but Harry himself went on the record to say he will only have two. He told Jane Goodall in 2019: “Two, maximum.”
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as soon to be big brother Archie!
Art Alexandra Lara