Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to welcome the newest addition to the royal family any day now. Understandably, interest in their baby is at a fever pitch and royal watchers are busy placing bets on when the baby will arrive much as they've done for previous royal births, like with Kate Middleton and Prince William's three children. But this time around, things are going to be different. There won't be a photo shoot outside the hospital hours after the birth as it has happened when Middleton delivered her babies, and guess what? That's fine. Because Meghan Markle's birth plan has nothing to do with Kate Middleton, so can we all finally lay off the comparisons and just enjoy two women choosing their own path?
The narrative that has been truly hammered home in the tabloids about the royal sisters-in-law goes a little something like this: Meghan Markle, American actress and maverick, marries the youngest son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles and breaks a bunch of royal rules, as detailed by Fashion magazine. There are some who admire her perceived rule breaking and those who vilify her for it.
Then there's Kate Middleton, who in 2011 married Prince William, Prince Harry's older brother and heir to the British throne. The couple have had three children and Middleton is seen by the media as someone who tows the line and does what she's told, as noted by the Daily Mail. Again, there are those who admire her for her perceived rule following and those who slam her for it.
Markle and Prince Harry recently announced their plans to welcome the birth of their child privately, which is something of a departure from other members of the royal family (although notably Queen Elizabeth kept the birth of her third child, Prince Andrew, so private that people barely even realized she was pregnant, according to Town & Country).
Since the announcement there has been speculation that Markle is yet again breaking some sort of royal rule, based almost solely on Kate Middleton's birth plan with each of her three children. She delivered all of them at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London and appeared on the front steps just hours after for a quick photo shoot, according to Harper's Bazaar.
Prince Harry and Markle, on the other hand, are expected to wait two days before a photocall with the media to introduce their newborn, according to TODAY, and there have even been rumors that she might consider a home birth rather than a visit to the hospital.
But perhaps most importantly, the couple have made it known that their most emphatic wish for their birth plan is privacy. Earlier this month, according to The New York Times, Buckingham Palace issued a rare statement from Markle and Prince Harry saying:
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.
Despite the rumors and speculation of supposed tension, royal expert Ingrid Seward recently told People that the royal family would put "no pressure" on Markle to follow in Middleton's footsteps regarding her birth plan. "People are delighted that Meghan is doing things differently. She was under no pressure to do things the same," Seward told People.
Markle and Prince Harry are planning on enjoying a few days at home with their baby at their new home, Frogmore Cottage, according to INSIDER, before posing for photos on the grounds of Windsor Castle. And that's something Seward told People no one in the royal family has a problem with this. Perhaps because Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are two different women who are actually allowed to make two different decisions for their families. Neither one right or wrong. Simply two women who happen to be related by marriage following their own paths.
So perhaps everyone can allow two women to exist within the same sphere and not automatically place them at odds against each other... just for a change.