Duchess Meghan ‘never considered giving birth at St. Mary’s Hospital’

Royal baby

In the Finding Freedom excerpts we’ve seen so far, we’ve mostly heard the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s versions of their courtship, the lead up to their wedding and when things began to deteriorate between the Sussexes and the Windsors. There are still tons of other stories and scandals yet to be discussed, and I really wonder what Finding Freedom will cover. Will FF have behind-the-scenes info on how Meghan felt about her British Vogue guest-editorship and the outsized, panicked, crazy, racist reaction to it? Will we learn any details about Meghan’s two trips to Wimbledon with Kate?

Here’s another “controversy” which we didn’t hear about in the first excerpts: all of the nonsense drama about Meghan’s birthing plan and the confusion about where she gave birth. Remember all of that? Meghan gave birth at Portland Hospital, which was closer to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, as opposed to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s, which is where all modern royal moms gave birth. Meghan also did not do a “photocall” with baby Archie outside of the hospital, nor did the Sussexes announce when Meghan went into labor. They kept everything a secret in real-time. It sounds like there will be some discussion of all of that in FF:

When Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William, she broke with royal tradition, and delivered her son in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital. Prince Harry too, was born at the London medical facility, and shortly after both Princes’ arrivals, they made their public debuts via photo calls on the steps of the hospital. The Duchess of Cambridge recreated those images with each of her three children, posing for the cameras outside the Lindo Wing within hours of giving birth.

But according to Finding Freedom, a forthcoming biography of Meghan and Harry by reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durrand, the Duchess of Sussex wanted to break with tradition once again with the birth of her first child.

“Meghan never considered giving birth at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where Kate delivered all three of her children,” reads a report from People about the book’s contents. Meghan wanted to deliver somewhere “more discreet,” the book claims. The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to baby Archie at London’s Portland Hospital on May 6, though the couple never confirmed that was the location of his arrival. (It eventually came out, after Archie’s birth certificate was made public.) A few days later, the young royal was introduced to the press with a photo call at Windsor Castle, albeit a much more intimate one than his cousins experienced.

There were no crowds of royal fans or press. Instead, the Sussexes made their official debut as a family of three with just two photographers, one agency reporter, and three video cameras present.

[From Town & Country]

This gave me flashbacks to how salty the royal reporters were about all of this. To be fair to the Sussexes, I think by the time Meghan gave birth, she and Harry were already completely “over” the Royal Rota and the British press entirely. Maybe they didn’t intend for their secrecy to be an explicit “f–k you” to the Royal Rota, but that’s how it was taken. I think Meghan just didn’t want to be seen “copying” Kate, or doing some kind of creepy Diana cosplay on the steps outside the Lindo Wing. Meghan legitimately wanted some privacy and she didn’t want people breathing down her neck during what was an advanced maternal age pregnancy. She’s also a feminist and I could see her – in her full American glory – being appalled at the idea of being treated like a walking royal womb, a vessel for the next generation of royal toffs.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son

Royal baby

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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140 Responses to “Duchess Meghan ‘never considered giving birth at St. Mary’s Hospital’”

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  1. Alexandria says:

    Damn look how happy and grateful Harry looks in those trio pictures…

    • BeanieBean says:

      I agree. These are really lovely photos.

    • Moxylady says:

      I was a legitimate MESS for months after giving birth. Breast feeding. PPA. The baby wouldn’t sleep for longer than 45 minutes. (For a whole YEAR) the first four months he screamed every time he was out down. To be able to be that well put together …. damn. She worked hard for them and they never appreciate anything she does.
      - hes seven and a half and one of the brightest delights of my whole life. But the early days ans months are no joke.

  2. S808 says:

    I don’t think anyone has a right to be upset about how they conducted this. She didn’t owe anyone an immediate show after having just given BIRTH, especially since she didn’t give birth to an heir. The press dragged her over the possibility of her giving birth at Lindo Wing and doing a photocall only to turn around and drag her when she didn’t. There was no pleasing those people and I’m glad they did what THEY wanted to do for the birth of their first child.

    • Alexandria says:

      I don’t even think we or the press have the right to the Cambridge kids’ pictures. It is nice to see but don’t use kids as pawns. The UK have the right to scrutinise their work and financials.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        I really can’t imagine how Diana and Kate did their baby photo call only hours after giving birth. It must have been so physically uncomfortable for them. I can see why Meghan did it another way. So much stress for a woman to do the photo call on the steps of the hospital when a photo call a few days later will at least allow her to get some rest.

      • notasugarhere says:

        iirc Kate’s first photo call was 24+ hours after George was born. The other two were shorter periods.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Nota – yes. With George, we got the announcement around mid-late afternoon EST (I think around 330-4, don’t ask how I remember that, my brain is full of useless information), and she didn’t “present” him until the next day, maybe around noon or 1 EST? They walked out with him, showed him on the steps, and then left about 10 minutes later. With the second two, they showed the baby the same day as the birth and left immediately (i.e. did not go back into the hospital for that 10-15 minute span.)

        I told you all I used to be a big fan, lol.

