Power Players

How Meghan Markle is bending the royal 'rules' in introducing Baby Boy Sussex to the world


On Monday, Buckingham Palace announced that Meghan Markle — Duchess of Sussex — had given birth at 5:26 a.m. local time to a healthy baby boy weighing 7 lbs. and 3 oz. And on Wednesday, Markle and Prince Harry announced the name of the new baby: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

"How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there," Prince Harry told reporters on Monday.

"I'm so incredibly proud of my wife," he said. "As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing. But this little thing is absolutely to die for, so I'm just over the moon."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks to members of the media at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 6, 2019, following the announcement that his wife, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a son.

Baby Archie makes some history: He is the first interracial baby in the British monarchy's recent history, according to The New York Times. He will be seventh in line for the throne behind Prince Charles; Prince William; William and Kate Middleton's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis; and Prince Harry.

But as when Markle became the Duchess of Sussex — and reportedly had to shut down her personal social media accounts and trade bare legs for skin-toned tights — the milestone is also steeped in royal tradition.

Prince Harry was present for his son's birth, which has become a modern custom: Prince Charles was the first royal father to be present at his sons' births and William was present for the birth of his children too.

Prince Harry and Markle waited several days to announce the name, which is standard royal protocol, as the Independent notes. (Prince William and Kate Middleton announced the names of Prince George and Princess Charlotte two days after their birth and the name of Prince Louis four days later.)

However the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also do some things their own way.

Archie's birth announcement was made on social media hours before the traditional ceremonial easel announcing the birth of the baby was placed in front of the Buckingham Palace in London. As CNN notes, the easel is typically put up at the same time the birth is first revealed.

Markle and Prince Harry also kept the location of the birth under wraps. "Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private," Prince Harry and Markle's team previously said in a statement.

Additionally, both Princess Diana and Duchess Kate had their babies photographed outside the maternity ward of Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London shortly after their arrival — in fact, Middleton famously posed for photographers just seven hours after giving birth in April 2018 to Prince Louis, with hair and makeup fully done.

But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex canceled the traditional photo opportunity, instead posing for photos with the baby at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, giving the world its first glimpse of the new royal days after he was born.

WPA Pool | Getty

Whether the baby will be on the receiving end of other royal traditions — such as a gun salute or being wrapped in a G.H. Hurt & Sons blanket — is not yet known.

It's not the first time Markle has broken royal protocol. In the past, she's bucked traditions on everything from the choice of her wedding cake to the color of her nails to hugging members of the public.

Don't miss: No selfies, social media or dark manis: The royal 'rules' Meghan Markle is supposed to follow

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This story was originally published on May 6, 2019 and was updated on May 8.

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