What will Harry and Meghan name baby?
Spring has arrived in the UK and, amid the chaos of Brexit, another countdown is in full swing. Any day now, Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become parents for the first time.
Excitement has been mounting since last October when the couple announced the impending arrival of their child “in the spring of 2019.”
While the exact due date remains shrouded in mystery, Meghan reportedly told members of the public at a royal engagement in January that she was due to give birth at the end of April or in early May.
And now Meghan is in the final trimester of her pregnancy, speculation over the baby’s gender and name has reached fever pitch.
What’s in a name?
Like any new parents, Meghan and Harry will undoubtedly have been considering baby names for some time and may have already decided on their favorites.
There aren’t any royal rules for choosing names but the British Royal Family likes to honor those who came before them.
Bookmakers have Diana (Harry’s mother’s name) and Victoria (Harry’s great, great, great grandmother) as their hot picks for a girl, while for a boy popular royal names Arthur and Edward, as well as Philip (a nod to Harry’s grandfather), top the lists.
“They will most likely honor the grandparents within the middle names of the child,” explains Wendy Bosberry-Scott, spokeswoman for the etiquette experts Debrett’s.
“If the child is a girl, Elizabeth is a favorite for a middle name and it would be a lovely idea to honor the Duchess’s mother with a middle name. For a boy, the names Arthur, George, Albert, David and Charles are favorites within the senior royals.”
We can also count on Baby Sussex being given a fair few names. Queen Elizabeth II bestowed four names on each of her four children. Current heir apparent Prince Charles’s full name is in fact Charles Philip Arthur George. Meanwhile father-to-be Prince Harry’s full name is Henry Charles Albert David. Harry’s brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, has continued the tradition of multiple names with all three of his children.
Will Baby Sussex be a prince or princess?
Baby Sussex will become the seventh in line to throne, but that doesn’t automatically make the new addition to the royal family a prince or princess.
Harry’s great, great, great grandfather King George V restricted use of the titles Prince and Princess to certain senior members of the Royal Family. However, the Queen could step in to overrule that decree — as she did with William and Catherine’s younger children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
“If the Queen had not issued a Letters Patent in 2012, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would now be styled as the children of a Duke,” Bosberry-Scott says. “The 2012 Letters Patent was a reflection of the then upcoming changes to the Succession to the Crown Act, which in 2013 ended the system of male primogeniture, and meant that Princess Charlotte kept her place in the line of succession when her younger brother was born.”
Bosberry-Scott says if the child is a boy he will most likely use his father’s second peerage title, Earl of Dumbarton. And if the baby is a girl, she will likely be known as Lady (first name) Sussex.
Conversely, Harry and Meghan may choose to pass on titles altogether, as Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Zara Phillips did with her daughters Mia Grace and Lena Elizabeth.
Bosberry-Scott says declining a title is not unheard of. “There have been occasions when a title has been declined, such as when the Honorable Angus Ogilvy — the younger son of the 12th Earl of Airlie — married Princess Alexandra in 1963. He was offered an Earldom but declined.”
When will we find out the name?
Traditionally, the first to know of a royal birth is the reigning monarch. As well as Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Theresa May and the Governor General of each Commonwealth nation will be informed, along with the rest of the royals and Meghan’s family in the United States.
If Meghan goes into labor overnight, royal aides are unlikely to wake the resting sovereign and so the news will be kept under wraps until the following morning.
Ultimately, Bosberry-Scott says the baby’s name will be announced “when Buckingham Palace decides to release it.”
“Traditionally the official announcement of the birth is placed on an easel just inside the gates of Buckingham Palace, but today social media is also used.”