      • Nic919 says:

        Diana has said how much she hated doing that. It is really disturbing how the women are turned into wombs for display with the lion king presentation on the hospital steps as proof that their womb worked. It’s the modern version of the people in the queen consort’s bed chambers watching the birth happen.

        Besides this wasn’t a long standing tradition. The Queen never did this and maybe one royal did it before Diana. Something first done in the 80s isn’t a tradition for an institution that been around over a thousand years.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I agree with Nic919. They need to stop calling this a ‘tradition’. Diana did it, Kate did it, that’s it.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Those are the times I’ve felt true sympathy for Kate. Standing in heels, holding a baby, posing for pictures that will become part of history, all within *hours* of giving birth.

    • ABritGuest says:

      This! The press spent her whole pregnancy dragging her& also saying she needed to cede the spotlight to Kate as the future queen. Then they turned around and criticised her for not doing the same as Kate.

      I think there was a woman who had a piece in the NY Times about how she shouldn’t do the hospital photocall as it placed unrealistic expectations on women. If she had done a hospital photocall after the press had cashed in on photos they would have then turned around and criticised her for betraying feminist ideals.

      I also always had the feeling the press were planning a stunt like having the half sister or Meghan’s father confront her live if she did hospital photocall.

      I loved Harry’s birth announcement and the presentation at Windsor castle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this replicated by royals in the future.

      • Nic919 says:

        Harry showed more joy in that video announcement than any of the three hospital presentations.

        The Lindo wing press chaos was so bad especially for George that it also prevented other women from accessing the hospital easily.

      • Ginger says:

        I agree Nic919. To make it difficult to arrive and leave a hospital is awful. If Meghan did this they would write countless articles on how patients couldn’t get treated because of her. How they did it was perfect. Keeping the hospital secret was perfect and didn’t cause any unnecessary commotion for the staff and patients.

      • L4frimaire says:

        I remember that! She took out a full page ad to dictate what she thought Meghan’s birth plan should be. I have never heard of anyone doing that to another pregnant public figure. It was absolutely bonkers.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Wonderful post, ABritGuest, and great points.

    • Belli says:

      I completely agree. And the same for Kate too. The images of the press and public squeezed into that street hounding for a look at the baby are horrific to me. It’s appalling that that’s become expected.

    • Jen says:

      Sussex haters be like “They are so irrelevant! They’re so far down the line of succession that no one cares about them!”
      Pause two seconds “We should have known the moment she felt a contraction so we could all know all the details!”

      • SofiasSideEye says:

        Yep! They are obsessed with the Sussexs, it’s bizarre to watch. Some of those people need to be on a list, and I’m including every so-called reporter on the rota.

      • Mia says:

        those lunatics are also obsessed with their charities. It’s sad when an organization has to turn off their comment section because of them.

    • Lila says:

      I find it very bizarre how some people seem to get genuinely mad that “Archie’s birth was kept a secret” (did they want to be informed when Meghan started having contractions?), and complain that they wanted to “show their joy” with zero regards to the couple’s wishes.

      The whole discussion was disgusting to me.

      • HeatherC says:

        Those people are truly disturbed. Because they didn’t have a live stream of her cervix dilating, Archie is “obviously” a fake, doll, surrogate, child actor, etc. I’ve blocked so many on Twitter just to keep their nonsense out of my atmosphere.

      • Nic919 says:

        They showed the baby a few days later so I do not understand their problem with that. Meghan did not need to present herself the day of… and apparently even Kate waited 24 hours before George was shown. Meghan has just never been respected as a human being.

      • Kalana says:

        They don’t have anything on the Sussex es so they lose their minds when they think they can trash the couple and even get to leave the rest of the BRF out of it!

        They are determined to make the Sussexes the villain and the Royal Rota the victim.

  3. Aurora says:

    I think they genuinely wanted to just enjoy the first moments with their baby without pomp and circumstance. They already knew they weren’t giving him title so they were setting parameters early on for Archie to have a normal life.

    Honestly why did the press expect the 7th in line to have the Lindo Wing fanfare?

    On a serious note I don’t think they trusted the royal doctors. The palace vipers have indicated in the media they were unhappy with how quickly Meghan got pregnant as it meant she was permanently tied to Harry. It was a smart movie for Meghan & Harry to keep even the palace in the dark. Those vipers certainly didn’t wish the best for Archie’s birth.

    • S808 says:

      At this point the smear campaign was in full throttle and we we had a pretty good guess who was behind it so they probably knew for sure. I absolutely wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t trust palace doctors. I still think they wanted her to miscarry. The fact that the hate went UP after she became pregnant, the stress due to the press/family and then sending her to Morocco when she should’ve had her feet up at home….it didn’t give me a good feeling.

      • Lady D says:

        I absolutely believe they did everything they could to force a miscarriage onto Meghan. Kate not speaking up in her defense? Treat people how you want to be treated, and Kate showed Meghan exactly how she wanted to be treated. Maybe one day, Kate.

    • Miss617 says:

      The royal doctors are still doctors who have to swear by the Hippocratic oath, so it’s not like they could actively try to endanger Meghan or Archie. But I definitely agree that they were right not to trust the royal doctors, as I doubt that there’d be much confidentiality with them.

