You know how, in some families, all the siblings and cousins and whatever all get married and/or have kids at around the same time and there's this delightful baby explosion that has you attending a family gathering every few months? I feel like that's what's going on with the House of Windsor right now. Babies everywhere! And soon, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, will be giving birth to the next little prince or princess. People are thrilled, of course, and are anxious to see the sure-to-be absolutely adorable outfits. There are things I want Meghan Markle to dress the royal baby in, however, that go beyond the tastefully appointed, vaguely Victorian fare we're used to.
From time immemorial, royalty and royal adjacent folks have been trend-setters and style icons. Nell Gwynn, royal mistress to Charles II, out here showing cleavage? Hoist 'em up, girls. Queen Victoria wears a white wedding gown? All y'alls are going to start wearing white wedding gowns. Queen Mary wearing multiple statement pieces all at once? Bring on the bling. And et's face it: rich people can afford more fabulous clothing, so it makes sense that we're still looking to them for guidance and then figuring out how to capitalize on cheaper versions for ourselves, right? But I do think there are ways "the upper crust" can be having way more fun with their fashion choices than they currently are. In fact, I think they could even sneak in some positive messaging along the way.
So, Meghan and Harry, if you're reading this, here are some thoughts — consider it a baby gift from me to you — about how you should dress your little one:
Whatever Kate & William's Kids Are Wearing
OK, I know I said most of my ideas were beyond the usual but, like, if it ain't broke don't fix it, right?
I mean, come on! Those kids' outfits are goals. And I know it's probably less Kate and Will picking out their kids' clothing (at least the clothing they wear for public events) and more a team of stylists who want to put out a very specific uniform look for the royal family, but whoever is putting them together is doing a great job and I'm here for it. If I were Meghan I'd be like, "Hey, Kate, can our kids share a wardrobe person? I'll even take your hand-me-downs. I don't care. I just need in on that sweet Peter Pan-collar action."
"This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" Onesie
Meghan has been refreshingly open and at times proactive about feminism and her commitment to equal rights and I'd really love to see that carry through once her little one is born. And, honestly, what better way to say "feminism really isn't all that radical a notion" than asserting it on the onesie of a baby who represents an inveterate and traditional establishment like the monarchy? I feel like this is a great way to get buy-in from people who might otherwise bristle at the idea of feminism.
"Oh, the Duchess of Sussex is a feminist? And so too, according to the onesie, is her infant? Perhaps, then, feminism is not as scary as I had perceived it to be. How marvelous! To Harrod's! I shall buy a pair of new-fangled women's trousers to mark the ocasion!"
Miniature Queen Elizabeth II Costume
I mean how funny would that be?! Honestly, though! Just imagine Harry and Meghan presenting their wee little royal to her majesty, pushing their fancy pram up to her throne or whatever and drawing back the blanket to reveal an infant in full monarchical regalia plus a short white wig and glasses. I would pay money to see that baby and that reaction.
Actually Any British Monarch Costume
If you want to go back to William the Conqueror, that's almost 1,000 years of historical costumes to put a baby in and each one would be more adorable and hilarious than the last. Just imagine an itty bitty Henry VII or George III or Queen Mary. Is it completely absurd? Yes. Is this baby actually directly connected to most past monarchs? Not really (it gets pretty convoluted every few generations and succession wasn't always a straight line). But your child will be a damn prince/princess, so I say lean into it.
Tiny Revolutionary War Soldier
What fun is it to be the one American in the British royal family if you're not going to make a cheeky joke like this at some point, amiright?
A Onesie That Says "Lucky #7"
Agreeing upon an heir to the throne has been an issue that plagued many a monarch. But nowadays the line of succession is crystal clear. After Elizabeth comes Prince Charles, then Prince William and his three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, then Prince Henry and then this newest little baby. So when the wee one is born, they will be seventh in line to the throne. Personally, I think that would be a cute thing to put on a t-shirt. OMG and then you could have a photo-op with everyone there in their appropriate number?! You guys! Whom do I have to call to make this happen?
Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, is a former yoga instructor, and I just love the idea of Grandma (or Grammy or Mima or whatever she decides to be called) and baby getting together for some mindful meditation and stretchy good fun.
Truly Gender-Neutral Clothing
Meghan is reported to have said that she wants to avoid gender stereotypes for her child and raise them with a fluid idea of gender. The Palace ended up denying these claims, but still: I hope that if the baby is a girl, mom and dad let her wear boxy t-shirts and jeans with pockets and dresses with trucks on them. If it's a boy I hope they put him in pink sometimes and, dare I dream, a tasteful skirt and/or kilt.
Paddington Bear Costume
Paddington is an English institution and I feel like this should probably just be a rule for all small citizens of the UK: at some point you must be dressed up like Paddington Bear and be photographed walking around a train station eating marmalade.
A "Heads Together" T-Shirt
Heads Together is the mental health initiative launched by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, in order to destigmatize mental health and fundraise for innovative mental health services. Well done, team. This program should be promoted at every possible turn, including on a baby, because you're never too young to start talking about mental health.
Inflatable Dinosaur Costume
No reason other than the fact that I think it's absolutely hysterical. Seriously, I've never not at least smiled looking at one of these things, and nine times out of 10 immediately double over in laughter. I could be at a funeral and if I saw someone run by in an inflatable T-Rex costume I would crack up.
A "Brexit Was A Crap Idea" T-Shirt
The Royal family has a solid, apolitical stance, and I get it, but, like, babies shouldn't have to follow that rule. This would be a great way of essentially saying, "Seriously, WTF were you idiots thinking? You weren't thinking, were you?"
Basically I want the royal baby to low-key shame every single leave voter there is.
Normal Kid Clothes
Because we can ooh and ahh over another royal baby all we want but, really, this is just another baby. That's not to say we shouldn't be excited, because any child being welcomed into the world deserves a little cheer and a smile. But while Meghan and Harry's baby will live a life of extraordinary, almost unimaginable privilege, at the end of the day they're going to be a kid like mine or yours or anyone else's. So let them run around in a puree-stained onesie and mud-covered pants from time to time. Kids should all be a little messy, even the royal ones.
Also, I could stand to have the royal pedestal maybe not knocked down completely but cracked just a bit. I think it'd be good for everyone involved, to be honest, and I bet Meghan would appreciate an opportunity to not have to worry about keeping white lace pristine every now and then.