It's not too far off from a certain Windsor bride's due date, which for us fans means a ritual we have come to expect: The royal mom greets the paparazzi and press and shows off the new member of the family with a smile and wave, usually in perfect clothing, makeup, and a blowout, mere hours after delivery. Well, Meghan Markle may not follow in Kate Middleton's footsteps after the birth of the royal baby and here's why.
As has been noted, Kate Middleton acquired a habit with her babies of giving birth and then somehow dashing straight into hair and makeup to get camera-ready so that she could show off her bundle of joy when leaving the hospital to go recover at home. And while I never took it personally, except to be happy I got to see the new baby and was glad to see Middleton was doing OK, the duchess' poise and resilience so quickly after childbirth did cause some to wonder, is Middleton's ritual realistic?
After all, many of us remember the time immediately after a baby is born as, well, not exactly our most beautiful hour. To this day, when I see a bag of Cheetos, I think of the days immediately following my second daughter's birth, when breastfeeding was going terribly and I was craving junk food and dressed in an old blue bathrobe with messy hair. Not a pretty sight.
If Middleton can pull off all that she does and still look that great and seemingly calm, more power to her. Plus, she followed in the tradition of Princess Diana by giving birth in the Lindo Wing before posing for photos prior to leaving the hospital, as People noted.
But Markle may have different ideas about a woman's public role post-birth. According to the UK's Daily Mail, Markle will most likely not appear on the hospital steps with the baby after he or she is born, and it's because of her ideas about feminism.
As the paper reported, on an episode of the podcast On Heir, royal correspondents Emily Andrews and Omid Scobie, argued that Markle won't stage a Middleton-type moment. "At the moment, we understand that she isn't, she doesn't want to do that, isn't going to do that," Andrews said, while Scobie elucidated.
"Given what we know about Meghan, the optics of a totally glamorous, picture-perfect moment hours after giving birth are not quite in alignment with her views on the world," the commentator explained.
Us Weekly reported that Markle may opt to give birth somewhere other than the Lindo Wing, where Middleton gave birth to all three Cambridge children, which may also take some of the pressure of a staircase photo call off the new mom.
The publication also noted that there were parking restrictions and the like in place prior to Middleton's three deliveries, and those don't seem to be planned for in advance of Markle giving birth.
To someone who doesn't follow this stuff, it might sound unimportant. But it is. Because both of these duchesses play a part in shaping how women are seen on the global stage.
And it's important for society to realize that birth (and parenting) are a big demand on a person. A demand to be respected. Not another competition that other people will feel they can't live up to.
Actress Keira Knightley wrote an feminist essay in which she felt Middleton's image was quite the contrast to what she experienced around childbirth — and was criticized for mom-shaming Middleton, which she said was exactly the opposite of her point about women supporting other women (and society's expectations for how people should look after giving birth), as AOL reported.
So while Middleton may go on to have a fourth baby and be outside looking ready for a photo-op within a matter of hours, it may not be doable for everyone. And that's OK too.
I think it's high time we let go of the idea that there can only be "one" heroine, i.e. Kate's way is right, or Meghan's way is right. Maybe they're both doing what feels right to them, and their families. (And who knows? They may end up doing things exactly the same.) We'll have to wait until baby Sussex is born to know for sure what Markle will ultimately decide to do. And however many photos anyone else wants to take right after giving birth should be fine by the rest of us.