      • (TheOG) jan90067 says:

        Yes, Doctors have always taken that oath. But as we’ve heard, some doctors sexually abuse patients (look at the Olympic athletes recently), and have you ever heard of the Tuskegee project on African American soldiers. If not, read this: https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm

        Doctors don’t *always* adhere to their “oath”.

      • Amy Bee says:

        Given the disparity in treatment that black women receive during pregnancy and birth, the royal doctors, who are all white, were definitely not the right people to deal with Meghan and I agree with those who say Harry and Meghan could not trust those doctors. The family was opposed to Meghan having Harry’s child and it not beyond the realm of possibility that the doctors would do harm to her and the baby.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      @ Aurora
      This. It reminds me of when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes daughter Suri was born. Radio silence for MONTHS. The press and so many people went absolute nuts. There were all kinds of theories…the baby was born with a serious disability, was born with Downs Syndrome, didn’t live, and on and on, it was horrifying. (NO fan of Tom Cruise btw) The photo shoot they eventually did with Annie Lebovitz (?) showed a perfect and gorgeous baby girl. When asked why the long wait to show Suri, Cruise explained that Holmes wanted to just enjoy those first few months of just “them” with complete privacy. So I don’t believe The Sussex’s owed anybody and I don’t blame them one bit.
      IF and WHEN they decide to have another baby, imagine the insanity now that they’re across the pond…
      As a side note, the gramma in me wants to just smooch all over Archie’s face, he’s just so stinkin adorable

    • MRE says:

      I can’t believe someone just suggested that the the palace doctors would have purposely tried to get Meghan to have a miscarriage. Royal doctors are still bound to the Hippocratic oath, the same as non-royal doctors. This hot take is really……,uh, something.

      • notasugarhere says:

        troll

      • MRE says:

        May I ask why you think I’m a troll? I didn’t know politely disagreeing with a poster is troll like behavior, but you do you. Notasugarhere, I hope you have a pleasant day.

      • Rebecca says:

        King George V was killed by his doctor. This was revealed in 1986, 50 years after the king’s death.

        So, tell me again about palace doctors and the Hippocratic Oath.

        https://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/28/world/1936-secret-is-out-doctor-sped-george-v-s-death.html

      • Amy Too says:

        Maybe not actively harming either of them after the birth, but possibly not taking any complications seriously enough, not responding quickly enough to any emergencies, not believing Meghan if she felt something was going wrong, not allowing Meghan to do things her own way because of tradition (epidural/no epidural, wanting to be in a different position, not letting a doula in or banning any of the other non-strictly-western medical things she may have wanted to do, anything else). Or even just not trusting the doctors or their staff not to leak or give out more details to courtiers at the palace than Meghan and Harry wanted them to. She’s a black woman, who was of advanced maternal age, having her very first baby, in a foreign country, maybe she just felt more comfortable/trustful choosing her own doctor. Coming from America where maternal and infant mortality rates for black women and babies are much higher than for white women and babies, she was probably extra worried and anxious and wanted to make sure everything went EXACTLY how she wanted it to and that her doctor would listen to HER and not “the palace”/“tradition.”

      • MRE says:

        Rebecca, I don’t see how that’s really the same. George V was already very close to death. Take out the cocaine, and that sounds like end of life palliative care.

        Amy Too, You brought up a great point about how WOC are treated by doctors. Royal or not, some doctors are dismissive towards black patients, and their unwillingness to listen and take black women’s complaints seriously leads to their patients deaths. Those doctors are negligent, but that’s not the same as what the other commenter suggested. They flat out said, the royal doctor would purposely harm Meghan or her unborn child.

      • Original Jenns says:

        As someone commented above, we’ve read of COUNTLESS doctors who have actually abused and harmed their patients, not to mention the research that has come out about “well intentioned” doctors who have mistreated patients of color because of internal bias, and all the other areas in between. So, your opinion may be that these Royal doctors would not have tried to harmed her, but you should revisit your idea that it’s because of oaths and promises.

        I will add maliciously and intentionally trying to harm Meghan and her fetus vs not taking her pregnancy seriously can end up in the same place, which is why I would view them the same. Dangerous.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Thank you Original Jenns. Given what other doctors have done? Would I rule out royal doctors giving Meghan substandard care and possibly injuring her pregnancy? Nope, not ruling that out. People automatically assuming that, gasp, could never happen? Reads like troll-like behavior to me.

      • MRE says:

        I never said that the royal doctors couldn’t have implicit biases that could have harmed Meghan or Archie. My issue was with the idea that court vipers and the royal doctors would have conspired together to ensure that Meghan would
        suffer a miscarriage or worse.

      • Nic919 says:

        Meghan was branded by her husband’s family as being too demanding and American as if that is a bad thing so what are the chances that old white British establishment doctors were going to treat her with any more respect than them.

      • Travelin says:

        It’s a pretty serious accusation to say that the doctors would have actively conspired to harm Meghan and Archie. While we do know that the palace courtiers were cruel and actively smearing her behind her back it does seem too sensational to accuse the doctors of acting in accordance with them. I have never heard any suggestion that they did any such thing except from here. There is plenty of wrong done to Meghan. If we start creating things then it loses credibility.

