Everything We Know About Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's First Born -- So Far
With Baby Sussex expected any day now, here's everything we've learnt about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first bub since the pair announced they were expecting in October 2018.
The Duke and Duchess have so far been keeping mum on the details so we've looked back at a myriad of royal traditions that may give us a hint at what to expect from the first-time parents-to-be.
When is the baby due?
When Kensington Palace first announced Meghan's pregnancy on October 15, they revealed that the Duchess was due to give birth "in the spring of 2019."
The Palace hasn't revealed any further details but in January 2019, Markle reportedly told well-wishers that she was six months pregnant so is likely to give birth around late April or early May.
As such, Baby Sussex could share a birthday with three other royals -- the Queen (April 21), Prince Louis (April 23) or Princess Charlotte (May 2).
Where will the baby be born?
Exactly where Meghan will deliver Baby Sussex is still hush-hush however there are a few options.
Most obvious is the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London where Princess Diana gave birth to her boys, Prince William and Harry in 1982 and '84 respectively.
Since then, William's wife the Duchess of Cambridge has delivered all three of her children at the private maternity ward and her sister-in-law Meghan is expected to follow suit.
That's unless the private parents-to-be opt for a hospital closer to their new home of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor which is 40-odd kms away from St. Mary's.
The nearby Princess Margaret Hospital and King Edward VII Hospital may be their choice along with Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey where Harry's aunt, Sophie, Countess of Wessex had her two children.
There are even rumours that the Duchess will choose a home birth -- after all, her grandmother-in-law the Queen gave birth to her four children at home. Anything the Queen can do, right?
Wherever Baby Sussex is welcomed into the world it's thought that hands-on Harry plans to be by his wife’s side when she goes into labour. Meghan's mum Doria Ragland is due to fly in to meet her new grandchild as well.
The formal birth announcement
To this day, news of a royal birth is announced in a written statement attached to the railings of Buckingham Palace displaying info such as the time of delivery and the infant's weight and gender -- which is kept secret for the duration of the pregnancy.
William and Kate also announced the arrival of their offspring via the official Kensington Royal Twitter account.
Before all of that, however, new dad Harry will inform his grandmother the Queen on a private phone line as it's a tradition that the reigning monarch is the first to know.
What's the baby's gender?
Harry and Meghan have kept mum about the baby's gender -- as per royal tradition -- but that hasn't stopped rumours swirling.
Harry was greeting crowds in Sydney a few days after the baby news broke last year when a well-wisher called out, "Congratulations, I hope it's a girl," -- Haz is said to have responded, "So do I!"
According to royal insider Katie Nicholl, however, Baby Sussex is a boy, which Meghan supposedly revealed during her recent baby shower.
Nicholl also claimed that the Duke and Duchess were planning to raise a "gender fluid" baby but the Palace immediately called the story "totally false" -- they didn't dispute claims the baby is a boy, though ...
What's the baby's first name?
It's likely that Harry and Meghan will toe the line and pick a name we've heard before because the British royal family, like other royal families around the world, tend to reuse certain names in a nod to history and out of respect for relatives.
The bookies have Diana -- a nod to Harry's late mother, of course -- Alice and Grace as the hot picks for a girl, and Arthur, Edward and James for a boy. Three generations of royals -- Prince Charles, William and his son Louis -- have Arthur as part of their full names.
Harry has four official names -- Henry Charles Albert David -- but his brother William selected just three for his kids, suggesting that Harry may do the same.
Let's not forget that Meghan's real name is Rachel so we might see that pop up, too.
Will the baby have a last name?
Members of the family may be known by both the name of their royal house and by their surname -- prior to 1917, British royals didn't have a surname at all.
Harry and Meghan's nieces and nephews Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all have the surname 'Cambridge' in reference to their parents' dukedom.
As such, it's widely believed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's child will take the surname 'Sussex'.
When the baby's name is revealed is up to the parents but going by Will and Kate's children it'll likely be within a few days of birth.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte's names were announced two days after their births and it was four days before baby number three's name was revealed as Louis Arthur.
The Queen, however, waited a month to share her son Charles' name while Prince Charles and Diana left it just a week before announcing William’s name. Prince Harry's name was shared the very same day.
What's the baby's title and position in line to the throne?
Baby Sussex will be seventh in line to the British throne behind their father Prince Harry, who's sixth in line, and their three cousins, George, Charlotte and Louis.
The bub will be the Queen and Prince Philip's eighth great-grandchild.
Will the baby have dual citizenship?
There's a possibility that Harry and US-born Meg's bundle of joy could have joint British-American citizenship -- unless the Duchess renounces her own citizenship.
When is the baby's first appearance?
Normally, we could expect to get our first glimpse of the royal newborn on the steps of the Lindo Wing a la Princess Diana and Kate Middleton.
Our heartfelt apologies to loyal royal fans but it's highly unlikely that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will follow in his late mother's footsteps.
The parents-to-be have instead announced their intention to enjoy their first moments -- and potentially days -- as a brand new family of three in private, away from the public eye.
"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," Buckingham Palace announced in a statement on Thursday.
It's sure to be a huge disappointment to many, but let's not forget that royal mothers posing for the press on the hospital steps hours after delivering a child wasn't always a thing.
The Queen's daughter Princess Anne and Mark Phillips kicked off the custom in 1981 when they introduced baby Zara Phillips on the steps outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London.
A year later at the same hospital the now-iconic pictures of Princess Diana cradling her firstborn, William, were captured and seen around the globe. In 1984, it all happened again when Harry was born and the tradition was cemented.
Up until then, though, the first public appearance of the royal baby would have been at the child's christening.
When and where is the baby's christening?
There are a few locations where Baby Sussex might be christened. Their cousins George and Louis were christened at the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace in London several months after they were born while Charlotte's ceremony was held at St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
The Archbishop of Canterbury -- who performed all three Cambridge children's christenings -- will likely perform the official duty. He also officiated the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's marriage in 2018.
While we don't know exactly where Harry and Meghan's bundle of joy will be welcomed into the Church of England we do know that they'll wear a special cream lace Christening gown -- a replica of the one worn by 63 royal babies born since the mid-nineteenth century.
Who are the baby's godparents?
We won't have to wait long to find out who has been given the honour of godparent to Baby Sussex -- the list of the royal baby's godparents is typically revealed on the same day as the christening.
With Louis, George and Charlotte, Prince William and Duchess Kate chose to honour half a dozen friends and select family members with godparent duties.
As such, Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney -- whose three kids Ivy, Brian and John were part of the royal bridal party -- might be a top pick as a godparent for baby Sussex.
Markle is also godmother to Remi and Rylan, daughters of her close friends Benita and Darren Litt -- will she return the favour?
Harry is godfather to a number of children of his friends such as close mate Mark Dyer and couple Nicholas and Alice Van Cutsem so they may be in the running too.
Feature image: Getty.