The royal family doesn’t stick to the same rules as the rest of us. Every member of the royal family must follow certain traditions and protocols that have been in place for centuries. These rules and regulations guide everything from their fashion to their children.
Many of these rules are interesting and unique, like Prince Philip always walking a couple of steps behind the Queen in public. Even the newest royals have plenty of rules to learn about.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about the rules that Meghan Markle’s newborn son has to follow.
Not So Traditional
Meghan Markle is not your average member of the royal family. The American actress married Prince Harry in May of 2018 and announced her pregnancy just months later. Meghan gave birth to her first son on May 6th, 2019, a couple of days after she was due.
The couple revealed that their new son’s name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Little Archie is the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild and is subject to all the same royal baby rules as the other royal children.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about all the royal baby rules from start to end.
No Showers Allowed
While many expectant families host baby showers to celebrate and prepare for the birth of their children, the royals aren’t one of these families. Royals are not allowed to host baby showers ahead of their baby’s birth.
Baby showers are usually parties to shower new families with gifts and assistance to help them care for their baby. As some of the wealthiest people in the world, the royals don’t quite need any assistance. They refrain from baby showers to avoid an inappropriate display of wealth.
Click ‘Next’ to see one rule that goes against a popular trend.
Keep It Under Wraps
One of the most popular trends for expectant families nowadays is to have gender reveal parties with their friends and family. However, for Meghan and Harry, this is not an option.
The couple is allowed to find out the gender of their baby, but they are not encouraged to share this with the public. In general, the details of a royal’s pregnancy and birth are kept quite private. William and Kate didn’t even find out the gender of their kids until the birth.
Click ‘Next’ to see how big a role the Queen plays.
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch and one of the most powerful people in the world. She is the great-grandmother to Archie Harrison but actually plays a much larger role in his life. The Queen must be the first person notified as soon as a royal baby is born.
When Archie was born, the Queen had to be the first to know, before any other family members or the public. Family and close friends are next on the list, after Queen Elizabeth II.
Click ‘Next’ to find out the interesting addition to this rule.
Hours of Operation
Although the Queen must be the first to know of any birth, she likes to get her beauty sleep. The Queen isn’t awoken or disturbed from 10pm to 8am every day, so birth announcements never reach the public during those hours.
If a royal baby is born in the middle of the night, the news has to be kept under wraps until it’s an appropriate time for the Queen to be woken up.
Click ‘Next’ to see one rule that Meghan and Harry chose to break.
Royal expectant mothers are actually not supposed to travel at all, in order to minimize risks and keep mother and baby safe. However, Meghan and Harry announced the pregnancy just days before they were set to leave for a royal tour.
Instead of cancelling the tour to adhere to the rules, the couple decided to break the rule and continue their trip. They headed to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga all during the pregnancy.
Click ‘Next’ to find out more about how they announced the pregnancy.
Rather than posting on Instagram or Facebook, royal baby announcements must be very formal. No social media announcements are allowed for the royal family. The first announcement is always made by Kensington Palace when a royal is expecting.
After the initial announcement, it’s clear that word spreads fast even without the assistance of social media in the first place. Very few details like the exact due date are usually shared with the public, the palace opts for vague time frames instead.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Kensington Palace gets the word out.
After Meghan and Harry found out about the pregnancy, they had to tell the Queen first, of course. Once the Queen is made aware, and it is time to share with the rest of the world, palace officials take over.
Even though they have plenty of technology available, the royals do things the old-fashioned way, announcing the pregnancy and the birth using a handwritten note placed on an easel in Buckingham Palace’s courtyard. Later, they update social media.
Click ‘Next’ to find out who else helps to spread the word.
Town criers were common members of the court in years past. The tradition began in the 18th century, and it has mostly died out in the modern age. Town criers would make public announcements loudly in the streets, known for saying “hear ye, hear ye.”
Although the royal family does not have an official town crier anymore, there is one man who has pretty much taken on the role. Tony Appleton is known as the unofficial town crier for the royal family.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Appleton became the unofficial town crier.