        On the other hand there is plenty of evidence of increased risk with POC, advanced maternal age, stress and the intrusion of the press into her life at that time especially. She had every right to choose where to give birth and how it should be done.

        The press was ridiculous! There were several articles about how the 7th in line is not important, how dare she think of putting herself forward for a photo call ect. And then they were absolutely furious about the way they did announce! This couple could not do anything right.

        And that video if Harry announcing this birth! That was so charming and his excitement was palpable. It was lovely.

      • windyriver says:

        Meghan is good friends with Serena. She would have barely been pregnant when Serena gave birth to Olympia at the beginning of September, 2017. Serena’s experience with medical personnel not being responsive to her concerns that she had developed blood clots, as per previous medical history – which in fact was the case – would be something Meghan was well aware of. I’m sure she chose doctors based on what best served her needs, and could care less about “royal doctors” or what other family members had done.

        An interesting article that also touches on differences in care and outcomes WOC experience.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/sports/tennis/serena-williams-baby-vogue.html

      • notasugarhere says:

        I suspect Meghan knew better than to trust any royal doctors, and I’ll take her lead on that one.

  4. lanne says:

    Had she done the Lindo photocall, she would have been slammed for “imitating Kate” and smacked down for being “too Hollywood” and smiling for the cameras. She never had a chance. British royal family sucks. As does the rota.

    • Alexandria says:

      Exactly. Kate can roleplay Diana anytime but Meghan can’t do anything right.

    • Jen says:

      Yes, she could never win. She works hard ? “She’s so demanding!” She takes a normal maternity leave? “She does nothing!” On and on.

    • Lizzie says:

      Yes. She was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.

  5. MsIam says:

    Having a child, especially your first, is stressful enough without all of that foolishness. A picture and announcement on the IG account should have been enough until the parents were ready for more.

  6. Watson says:

    Jesus Christ. The woman had a baby and she is allowed as a human being to have the birth experience she wants to. The press was disgusting and should have stayed out of her uterus.

    The very idea she owes anyone anything during this very private time is absurd. How many new mums out there feel comfortable getting full hair and makeup and trotting their newborn out for a press scrum? Disgusting.

  7. Priscila says:

    I like they are stating the facts. Tradition, they say, yet it was just Catherine doing her Diana thing and that is that. They make it seem that it was mandatory after centuries of practice, yet this makes it clear Catherine was just following Diana´s footsteps.

    Moreover, Harry was not the heir. William is. It is understandable that William and Catehrine would like the photo op and be done with it, but Meghan and Harry are in different position.

    Personally, I think they are handling Archie very well. I like the announcement. They made it official yet not a circus. and they keep doing. They are public figures, but Archie is a baby. Two pictures, the name revealed, and a quick announcement with a reporter was enough. Right now, the ocasional Archie picture for great events, like birthday and Xmas, is more than enough.

    Nobody needs to be as tacky as the Cambridges. I mean, yes, they must show off their kids, but IMO, the airplane job and Chalotte, age 4, cosplaying victorian young lady hand delivering food baskets for poors is terrible.

    • S808 says:

      I really liked the way they did it too! They announced when she went in labor and gave birth. Harry greeted the press (and was practically floating he was so happy) and 2 days later, with a small press pool, they greeted everyone and introduced the baby. It was a good rollout and Harry is 6th in line, I don’t think they owed anyone more than that.

      • OriginalLala says:

        oh when Harry was interviewed in front of the stables after the birth, it was so sweet! He seemed to be bursting with happiness, such a genuine moment.

      • Original Jenns says:

        Loved seeing his reaction – and the horses in the background 😊 too cute. It was a great human moment.

        I do think one of the arguments is that they had to notify the Queen she was in labor/birthing before the press/public, but since it was the middle of the night, everything had to wait. I don’t know if I believe that over them wanted privacy but it’s a great excuse! Queen first haha

    • anotherlily says:

      Exactly! There was no such ‘tradition’. The real tradition had been home births with photos released a few days later. Princess Anne’s children were born at St Mary’s, so Diana was not the first. Beatrice and Eugenie were born at Portland Hospital and Sophie Wessex had her children at Frimley Park NHS Hospital. A 2-3 day stay after the birth was normal. Zara Tindall and Autumn Phillips had their children at local hospitals with total privacy and no photographs.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Thank you for pointing this out. I remembered Sophie but not the others. So many royal watchers know more about royal history than the RRs who are attacking Meghan.

      • HeatherC says:

        Wasn’t the first photo of Charles as a baby somewhere around 6 weeks after he was born at his christening?

      • Scal says:

        Right that line about ‘other royal babies did it’ is once again wrong. Just because Kate did it doesn’t make it the ‘tradition’

      • anotherlily says:

        More info from a website . https://meghanpedia.com/childbirth-a-choice-not-a-tradition/
        Not sure if the link will work It is ‘Childbirth: A choice not a tradition.

        The first royal to use St Mary’s Lindo Wing was the Duchess of Gloucester who is married to Prince Richard, not Princess Anne as I previously thought. The link has a photo of the whole family leaving with the third baby. There are photos of Princess Anne leaving after both her births. The first posed photo shoot with a new baby outside a hospital is the Duchess of Kent with her third child outside King’s College Hospital in 1970. Also, astonishingly a photo of the Queen in bed with her new born Prince Edward and her other children grouped around. I doubt if this was ever intended to be published but it’s not the first time I’ve seen it.

