Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's family of two will soon grow by one more. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex first revealed in October that they're expecting a royal baby together, and now the due date is possibly just days away.
"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019," the Kensington Palace announcement read.
The couple married on May 19, 2018, but they had already voiced their desire to have kids beforehand. "Hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future," Prince Harry revealed in their engagement interview. A few months later, Meghan Markle of her own when she stated the couple will at "some point" need to stock up on some baby products.
That point is now! Here's everything else you should know about the next royal baby:
Meghan is due in April.
While visiting the town of Birkenhead on January 14, the Duchess of Sussex revealed to well-wishers that she's about six months along with a late April due date.
"We asked her how her pregnancy was going and she said she was six months and she tapped her tummy," visitor Carla Gandy, who was there with her 4-year-old daughter Sofia, told . The baby could share a birthday with another royal: Prince Louis was born on April 23, 2018 and Princess Charlotte was born on May 2, 2015.
They don't know the gender yet.
Meghan Markle also confirmed that the couple doesn't yet know whether they're having a boy or girl as they want it to be a surprise. Prince William and Kate Middleton went the same route and waited to find out with all three of their children as well.
Meghan may have a home birth.
Meghan is mi things up when it comes to choosing her birth plan. Both the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Diana gave birth to all of their children at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London and posed for pictures on the steps outside afterwards. The pricey maternity ward has also hosted celeb moms like Amal Clooney and Pippa Middleton, but the Duchess of Sussex is pursuing a more private option and will forgo the photo-op immediately after the birth, Buckingham Palace confirmed this week.
"Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private," the statement . "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."
Instead of the Lindo Wing, Meghan reportedly hopes to have a home birth at Frogmore Cottage, according to some royal reporters. Katie Nichol of first reported the rumor in November, and Rebecca English of the Daily Mail came to a similar conclusion in this week's paper.
"It is understood they quickly ruled out the option of using the private Lindo Wing," she . "It is thought Harry and Meghan decided against it because it felt too much like a 'goldfish bowl.' The duchess objected to the idea of standing on the steps of the maternity unit surrounded by the public and the media just hours after the birth."
In case a hospital birth is in the cards, Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey is only 15 miles away from her new home in Windsor and it has hosted royal mothers before. Prince Edward's wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex rushed to that hospital in 2003 when she started experiencing severe abdominal pain while pregnant. Doctors quickly realized she was suffering from (a rare but serious condition when the placenta separates prematurely from the uterus) and needed an emergency C-section. The Countess thought so highly of the care she received that she returned for the (much calmer) birth of her son, James, Viscount Severn, in 2007.
While the palace hasn't confirmed the definitive plan yet, Meghan will clearly be in great hands whatever she chooses to do.
The first baby photos will be taken at Windsor Castle several days after the birth.
Instead of posing outside the Lindo Wing, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the royal baby will likely wait a few days for their first family portrait. Pictures may happen later on the Windsor Castle grounds, with photographers standing on the nearby Long Walk, royal correspondent Emily Andrews . Last year, the couple rode in a carriage down the Long Walk as part of their wedding procession. The Sussexes also have a brand-new Instagram account () where they may also release snapshots following the birth.
The baby will not be a prince or princess.
As of right now, a boy could use the title Earl of Dumbarton (one of Prince Harry's subsidiary titles), according to peerage experts . A daughter would get the title Lady Mountbatten-Windsor, which is the royal family's last name.
Neither would be a His or Her Royal Highness because of the rules set forth by King George V in 1917. The Queen could step in and change this, like when she made Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis HRHs, but Prince Harry's family is farther removed from the line of succession.
Even if she did offer, the new parents could also decline the courtesy titles, like Princess Anne did with Peter and Zara Phillips. Either way, the child will most likely use the last name "Sussex" for everyday life, just like how Prince George is known as "George Cambridge" at school.
He or she will be seventh in line to the throne.
The new baby will come after his or her dad, but bump Prince Andrew down to eighth. Here's what the new order will look like:
- Prince Charles
- Prince William
- Prince George
- Princess Charlotte
- Prince Louis
- Prince Harry
- New Royal Baby
- Prince Andrew
- Princess Beatrice
- Princess Eugenie
Potential names include Victoria and Philip.
The royal family traditionally chooses from a group of historic monikers that pay tribute to past relatives. For example, Prince Louis's name honors Prince Philip's beloved uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten. Current odds-on favorites for the latest royal addition include Victoria, Diana, and Alice for a girl and Arthur, James, and Alexander for a boy — all choices with rich histories behind them.
However, other family members have gone unexpected routes. Not a single bettor predicted Princess Eugenie's name before her birth in 1990, bookmakers William Hill told the at the time. Zara Phillips also has an unconventional name for the royal family, so Meghan and Harry could still surprise everyone with a completely unanticipated pick.
They'll live in Frogmore Cottage.
The Sussexes have moved out! After living in the cozy two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, the couple has now upgraded to better digs outside of London. They're currently in the process of updating a on Windsor Estate with plenty of space for children. Currently divided into five units for palace staff, the major renovations will restore the building to a family home with room for a gym and yoga studio, royal correspondent Emily Andrews revealed on .
The "eco-friendly, gender-neutral nursery" will include a playroom and two bedrooms: one for the baby and one for Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, who will help out with the little one, reports. Apparently the white-and-gray suite will also include a top-of-the-line security system and a stereo system. (For listening to Baby Mozart, maybe?)
The move does mean they're leaving their former close neighbors Will and Kate behind, but their new home — reportedly a gift from the Queen — has special meaning to the couple. It's on the same property where they shot their engagement portraits and hosted their wedding reception.