Right Place Right Time
Tony Appleton is a great example of being in the right place at the right time. He served in the Royal Navy as a young man, which allowed him to make some connections in the royal family. He actually met the Queen when he was only 17 years old.
Throughout his life, he became known as a town crier, toastmaster, and made announcements of several events. Although he was never officially related to the royal family, he made announcements for several of their births and events.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about the royals’ take on maternity leave.
Royals don’t have typical jobs, but they all have plenty of royal engagements to attend to and are expected to be involved in philanthropy. What does this mean for expectant royal mothers? Technically, they are still expected to participate in their engagements throughout pregnancy.
However, it’s usual for expectant mothers to be seen less due to their pregnancies. Kate Middleton was forced to cancel several of her engagements as she struggled with morning sickness in her pregnancies.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Meghan Markle has handled working while pregnant.
Meghan Markle didn’t let her pregnancy get in the way of working hard. As an actress who grew up in America, she is no stranger to hard work. Meghan kept attending royal engagements and speaking engagements throughout her pregnancy.
One of her main projects as a member of the royal family is speaking out for women’s rights. She has made several popular speeches, speaking about her experience with women’s issues. Even throughout her pregnancy, she continued this fight for equality.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Meghan is doing after the birth.
Taking a Break
After giving birth, there’s no set plan in place for royal maternity leave. Kate Middleton took a six month break from her engagements after giving birth, so it seems that this may be the precedent set for Meghan.
Although royals don’t have jobs they need to leave, being a royal definitely has its responsibilities. But, it’s clear that spending time with newborns and taking some time to heal is a top priority in the family.
Click ‘Next’ to find out what Prince Harry does through the first few months.
Meghan isn’t the only one who gets to take a break and enjoy parenthood after giving birth. The royal family allows fathers to take some time off as well once their newborns arrive. The precedent set by Prince William is two weeks, so Harry may follow his lead.
Prince Harry has been clearly excited for the baby to arrive all throughout Meghan’s pregnancy. He is definitely spending these two weeks enjoying being a first-time parent and helping out his bride.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about the rules of the delivery room.
No Boys Allowed
The royals used to strictly enforce a rule that didn’t allow any male into the delivery room for any births. This was also common in the general public; most fathers would wait for their babies to be born outside the delivery room.
However, Prince Harry and Meghan are not the typical couple, and they decided to move with the times. Prince Harry was present at the birth of his first son and was over the moon to be there.
Click ‘Next’ to see who broke this rule in the first place.
His Mother’s Son
One of the first royals to break this delivery room rule was Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. She was well-known for going against royal rules and traditions, and she didn’t hesitate to have Prince Charles in the room for the birth of both her sons.
Harry learned from his mother’s example, staying by Meghan’s side during her whole delivery. As a man who has been open about his excitement about becoming a father, it’s not surprising that he wanted to be there.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about the baby’s unusual legal standing.
A 300-year-old British law actually means that baby Archie’s legal standing is different than most other newborns’. Technically, the Queen has full custody of the little baby. In older times, the crown would even take on the role of raising the new babies.
However, nowadays, this law is not really enforced. The Queen may hold technical custody, but all the work is left to Harry and Meghan. Archie headed home with them rather than his great-grandmother.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how royal babies get named.
Celebrity babies are often given unusual or unorthodox names, but the royals are a different kind of celebrity. Royals don’t give their babies wacky names and they are actually quite limited in their choices.
Royal babies are usually named from a short list of names that have been previously held by royals of the past. Meghan and Harry’s baby is seventh in line to the throne, however, so the rules for naming him are much less strict.
Click ‘Next’ to find out the truth behind his name.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is actually quite unique- his name has pretty much no connection to any royals of the past. His technical surname is Sussex, since his parents are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Archie’s name was allowed to be so modern since it’s quite unlikely that he is ever going to be the King. There are quite a few people ahead of him in line to the throne, including his dad and his older cousins.
Click ‘Next’ to find out what little Archie’s title is.