    • Nic919 says:

      Hey remember when Kate did an interview and threw Meghan under the bus from doing something different than her? That should have been an obvious clue that Kate was a huge bitch to her sister in law because telling any woman how she should give birth is pretty invasive.

      • Travelin says:

        Which interview was that?

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate has done few interviews so it’s not hard to find. There is also a CB post following her passive aggressive remarks.

      • February-Pisces says:

        It was that podcast where she said something about wanting to give something back to the people when she stood at the steps of the lindo wing. Yep she a b*tch alright. Anyway I have all kinds of doubts about how Kate ‘gave birth’.

  8. Stacy Dresden says:

    Run Harry and Meghan, Run. They are insane.

  9. Belli says:

    After all the angry fuss the press made when they assumed Meghan would be giving birth in the Lindo Wing (who does she think she is, putting herself on the same level as Kate??) you’d think that they’d be pleased that she and Harry chose another hospital. But no, that was an insult apparently.

    What the press and the people who hate Meghan wanted was for Meghan to want to use the Lindo Wing and be denied. They wanted their idea that she’s uppity and above herself confirmed, before being shot down in some kind of imagined poetic justice. That’s why the ever-changing tiara story had them slavering.

  10. Aurora says:

    How is something a tradition when it had only been done by one person and subsequently copied by another? Shouldn’t a “tradition” have a longer track record.

    The language of the article suggests Meghan broke a tradition which is clearly not the case.

    • Kittylouise says:

      Perhaps she broke a tradition in not having a photo call a few hours after giving birth (and urgh at that as a hateful tradition as well).

      No tradition for the Lindo Wing though, Fergie used the Portland. And from what I can remember wasn’t Diana the first to use the Lindo anyway? I’m sure in previous generations they would have had home births at the palace or wherever.

    • Duch says:

      Fergie did the baby display as well with the two girls, as I recall. But Anne didn’t – can you even imagine? Lol

      • notasugarhere says:

        Anne didn’t do a ‘display’ but she was photographed on the steps leaving the hospital with at least one of her kids. The first ‘modern’ one photographed leaving the hospital might have been HRH Duchess of Kent with her son Nicholas.

    • Alexandria says:

      The dumb DM crowd, Rota and viper couriers conveniently forgot Kate missed St Patrick’s Day tradition. But hey she’s the saviour right.

    • Züri says:

      I was going to write exactly this, so thanks for hitting the nail on the head @Aurora. A “tradition” is not something two people have done, but there is precedent for this conceptualization, especially in the UK (I’m thinking of Hobsbawn’s “The Invention of Tradition” here).

      Every woman has the right to give birth under circumstances she chooses best for herself. As so many have said, MM was damned with any path she chose, but I am so sick of the utter lack of respect for this basic principle. Her body, her rights.

  11. Kittylouise says:

    I admired her so much for not bowing to the pressure of that awful requirement to appear in front of the cameras after having her baby. After the way she was treated all through the pregnancy by the press and everyone especially.

    The Portland isn’t closer to Windsor though, to be pedantic. The Portland is in central London as opposed to west London where St Mary’s is. So I can’t imagine location was the reason, just probably it was the hospital she wanted (and to be honest, I’ve never been inside either but the Portland looks rather more modern and comfortable from the outside).

    • Nic919 says:

      I suspect it was also linked to her choice of doctor as they only have hospital privileges at certain locations.

  12. Ginger says:

    I absolutely love how they handled Archie’s birth. It was very classy and we got more by giving them space. We had Harry’s adorable interview after the birth, the photo call where we got a small interview with both of them. It was well done and the RR’s were pissed because they didn’t make their money.

    What Harry and Meghan did was wonderful and should be a new tradition.

  13. Becks1 says:

    Yeah, it wasn’t a tradition. I felt bad for Kate at the time, and I honestly don’t think she wanted to do it either – you notice how fast she got out of there with the second two, even though she looked happy and had her hair done etc, I definitely feel like she was thinking “let me do this photo op and then I can go home and relax for a hot minute.” I do think the birth of George was a “little” different, in that it was the future monarch, but not “so” different that if she hadn’t wanted to present him immediately, it would have been fine.

    Again, this is a situation of H&M setting up a really good precedent for the Cambridge kids in the future. If George or Louis’s wives don’t want to present themselves and their babies on the steps Lindo wing within a day of giving birth, they don’t have to. If Charlotte doesn’t want, she doesn’t have to. Kate didn’t have to either, but I think had Meghan done it, it would have put more pressure on the next generation to do so. Archie’s birth, IMO, was handled really well by the Sussexes not just in terms of the rota and the aggressive press, but just in general for the privacy of a growing family.

    Anyway, that picture of the Queen and Phillip with Harry, Meghan, Doria and Archie – everyone looks so happy. the Queen and Phillip’s smiles look completely genuine. I remember Omid tweeting that picture out and saying something like “on a personal note, I cant explain what this picture means to me and to so many people of color in the UK.” It’s sad how poorly the Queen handled the next year.

