For today’s installment of “breaking” Meghan Markle news, we’re going to clear up a rumor: No, as far as we know, the Duchess of Sussex is not pregnant, and while she and Prince Harry do seem to have baby fever, there aren’t public plans to expand the family quite yet.
Got that out of the way? Okay, moving forward. Despite knowing that any theoretical baby plans will almost certainly stay private until Kensington Palace makes a formal announcement, royal experts have started chiming in on what the protocol will be if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do choose to have kids someday.
The deeper dive revealed a surprise: Markle won’t necessarily be allowed to have a baby shower.
Now hold on a second. With such a track record of extravagant celebratory events (uh, the royal wedding, for starters), why wouldn’t a baby celebration be in the cards for Harry and Meghan? As Harper’s Bazaar Australia reports (and as you probably guessed), it’s a royal tradition.
Because royals are “very wealthy, a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to The Sun. “There’s nothing they can’t go out and buy themselves.”
Well-to-do celebrities stateside have often dealt with the less-than-favorable optics of receiving expensive gifts by asking that guests donate to charities instead. Harry and Meghan opted for this route when it came to their wedding registry, asking attendees to make donations and hold off on buying blenders and cutlery. (We assume that Kensington Palace is well-stocked on that front.)
That’s not the only reason why a party probably wouldn’t happen. As outlets like Babble have reported, baby showers aren’t as much of a “thing” in the U.K. as in the United States, so this might be an instance where native country culture influences expectations.
Even so, Markle may want to pay homage to her American roots with a good ol’ fashioned informal baby celebration if she were expecting. In that case, Harper’s Bazaar Australia says she’d be allowed to accept gifts from her loved ones, though there couldn’t be a formal party. Just add it to the list of things she’s had to let go of to marry Harry.