Q&A: The low-down on Harry and Meghan’s baby
Here is the low-down on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby:
– When is the royal baby due?
A six-months-pregnant Meghan told well-wishers on a day trip to Birkenhead in January that her due date was the end of April or the beginning of May.
– Is it a girl or a boy?
Meghan has insisted they do not know whether they are having a girl or a boy and that it will be a surprise.
– Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?
Seventh in line. The baby will bump Harry’s uncle, the Duke of York, into eighth place in the line of succession.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie move into ninth and 10th place, and the Earl of Wessex – the Queen’s youngest son – drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.
– How will the baby be related to the Queen?
The baby will be a great-grandchild of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales’s grandchild, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s niece or nephew, and a cousin for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
– Will he or she ever be monarch?
Unlikely. Future king George, plus Charlotte and Louis, are all further up the line of succession than Harry and Meghan’s baby, so it is a safe bet that the throne will stay on the Cambridge side of the family in years to come.
– What will the baby be called?
Latest odds at the bookmakers have Diana as the favourite for a girl, followed by Alice, Victoria and Elizabeth.
For a boy, Arthur, James, Philip, Edward and Albert are among the predicted choices.
William and Kate chose royal favourites for their children.
But Harry and LA-born Meghan could break the royal mould and take inspiration from American traditions.
In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy.
– Will the baby be a prince or princess?
Not at this stage. They will not be a prince or princess, nor an HRH, because George V limited titles within the royal family in 1917.
– So what will their title be?
A son would be known as the Earl of Dumbarton – because a first son of a duke is allowed to use one of his father’s other lesser titles as a courtesy title.
Harry was also made Earl of Dumbarton on the morning of his wedding, as well as being given a dukedom.
A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.
– But the Queen could change this?
Yes. The Queen stepped in ahead of George’s birth to issue a Letters Patent to ensure all the Cambridges’ children would have fitting titles, but this royal baby is much further down the line of succession.
Under George V’s rules, Harry and Meghan’s child and any future children would eventually become princes or princesses when Charles becomes king, because they would be the children of a son of a sovereign.
So even though the baby will be quite far down the line of succession, the Queen may decide to introduce the titles early so they do not have to be changed later on – unless Harry and Meghan prefer to adopt more low-key titles for their children.
– Will Harry and Meghan hire a nanny?
There have been rumours that Meghan will turn to her mother, Doria Ragland, for help initially.
But it is likely they will hire a nanny eventually.
Harry has been close to all his nannies, especially Tiggy Legge-Bourke, and it is expected he and Meghan will arrange for a nanny to care for their baby while they are on official engagements.
Kate and William have the help of their full-time live-in nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
Meghan’s close friend, Jessica Mulroney, had two nannies to help her with her twin boys and younger daughter.
– Where will the baby be born?
Kate had three successful deliveries at the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London so Meghan could follow her sister-in law’s tried and tested lead.
Harry was also born there in 1984, as was William in 1982.
But with the Sussexes moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park, Meghan may want to have her baby closer to home.
The duchess might even decide to have her baby at home – as was once always the custom for royal babies – with a team of top medical staff on hand and the latest birthing equipment on standby.
Other options include the Mulberry Birth Centre at Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Surrey, which is 15 miles from Frogmore Cottage.
It does not offer private care for maternity patients, but Meghan could still be attended to by Guy Thorpe-Beeston, surgeon-gynaecologist to the household, and Alan Farthing, the Queen’s surgeon-gynaecologist, who cared for Kate during her deliveries, if she chose.
It was the hospital that saved the life of the Countess of Wessex following complications during the birth of her daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.
Sophie’s son, Viscount Severn, was also born there in 2007.
Will the baby have dual citizenship?
Harry and Meghan could apply for their child to have dual US-UK citizenship.
Meghan is planning to become a British citizen – but at present is still a US citizen.
According to the American Embassy in the UK, a child born outside the US and in wedlock to a US citizen parent and a non-US citizen parent may acquire US citizenship at birth if the US parent lived in America for five years – two of which were after the age of 14.