    • S808 says:

      Obvious feelings for the queen and the institution aside, that photo is iconic.

    • MRE says:

      You make a great point about how Harry and Meghan handled Archie’s birth could be a blue print, for how Charlotte and Louis choose to introduce any future child they may have to the public. I do think that George and his partner will most likely have to do the photo-op just like his paternal grandparents and parents did before him, since he is the heir.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think George will have to do it for the first child, ESPECIALLY if it’s a girl, but if there was a precedent, they prob could avoid it for any subsequent children.

        But in general – and I know many of us have said that on here before – that’s where I think the Cambridges are going so wrong with the whole Sussexit and treatment of H&M etc. They ARE laying out a blueprint for their kids to follow, but its a dysfunctional one. Harry’s leaving gave Charlotte and Louis a way out, a different way of life, a way to use their position and fame for good, rather than “just” being a working royal. It could have been handled as such – “Harry is taking a step that we think is important towards streamlining and modernizing the monarchy, and we intend to encourage Charlotte and Louis to pursue similar paths.”

        Instead…..well we all know what happened.

      • MA says:

        @Becks1 I think that those 2 are deluded and dim enough to think that what happened to Harry and Meghan won’t happen to their kids. They don’t have the foresight to realize that their own “spares” will be trashed as badly or to be grateful that the Sussexes paved the way.

      • Nyro says:

        MA, their thought was that poor Archie would serve as the “spare” and that all three of their children would be able to use him as a shield for the rest of their lives. Harry and Meghan killed that plan and got their baby out of that cesspool before he even turned one year old.

  14. TrixC says:

    I don’t see why it matters where she gave birth, like all mums it should be totally her choice. However, it’s not true that the Portland Hospital is closer to Frogmore Cottage than the Lindo at St Mary’s. The two hospitals are both in central London, St Mary’s is slightly closer to Windsor.

    • Rachael Prest says:

      Yes, I was wondering why people thought Portland was closer to Windsor. It’s still an hour’s journey, which is not something most people want to do if they go into labour! There are closer hospitals. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter why she chose it – it’s nobody else’s business!!

    • notasugarhere says:

      They were living at NottCott until soon before the birth, because the completion date for Frogmore seemed to keep moving. It could be her birth team was at Portland because they didn’t know if Frogmore would be ready. No reason to change last minute to doctors in Windsor she didn’t know.

      • TrixC says:

        I wasn’t suggesting she should have chosen a hospital in Windsor, I was just pointing out a factual mistake in the article. I don’t know why she chose the Portland, but proximity to Frogmore is unlikely to be the reason. I would believe she did it to avoid a media circus around the birth and that’s fair enough, I think I would do the same in her position.

        The Lindo is actually a private wing within a public (NHS) hospital, whereas the Portland is entirely private. The British are really proud of the NHS and can be sensitive about any perceived criticism of it so I wonder if that’s a factor behind the reaction to Meghan’s choice also.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Whereas I was pointing out they weren’t at Windsor during most of her pregnancy, so having a London-based team seems perfectly reasonable to me.

        Plenty of the BRF use private medical facilities instead of the NHS. If she’d chosen an NHS facility, haters would have screamed she was an immigrant using taxpayer-funded medical resources without paying for them. Whatever she did, she’d be attacked, so might as well go with a doctor she trusted.

        Princess Madeleine was attacked in similar ways for the births of her children. She was criticized when she gave birth in the US, she was criticized when she gave birth in Sweden. ‘She doesn’t live here any more, how dare she use our health system’.

      • Marivic says:

        I think the only reason why the mean and vile Royal Rota wanted to see Archie upon birth was because they wanted to see whose color he took after.

    • MRE says:

      Marivic, I mostly agree with you. I do think the reason why the Royal rota reaction to how Meghan and Harry chose to handle Archie’s birth was because they wanted to see the color of Archie’s skin. Besides seeing the color of Archie’s skin, I do think there is the Diana factor that drove their nasty reaction to how Harry and Meghan chose to handle Archie’s birth.

      • Tealie says:

        yep, the way people were debating “how black he would be” was disturbing and vile at best 🤢.

  15. Mumbles says:

    I never got the fake outrage. The Wessexes didn’t use the Lindo Wing, and IIRC didn’t do a big presentation (although it was different for Louise because she was premature). It is true the Yorks did the big event for Beatrice and Eugenie – but the Yorks are gross. Anne did a presentation, at least for Peter (not sure about Zara) but that was because he was the first grandchild. The Wessex children are similarly situated as Archie (grandchild of a monarch, in Charles’ case a presumed future one). If anything, I always thought the Cambridges had put on too much of a show; William isn’t even Prince of Wales.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Sophie and Edward did presentations with both their children. They had three photo events, because the first one was Edward picking Sophie up from her hospital. They went to get Louise at her hospital (days or a week?) later. When they went to collect Louise, there were cameras with them inside as they toured the facility and thanked the staff.

