When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018, she broke new ground for the royal family when she became the first American biracial royal. Now, as she and Harry are expecting their first child, their royal baby will continue that historic legacy.
Here are all the ways Baby Sussex will make history.
The baby will be biracial.
The Duchess of Success, 37, has spoken out about growing up biracial (her mom, Doria Ragland, is Black, and her father, Thomas Markle, is white). And Meghan’s baby will be the first modern biracial royal who is in line for the throne — 7th in fact. (Queen Charlotte in the 1800s was believed to be of mixed race and went on to have 15 children.) “To the biracial community, she’s really serving as a symbol of this changing demographic that Britain is facing in addition to the United States,” notes Dr. Sarah E. Gaither, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University who also runs the Duke Identity and Diversity Lab.
The Duchess of Sussex has immense pride about her heritage, so she’ll likely instill these values in her own little one.
“To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman,” Meghan wrote for Elle in 2015. “That when asked to choose my ethnicity in a questionnaire as in my seventh grade class, or these days to check ‘Other,’ I simply say: ‘Sorry, world, this is not Lost and I am not one of The Others. I am enough exactly as I am.’ “
Those close to the royal family have expressed similar excitement for the new arrival.
“It is so beautiful at every level,” Tessy Ojo, the chief executive of the Diana Award, who was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s May wedding, previously told PEOPLE. “We all can’t wait to see what the baby will be and what the baby will look like, what this beautiful gorgeous bundle will look like.”
The baby will be eligible for American citizenship.
Questions about Meghan’s citizenship came about ahead of her royal wedding. The palace said she’ll become a British citizen in the near future, but it’s unclear if she’ll give up her American ties or remain a dual citizen.
Either way, the baby will be the first British royal to meet the criteria for U.S. citizenship. Per the U.S. Travel Department, a baby born abroad in wedlock to a American citizen and an alien acquires U.S. citizenship at birth if the U.S. citizen parent has been “physically present in the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth (which Meghan has), at least two of which were after the age of fourteen.”
The baby will be seventh in the line of succession to the British throne, but that doesn’t mean that he or she will be a prince or princess.
If the baby is a boy, he could be known by the title Earl of Dumbarton, the secondary Sussex title, before inheriting the dukedom, according to chairman of Burke’s Peerage William Bortrick.
Any younger sons may be known as Lord (His Name) Windsor, while daughters would likely be called Lady (Her Name) Windsor. Since a dukedom can only be inherited by a male heir, the title will die out if Meghan and Harry don’t have any sons.
Another option? Queen Elizabeth could choose to give Meghan and Harry’s child a similar title to their cousins — the three children of Prince William and Kate Middleton: Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, 11 months.
And of course, the couple could forego a royal title altogether, which the Queen’s daughter Princess Anne did with her children, Peter and Zara.
The baby will grow up in Frogmore Cottage.
Harry and Meghan announced in November that they were leaving Kensington Palace to live on their own at Windsor Castle’s Frogmore Cottage. It’s next door to Frogmore House, where they held their evening wedding reception. The residence hasn’t housed royals for years, and underwent major renovations to convert it from a five-unit home for palace staff. The couple moved into their new home in early April — just in time for baby!
Baby showers are a fundamentally American tradition, so Meghan’s friends decided to throw her an epic shower in the heart of one of her favorite cities: NYC.
The event took place in mid-February at The Mark Hotel. Attendees of the two-day celebration included Meghan’s Suitsco-star Abigail Spencer, and close friends Serena Williams, Jessica Mulroney and Misha Nonoo were also on the guest list.
The pre-baby celebrations didn’t stop there, though. Now, excited fans are supporting causes close the couple’s heart through a virtual “baby shower.” Charities linked to Meghan and Prince Harry have been surprised with a flood of online donations after a fundraising effort went viral.
#GlobalSussexBabyShower – started by Twitter user @freepeeper – began trending among supporters of the couple. The first charities picked for donations included Camfed, the Mayhew and WellChild. But it widened as others gave to organizations like Sentebale, Harry’s charity for young people in Lesotho and parts of Southern Africa, and One25, which the couple visited in Bristol in February.