Social media is buzzing over the news that Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her third child — a baby boy! — on Monday, according to People. But while we all wait eagerly to catch a glimpse of the duke and duchess with their newborn son on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London, some royal fans have noticed that the baby's official birth announcement from Kensington Palace may have inadvertently snubbed Prince Harry's bride-to-be. Why wasn't Meghan Markle in the royal birth announcement? It likely comes down to official royal protocol.
After announcing earlier in the day that the duchess had been taken to hospital in the early stages of labor, the palace sent out an update to announced that she had, in fact, given birth to a baby boy at 11:01 a.m. local time. A follow-up tweet confirmed that the duke and duchess' families had been contacted and that they were "delighted with the news." Yet the fact that the announcement directly named specific members of the royal family and not Meghan Markle had some wondering if perhaps the wording of the announcing was actually meant to serve as a sly royal rebuff.
It doesn't seem entirely off-base to wonder if there might be something more to the palace's decision to leave Markle out of the announcement. After all, not only is she set to marry Prince Harry next month — making her the newborn prince's soon-to-be aunt — she's also been a very high-profile working royal as of late, even if she isn't yet officially a member of the fold. For one, Markle has already "conducted more royal engagements than any other previous brides-to-be," according to The Evening-Standard, having joined Prince Harry for appearances in London and Birmingham, as well as in Northern Ireland and Wales. And she doesn't show any signs of slowing down, either: only a few hours after the birth of the royal baby, Markle and Prince Harry attended a memorial service in London held by The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
But that's not the only sign that Markle has already established herself as a member of the royal family ahead of her wedding. There's the fact that Markle spent Christmas with the royals at Sandringham — something not even Kate Middleton was allowed to do, despite being in a relationship with Prince William for eight years prior to their engagement. And in March, she also made her first-ever public appearance with the queen herself at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day, according to ABC News, where she sat with Prince Harry in the second row behind the monarch (a prime spot for a non-family member, for sure).
Yet, despite what appears to be the queen's affinity for Prince Harry's relationship with Markle, the royal baby announcement was certainly very protocol-official: the specific royals were named in order of ranking, with all non-royal family members getting a generic mention at the end. And that includes those who are obviously super-important to the duke and duchess, and to the royal baby himself (think grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton, aunt Pippa Middleton and her husband, James Matthews, and uncle James Middleton). And, to be fair, as Cosmopolitan noted, it's likely that if the royal baby had been born after the royal wedding, Markle would have been included in the announcement, the same way that Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was.
In other words? Chances are that Markle isn't too offended, especially since she already seems to be so welcomed into the family as it is. And given how close Prince Harry is to the duke and duchess, it already seems inevitable that Markle will be a big part of the newest prince's life growing up — whether she was specifically named in his birth announcement, or not.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.