      • Mumbles says:

        I did see photo calls for them later, but unless I’m wrong they didn’t do the big presentation for the babies on the steps of the hospital. They also didn’t use the Lindo Wing, which apparently seems to be an inexplicable gripe against the Sussexes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        They did the present-and-pose with both their kids when leaving Frimley. Just do an image search for sophie wessex hospital baby.

        They posed for the press with staff in the neonatal unit before they left with Louise. There aren’t steps at the Frimley doors, so they did the big press presentation outside the main doors at ground level. She’s in a black coat and hot pink scarf with Louise, a gray coat with James.

  16. Duch says:

    Remember too what Harry has said about every flash of a photographer being difficult to take because it reminds him of his mother. Can you imagine how triggering standing in front of a scrum, trapped even, when you’re the most vulnerable? This was a non-starter from his perspective too I imagine.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think that most of the things that get blamed on Meghan are in fact Harry’s decision. Now, I DONT think he would have forced her to the Lindo Wing steps if she didn’t want to, but I imagine most of the decisions regarding the press and birth were Harry’s – the smaller, more controlled photocall, Harry talking to the press in a laid back environment at Windsor for a few minutes, etc. Like you said, I cant imagine how Harry would have felt, with his new baby and the press who spent 9 months attacking his wife now taking thousands of pictures and scrutinizing everything about the moment – like you said, I’m sure it was a non-starter for him.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Particularly as the RRs were complaining because they wanted to make money off the photos.

  17. truthSF says:

    “Meghan also did not do a “photocall” with baby Archie outside of the hospital, nor did the Sussexes announce when Meghan went into labor. They kept everything a secret in real-time.”

    They didn’t keep anything a secret, they just kept their business private, as they have every right to do so!!

  18. Liz says:

    The only thing that confused me at the time (and seemed mishandled) was the fact that the issued that letter to the press saying they would announce when Meghan went into labor. That felt unnecessary because 1. it feels weird and invasive for Meghan to have that announced, and that seems off- brand to me and 2. they ultimately didn’t do that, which gave the press ammunition to nit pick. Why not just say nothing beforehand? They didn’t have to issue that letter.

    Otherwise, I loved everything about how they handled Archie’s birth and the drama surrounding it. I especially loved Harry’s gleeful interview about how in awe he was of Meghan.

    • notasugarhere says:

      They did issue a press alert, but first it had to go through QEII’s Household. She had to be alerted first that a new heir was imminent. The Queen’s team didn’t wake the Queen in the middle of the night to tell her, and it couldn’t be released without her knowing first.

      By the time that all happened? Harry and Meghan already had a new arrival, second announcement was sent, Harry was ready to give the interview to one person. So once again, the courtiers at play.

      • Amy Bee says:

        That’s the story that the palace put out there after the press complained that they weren’t alerted about Meghan being in labour. But the real story is probably Harry disregarding that dictate from the palace for the sake of safeguarding Meghan’s privacy. An announcement would have had press swarming every hospital in London for a picture which, according to one photographer, did occur when it was announced that Archie was born. But by the time news broke that Meghan had given birth, she was already home.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I doubt it. It is a hater myth that Harry and his grandmother have a bad relationship. He would have followed protocol and alerted the staff that things were moving. The staff chose not to wake the Queen, which resulted in confusion and the Sussexes being blamed.

      • Amy Too says:

        Does anyone remember what time the “Meghan is in labor” press release came out? Because I thought it was afternoon in America, which would have been even later afternoon in the U.K. At first, I was thinking like Nota that they needed to wait to tell the Queen and she was sleeping, but if that was the case, wouldn’t the announcement of labor have come out in the morning in the U.K.? But it came out in the afternoon/evening. And then we got the birth announcement shortly after. And by the time both announcements came out, the Sussexes were already back at home (I think), which leads me to believe there was quite a significant delay.

        Maybe it was Harry deciding that he didn’t want the press clambering outside all the hospitals and getting a sneak pic. Maybe Harry and Meghan waited to tell the Queen about labor until the baby was literally coming out, because they wanted to make sure this wasn’t false labor or she wouldn’t need an emergency c-section or anything else. Maybe Harry took a broad definition of “beginning labor” to mean “actually pushing out the baby” on purpose to pull one over on the press and get more time. Maybe Harry and Meghan just wanted to make sure the baby was born alive safely before announcing so that IF anything went wrong, they wouldn’t have to immediately be thinking about the press and having to update the press. I don’t know. I think it was stupid of the palace to tell the press they’d get a labor update. That’s far too intrusive and forced the couple to be thinking about the press and press announcements during their special time.

      • notasugarhere says:

        From what I remember, it was the morning he was born. There was a whole f*ck up with a German media outlet breaking an embargo and releasing details of what would happen. The media would be told when she had gone into labour, an announcement of the birth would follow after the baby was here.

        RRs started tweeting around 6:00am or 6:30 GMT that BP had announced she was in labor, had started ‘early hours of the morning’. Announcement of the birth came right on the heels about 1-2 hours later.