His parents may be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but little Archie actually doesn’t get such a title. A 1917 decree by King George made it so that only Prince William’s first son, George, is able to have the title of Prince.
However, the law was quickly changed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. She wanted all of her grandchildren to be able to hold the titles of Prince or Princess. But, this still doesn’t apply to Archie.
Click ‘Next’ to find out why Archie isn’t a Prince.
The change in title laws only applies to the children in the House of Wales, so only to Prince William’s children. Baby Archie is a member of his father’s house, Sussex. So, Archie’s official title is the Lord of Sussex.
The royal couple are also recognized in Ireland in Scotland, meaning that Archie also holds the title of Earl of Dumbarton and Baron of Kilkeel. That’s quite a lot of names for such a young baby!
Click ‘Next’ to find out who is on the royal birthing team.
Going into Labor
Giving birth is no easy feat, especially not when it’s a royal baby. For the royal family, birth is done with the assistance of at least one midwife. For Kate Middleton’s births, she had three midwives on hand. However, that’s just one small part of the birthing team.
Although midwives are used, royal babies are still birthed in hospitals. There is usually a dozen or so people on the birthing team to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how tradition has changed.
Before Princess Diana gave birth, all the royals had their babies at home rather than in hospitals. Diana decided to break the rules and go to the hospital, so Kate and Meghan have followed her lead since then.
Royal babies are now usually born at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Lindo Wing, a private wing just for them. Little Archie was born in a different hospital, at Portland Hospital in Westminster. Another rule changed thanks to Princess Diana!
Click ‘Next’ to find out how a royal birthing team works.
The royal birthing team is chock full of medical professionals and people who have valuable input to contribute. The birthing team worked with Meghan during all nine months of her pregnancy, but they were forbidden from revealing any information about the baby.
The birthing team is full of highly-trained professionals, and they take their job extremely seriously. They met once a month leading up to Meghan’s due date and were constantly on call in case she needed them.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about the pregnancy fashion rules.
The royals have some pretty strict rules about fashion and even some specific to maternity fashion. The royal family is a representation of the Queen herself, so the Queen ensures that everyone is always dressed for success.
The royals avoid wearing denim or other casual clothing in public and of course opt for formal wear most of the time. Women are supposed to wear high neck lines and avoid anything too tight. Modesty is key when it comes to royal fashion.
Click ‘Next’ to see how the new mothers look moments after giving birth.
Best Face Forward
Being pregnant and giving birth take quite a toll on new mothers, but that doesn’t stop royal moms from looking amazing. Even when they emerge from the hospital for the very first time, royal mothers are dressed up just as formally as usual.
Usually, personal hairdressers and makeup artists are sent directly to the hospital to help the royals prepare for their first moments out with the new baby. For Meghan, she was first photographed once she got home rather than on the hospital steps.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how the royal babies are dressed.
Baby Dress Code
Even the tiniest members of the royal family must adhere to a strict dress code. The babies always have to be formally dressed in public, girls wearing pressed dresses and boys wearing shorts. However, royal baby fashion still has a significant effect on the public.
Parents everywhere tend to buy a lot of similar clothes and styles that they see on the royal babies. This has been termed the Kate Middleton Effect in recent years as Kate’s three kids have begun growing up.
Click ‘Next’ to find out about one specific fashion rule.
The Same Dress
All royal babies are christened when they turn one-year-old, and they all wear the exact same dress for the occasion. The satin and lace gown was first ordered back in 1841 by Queen Victoria for her kids christening.
Since then, every royal baby to be christened has been outfitted in the gown. It was refashioned for Prince George to help usher in a new generation of royal children. Little Archie gets to wear the same one in just under a year for his own christening.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Archie’s birth was celebrated.
The birth of a royal baby is certainly a cause for celebration. At Buckingham Palace, a 41-gun salute is usually the way of marking a special occasion. For baby Archie, an addition several rounds were fired, making for a 62-gun salute.
That’s quite the way to be introduced into the world and celebrated! The royal family certainly doesn’t hold back when showing how much joy they have about welcoming new members to their family.