Baby Sussex A-Z: let’s spell it out for you – the tot will have it all
This is everything you need to know about the royal baby on its way
A is for accommodation
With the Sussex’s new home, Frogmore Cottage, having undergone an estimated £3m renovation, Baby Sussex will have the run of a 10-bedroom Windsor mansion complete with new staircases, fireplaces and even a floating floor – all decorated in neutral and grey tones with the help of Soho House interior designer Vicky Charles.
The environmentally conscious duke and duchess have also opted for a £50,000 energy unit to provide their heating, electricity and hot water.
A separate yoga studio is being accommodated for Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who will assist with child-rearing.
B is for breastfeeding
Assuming that Meghan wants to breastfeed, she may follow in the Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps and consider consulting expert Clare Byam-Cook.
According to the latest figures, 81% of UK mothers have tried breastfeeding at some point, compared with 76% in the US – although 27% of American mothers still breastfeed after a year, compared with 0.5% of Brits.
Will Meghan opt for Prince Louis’s favourite baby formula, Kendamil follow-on milk, when the time comes?
C is for christeningRoyal babies are usually baptised at about three months, which would mean a summer christening for Baby Sussex.Although Princes George and Louis were christened at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, the Sussexes may choose to hold the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where they married last May – and Harry was also baptised there.The baby will wear a replica of the Honiton lace and white satin gown that was made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.D is for DianaThe late Princess of Wales would have been a hands-on and playful grandmother, according to Sarah Ferguson.
The Duchess of York once said: “Diana would have just been the naughtiest, funniest and the best ever, just because she loved her boys so much. She would have been so proud of them and what they have achieved.”
Diana has long been among the favourite names for Baby Sussex.
E is for entourage
Having just hired the Clintons’ former adviser Sara Latham as their PR supremo, Harry and Meghan will be looking to expand Team Sussex with a new nanny as well as other key members of office staff, including a new private secretary, once temporary stand-in Samantha “The Panther” Cohen steps down.
There has been speculation the Sussexes may recruit nanny-to-the-stars Connie Simpson, who has previously helped the Clooneys, Jessica Alba and Emily Blunt.
F is for fatherly love
Although he has not made many public pronouncements about the birth of his first child, Prince Harry is expected to be a hands-on dad.
In a speech to the Commonwealth Youth Roundtable discussion at Lancaster House in January, he spoke of the pressure he feels, saying: “As someone who is about to become a father, I am acutely aware of our shared responsibility to make this world more resilient and its inhabitants more accountable for the next generation.”
G is for godparents
Royalty usually opts for friends over relatives, although it has been suggested that, as Harry’s closest cousin, Princess Eugenie could get the call-up.
If the Sussexes stick to tradition, the newborn will have five to eight godparents, with Meghan’s friends Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney and Benita Litt firmly in the frame.
Harry’s former equerry and mentor Mark Dyer is also hotly tipped.
George Clooney appeared to rule himself out in 2018, joking: “Oh yes, I’ll be the godfather of the royal apparently,” before following up with a quick “no!”
H is for home birth
Although it has not been confirmed that Meghan plans to give birth at home, many believe this is what the royal couple meant when they said they wanted as “private” a birthing event as possible.
Although Meghan is technically known as a “geriatric mother”, she has been in fine fettle during her pregnancy – undertaking two long-haul flights at seven months.
And, rather than breaking with royal tradition, Meghan would be returning to it. The queen had all four of her children at home, at Buckingham Palace or Clarence House, including Prince Edward when she was 37.
I is for in-laws
While Doria is due to be present for the birth, and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are likely to be among the first visitors, there are no immediate plans for Baby Sussex to meet Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, or half-sister, Samantha.
Harry has still not been introduced to his father-in-law, but with rumours of a royal tour of the US in the offing later this year or next, could the arrival of a new baby increase the chances of a reunion?
J is for jet set
With Brand Sussex well and truly up and running, Harry and Meghan will be expected to undertake at least one foreign tour in the next 12 months.
Having successfully taken Prince George to New Zealand and Australia when he was just seven months old, there’s a strong chance the Sussexes will follow the Cambridges’ lead and make their next official overseas jaunt a family affair – with talk of a trip to Africa already in the offing.
K is for Kensington Palace
Having cut ties with Kensington Palace, the duke and duchess will be establishing their new “court” at Buckingham Palace under the direction of the queen, who has funded the move of their household, along with Prince Charles.
The couple were said to have been disappointed not to have been allowed to branch out on their own and base their new office in Windsor.
It will be interesting to see how Brand Sussex adapts under the new palace regime.
L is for Lamaze
It is thought that Meghan is keen on using breathing and relaxation techniques to cope with the pain of labour.
Popularised in the 1950s by French obstetrician Dr Fernand Lamaze, the practice is widespread in the US – although Lamaze has been criticised for being over-disciplinary and antifeminist.
Meghan would have the option of gas and air, a birthing pool and Tens machine pain relief if she delivered at home, along with relaxation techniques such as hypnobirthing.
