Now that Baby Sussex is officially here, royal fans are likely wondering if Meghan Markle actually had a home birth with her first child, as many media reports suggested she would. The Duchess of Sussex certainly wouldn't be the first royal to deliver a baby in the privacy of their home — err, palace? — and some seem to think the traditional birth notice outside of Buckingham Palace suggests that she might have in the end.
On Monday, May 6, palace officials announced that Prince Harry and Markle welcomed their first child — a baby boy! — but they did not reveal where exactly the Duchess of Sussex delivered her firstborn.
"We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019," a statement on Instagram read. "Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz." The statement added that Markle and baby "are both healthy and well," and that more details about their bundle of joy "will be shared in the forthcoming days."
A few hours after the news was revealed, Buckingham Palace presented a birth notice for Baby Sussex at palace gates. However, as some reporters and royal fans noted on Twitter, a doctor's signature on the notice can't be seen, which may indicate that she did not give birth in a hospital.
"The birth announcement has now been placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace," royal commentator for CNN Victoria Arbiter shared on Twitter. "From what I can see it’s not been signed by the attending doctors."
Here's a closer look at the birth announcement outside Buckingham Palace:
Additionally, as The Mirror reported, Buckingham Palace's statement "appeared to indicate the birth was at the Duke and Duchess's home in the grounds of Frogmore House."
It's worth noting that Prince William and Kate Middleton's birth announcements have signatures from "her doctors that helped deliver her children" at the bottom, as InStyle reported. Here's Prince Louis from 2018:
Or all of this may simply indicate that they didn't want their doctors' identities to be known and private for the time being.
Leading up to Baby Sussex's arrival, various media outlets had reported that Markle was considering a home birth instead of giving birth at the now infamous Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, where the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and other famous moms like Amal Clooney have given birth in the past, as The Independent reported.
Back in December, the Daily Mail reported that Markle had been "reading up on hypnobirthing techniques" to prepare for her delivery and more recently, according to CNN, Markle had reportedly hired "a doula, or birth companion" to help with her a home birth.
While a lot of the media coverage about Markle's birth plan leading up to her son's arrival had portrayed the Duchess of Sussex as a royal rule breaker of sorts, giving birth in a hospital is actually a fairly new practice within the royal family.
In fact, according to TODAY, Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to all four of children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — at home, either at Buckingham Palace or Clarence House, a royal residence in London.
What's more, Queen Elizabeth as well as her sister, Princess Margaret, also were not born in a hospital; according to Town & Country, the queen was born in "the London home of her maternal grandparents" in 1926.
It wasn't until the late Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William in 1982 at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London that there was a break in tradition of royal births, according to Women's World. And she did the same when she gave birth to Prince Harry in 1984, according to Reader's Digest. And then, of course, Kate Middleton welcomed all three of her children at the Lindo Wing, as Hello! Magazine reported.
Though there was a lot of speculation about what Markle's birth plan would look like, one detail has been clear all along: she wanted privacy.
In April, as the Associated Press reported, Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of Prince Harry and Markle, informing royal watchers and the media that they wanted to "keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private."
Although interest in the newest royal baby is still at an all-time high, and will be for some time to come, hopefully the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were able to welcome their newborn exactly as they wanted.