Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have personally decided to forgo a decades-old royal birth custom and keep the upcoming birth of their first child private.
The parents-to-be will abandon the traditional post-birth photo on the steps of The Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William presented their children to the world.
Instead, after months of speculation over whether Meghan, 37, will pose again on those same steps, Kensington Palace officials confirmed on Friday (Australian time) that the pair will avoid the public eye until they’ve have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.
“The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone … (and) are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby,” the Palace said in a statement.
In the days following the royal baby’s birth, Meghan and Harry will participate in a small press engagement on the Windsor Castle grounds, according to People.
Meghan has strayed away from royal traditions by appointing her own delivery team, which will be led by a female doctor.
The royal household’s gynaecologists Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, will not oversee the birth of Meghan’s child, despite aiding the births of all three of William and Kate’s children.
As a future king, William is expected to help mark great occasions, while Harry – sixth in the line of succession -– has more leeway. Both have in the past expressed deep misgivings about intrusive press coverage.
Harry and Meghan – an American actress best known for her work on Suits – wed in May in an internationally televised ceremony at Windsor Castle.
They are expecting their first child in late April or early May.
The palace press office has announced very few details about their plans, refusing to comment on unconfirmed British press reports that Meghan may opt for a home birth.
Harry and Meghan say they have not learned the gender of their baby.
The couple recently moved from central London to a more secluded house near their wedding venue.
They recently set up an Instagram account, leading to speculation they may post the first pictures of their baby on that site. That account broke an Instagram record for quickly attracting millions of fans.
They said in their statement they are grateful for the goodwill messages they have received from around the world.
Harry and Meghan have asked people who want to send them baby gifts to instead donate to selected charities for children and parents in need.
They mentioned several charities in particular, including The Lunchbox Fund, WellChild, Baby2Baby and Little Village, which all have different connections to the royal couple.