M is for maternity leave
As Meghan does not technically have an employer, Buckingham Palace is not calling it “maternity leave” – but the duchess will certainly be taking several months off, having performed her last official royal duty at the Commonwealth Day service on March 11.
However, an aide pointed out she would continue working privately behind the scenes, taking meetings as well as using the last month “to catch up with those involved in her patronage-related endeavours”.
N is for names
At the time of going to press, most of the betting money is on Alice at 10/1, closely followed by Diana and Victoria at 14/1.
Fittingly meaning “of the nobility”, Alice would give a nod to Queen Victoria’s second daughter, Alice Maud Mary.
The frontrunners for a boy’s name are Arthur and James on 14/1, then Alexander, Edward and Albert.
O is for obs and gynae
Having reportedly shunned the Lindo Wing, it had been suggested Meghan had also snubbed the Queen’s surgeon gynaecologists, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, in favour of an all-female team.
It has since emerged that there may still be a role for HM’s doctors – widely considered the best in the business – amid growing speculation Meghan is planning a midwife-led birth, with the royal doctors on standby.
P is for paternity leave
The UK’s standard paternity leave provides two weeks of paid time off for new fathers, but as Harry is not technically employed, he will just be taking a break from official royal duties.
Having just moved to Frogmore and with a new household being set up at Buckingham Palace, Harry will have to get the balance right between providing support at home and checking in with the office.
Q is for queen
Her Majesty will be one of the first people to be informed of the birth before the official announcement is made.
This will be the Queen and Prince Philip’s eighth great-grandchild and an extra special moment, as the baby will be living just a stone’s throw away from Windsor Castle, where the 93-year-old monarch is expected to be among the first visitors.
R is for reigning
New rules on succession came into force in March 2015, removing male bias.
It means that if the Sussexes’ baby is a girl, she will not be overtaken by any future younger brothers in the line of succession.
At seventh in line to the throne, the baby is quite low down the royal pecking order.
Before Prince George was born, Harry spent 29 years as third in line.
S is for schooling
Although Harry attended Eton College, speculation is already mounting that Baby Sussex will be given a truly transatlantic education, with the couple having moved close to the American Community School in Egham, Surrey.
Boasting a sprawling and lavish campus opposite Windsor Great Park, the school teaches the international baccalaureate and offers students the chance to gain a US high school diploma.
Misha Nonoo, the fashion designer who is believed to have introduced Harry and Meghan, attended its sister school in nearby Cobham.
T is for toys
Vintage rocking horse maker Marc Stevenson has declared his desire to make a steed for the royal newborn.
The Stevenson Brothers workshop in Bethersden, Kent, has been making bespoke horses, worth up to £10,000 – featuring family crests and often based on a client’s favourite mount – for 37 years.
They have built multiple rocking horses for the Queen; Highgrove has a grey model based on one Charles had as a child.
“We’re very lucky that all our work is appreciated by royal families all over the world,” says Marc.
U is for updates
Having launched their own Instagram feed last month, @SussexRoyal – which gained a million followers in a record-breaking five hours and 45 minutes – Harry and Meghan are expected to announce the birth of their baby on their social media channels.
But the royal couple will also follow tradition, with an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace – as was the case with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
There is also expected to be a 62-gun salute.
A photocall will be held within days.
V is for Victoria
If hypnobirthing doesn’t work, Meghan need look no further than Queen Victoria for inspiration.
The Victorians considered labour pains to be God’s punishment for Eve’s temptation of Adam, but – having given birth to seven babies without anaesthetic – by numbers eight and nine, Victoria turned to what she called “the blessed chloroform”.
With her seal of approval, its use became widespread.
A “natural birth” is seen as desirable today – but for Victorian women who had no choice but to suffer, chloroform was a godsend.
W is for weight
Prince Harry was 3.12kg. Prince William weighed just more than 3.18kg, while Prince Charles was 3.35kg.
At a hefty 3.8kg, Prince George was the heaviest future king to be born in 100 years.
Most babies born in the UK weigh between 2.5kg and 4kg.
X is for X-factor
The global interest in Baby Sussex is huge, thanks largely to Harry and Meghan’s superstar status.
With truly transatlantic parents, the baby will be able to apply for dual citizenship – not to mention all the attention that will be lavished on him or her by the duchess’s American A-list friends.
Y is for yoga
Meghan enjoys vinyasa and hot yoga.
She has continued her routine during pregnancy and plans to utilise the therapeutic practice when she gives birth.
Yoga labour techniques mainly focus on breathing patterns and chanting in rhythm to overcome pain.
Harry is also understood to have caught the bug, and before the birth the couple were spotted visiting Ilapothecary, a holistic spa in London.
Z is for Zzz
As any new parent will tell you, sleep deprivation can be a killer.
Could the couple be looking to recruit a maternity nurse for those difficult first weeks?
Susie Wilsher apparently worked wonders for George and Amal Clooney’s twins.
Harry showed great interest in a three-month-old’s sleeping schedule during a visit to a YMCA centre earlier this month, suggesting he is worrying about losing some shuteye.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)