Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to paint the nursery in their Frogmore Cottage home with non-toxic vegan paint in gender-neutral tones is a bit unorthodox. Of course, the duchess is known for her rule-bending streak. But what else can we expect from new parents Harry and Meghan?
According to one royal insider, we shouldn’t hold our breath for the sort of photo that the Cambridges have become known for: Posing on the steps of the Lindo Wing in London only hours after Kate has given birth. “If Harry gets his way, they won’t go for that scenario,” said the source. “It’s not his style. It’s more likely that there will be an artful, more private official photo.”
The couple has also apparently chosen not to hire a professional nanny or maternity nurse. It was originally reported that they would take on Connie Simpson — a Hollywood nanny who has worked for Jessica Biel, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Alba — but Kensington Palace has refuted this. Instead, Meghan’s mother Doria is “planning to come over for the first weeks to help out,” according to royal biographer Katie Nicholl. “Meghan has her own ideas when it comes to raising their baby. Given her form for doing things quite differently to royal traditions, I’m sure her approach will be quite novel. I don’t see her pushing her baby around in a big old-fashioned pram, for example. She’ll probably have the baby in a sling or hi-tech [stroller].”
Like William and Kate, Harry and Meghan are set to take their newborn out of London in the first few months. “Kate went to her family home in Berkshire after Prince George’s birth, which was really something new,” adds Nicholl. “Most royal babies start their lives in palaces, but the young royals have shaken things up when it comes to parenting. I think Harry and Meghan want to raise this child as normally as possible, away from the cameras and with real family values. It’s one of the reasons they’re leaving London, so that their child won’t be put in the spotlight the way Harry was.”
While it’s likely the couple will differ from Kate and William in some of their parenting styles (as well as not opting for a formal Norland nanny, Meghan is expected to take a shorter maternity leave than Kate, because “she’s itching to make a difference”), they will have to be similar in their approach to discipline, given the public events the child will be expected to attend growing up. “The Cambridge kids have a reputation for being well-behaved at school and nursery and that, I’m sure, is down to William and Kate not tolerating any nonsense at home,” says Nicholl. “I once saw Kate with Charlotte enjoying a walk in Kensington Gardens and, when Charlotte skipped off because she didn’t want to go home, Kate sharply called her back and Charlotte was quick to run back to her mom.”
Meghan’s British citizenship is still pending, meaning her child will be the first Anglo-American baby to be born into the royal family. The duchess has not been given any special treatment regarding citizenship, meaning her application could take years. As a result, the baby will automatically acquire American citizenship at birth. Indeed, sources say Meghan is planning to celebrate US traditions, namely Thanksgiving and Independence Day, as a family.
This article was originally written by Harriet Kean. For more, check out our sister site, Grazia.