As the birth of the newest royal baby draws near, many are likely curious about Meghan Markle's exact due date and her birth plan. Though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been distinctly nondescript with such details, some may be wondering if Markle is, in fact, considering a private birth at home, as some reports have suggested. And with that, some may be curious about whether it's acceptable by royal standards and if it's happened before. Well, as it turns out, the Queen has actually had home births herself, so showing off the newest royal baby outside the Lindo Wing hours after delivery in a hospital is actually a fairly new tradition.
Markle — who has become famous for disrupting some royal traditions (with good reason) — is reportedly considering a home birth for her first child, according to ABC News, which isn't as common nowadays. As you may recall, according to People, the Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton, gave birth birth to all three of her children at St. Mary's Hospital in London, just like the late Princess Diana did with her children, Prince Harry and Prince William.
While it's not necessarily common in recent years to have a home birth, should Markle decide to do that, according to the BBC, she'd have that in common with the Queen. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II gave birth to "all of her four children at either Buckingham Palace or Clarence House," as the BBC explained.
For reference, Prince Charles was born in 1948, Princess Anne was born in 1950, Prince Andrew was born in 1960, and Prince Edward was born in 1964.
So it's a fairly new tradition for royals to give birth in a hospital, but the idea of Markle having a home birth still may be surprising for some to hear. As Rebecca Schiller — author, doula and co-founder of the charity Birthrights — explained to CNN, "The Queen and Queen Mother had home births at a time when it was the default, whereas Meghan is making her decisions at a time when hospital birth is so prevalent... Many people don't consider home birth at all."
Beyond reports of a possible home birth plan, Markle has also reportedly "hired a doula, or birth companion, to help her through the process," according to CNN.
Whatever the case may be, it's understandable that Markle wants some privacy, possibly at home, as she delivers her firstborn. In fact, earlier this month, as Good Morning America reported, Buckingham Palace released a statement on Prince Harry and Markle's behalf, stating that they want to keep things "private" for some time after the birth.
The palace said in a statement, according to The New York Times, "Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. 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."
The truth is that any mother would feel overwhelmed by prying eyes and a slew of photographers in her space immediately after delivery, so it's exciting, and refreshing, to see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry making decisions for themselves and their family that feel the most right to them.
And who knows, perhaps the Duchess of Sussex has been turning to the Queen for guidance on this whole home birth thing.