        That’s why I say it was all crossover. BP staff waited to release the info about Meghan being in labour until the Queen was up and informed. By then Archie was basically already here. 7:42am GMT was the announcement on SussexRoyal that they’d had a boy. She may have waited, like Crown Princess Victoria, and gone to the hospital late in the game. Victoria was in and out of the hospital with Estelle in less than four hours.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Nota I don’t think that’s right, because 742 GMT would mean that I woke up to hearing they had a boy, and I definitely didn’t (I’m EST).

        the timeline was always messy/murky but I don’t think it was shady, I just think she went in labor and the queen was asleep, so it couldn’t be announced until she was told, and then she had had already had the baby when the queen was told (or had him very soon thereafter.)

      • Nic919 says:

        The timing of the press release to the media about the labour starting doesn’t mean it was given as it was happening. What it looks like is that the first release was significantly delayed likely from waiting to tell the Queen and that Archie was born by the time the public had heard of the release regarding the labour starting.

        If Wiki is correct (not Willieleaks) then Archie was born at 5:26 am UK time, and it is unlikely the Queen was up at that time. She was probably told everything at once when she got up and the two releases were parcelled out to be sent later to the media and public.

        The only people mad were the media and really it was BP that messed this up. They should have announced the birth once the Queen knew and said further details released later on.

      • notasugarhere says:

        If you go back and search, there are twitter posts from UK-based RRs with the GMT morning timestamp on them. Both for the info about her being in labour and the birth announcement.

  19. Charfromdarock says:

    The fact that this was or still even an issue is ridiculous.

    I always felt bad for Kate having to get dressed up and face the crowds so quickly after giving birth, even if it was her own choice. Yet, I’m a hypocrite who looked at those pictures too.

  20. Amy Bee says:

    Knowing what we know now, I think the announcement of Meghan going into labour was not what Harry and Meghan wanted but what the palace aides (men in grey) wanted. I suspect that when Meghan did go into labour, Harry didn’t bother to tell the aides. Therefore the situation was not mishandled but went according to plan.

    • notasugarhere says:

      See my note above. They had to tell the Queen first before they could release the news. It was the middle of the night, staff didn’t wake the Queen. The different announcements ended up falling over each other once she was awake and told. Courtiers deliberately making Harry and Meghan look bad.

      • Amy Bee says:

        I agree that the courtiers deliberately made Harry and Meghan look bad but not because of any mix up or desire to tell the Queen when she woke up. But because they lost control of the situation because Harry didn’t tell them that Meghan had gone into labour. I think at this stage, we cannot take anything that the palace says with regards to Harry and Meghan, as the truth and given that Harry wanted privacy for him and Meghan, telling the press that she was in labour seems to be at odds with their desires.

      • notasugarhere says:

        He wouldn’t have released a letter stating they would announce when she was in labour if they hadn’t intended to play by that rule. That was Harry throwing the press a bone, but not giving any details about where the hospital would be. Harry would not have broken the protocol of alerting the Queen, if only because he and the Queen did/do have a close relationship. Staff would have been alerted in the middle of the night, chose not to wake the Queen.

  21. AnnaKist says:

    In the end, none of it matters. Meghan (and by association, Harry) had no chance of being left to do her/their own thing. It was a case of damned if she does, damned if she does’t. There was no way she was ever going to please the family, the courtiers, the filthy press, other media, the general public… and why should she have to? So she amd Harry had to make a decision: “Let’s please ourselves. “ Good for them.

  22. aquarius64 says:

    I liked how the Sussexes handled Archie’s birth and presentation. Born quietly and presented at Windsor Castle two days later. It recognized the royal lineage. The picture with the queen, Philip, Doria, Harry, Meghan and Archie shows the tie between the US and UK in the royal house; a child of African American lineage is a legitimate successor to the British throne. A child, as Harry’s first born legitimate son, who will inherit the Duke of Sussex title. Archie is seventh in line to the throne but he is an historic heir. The press knows this and that’s why they are salty – the potential money to be earned from that angle. Toxic Tom’s narcissistic paid for by the tabloids rages may stem from having the Markle bloodline virtually erased, from the pregnancy announcement to the christening pictures. No Markle was ever informed, but that was the queen’s call. That’s why TT screeched the royals owe him.

  23. February-Pisces says:

    The whole media reaction is bollocks anyway cos if she stood on the steps of the lindo wing they would have just criticised her and called her attention seeking. If kate decided to have a private birth she would have been praised to the heavens by her stans for not courting attention, just like Beatrice was praised to the heavens for having a secret private wedding. It’s funny cos Meghan has a private christening and birth and was torn to shreds. they wanted to take away her personal choices and justify it by saying ‘we pay for you’, and ‘we just want to share your joy’, no they wanted to take away her personal life choices as a way of punishment. A prince chose her and she therefore must suffer the consequences.

    And after beatrices secret wedding, she was again torn to shreds by Karen’s on twitter for her big wedding. Yet no mention of their saviours wedding that had over 2000 guests and closed down most of the roads in central London.

    • Lila says:

      Interesting you mention Beatrice. She had a secret wedding, they only released the pictures after the fact, did not announce the wedding beforehand (probably to avoid questions about Andy’s presence). I didn’t see one royal reporter or royalist complaining about that. Instead, they attacked Meghan even though Eugenie had a huge wedding (with more guests than H and M’s wedding).

    • HeatherC says:

      I like to point out Eugenie’s wedding. It was flashier and had a carnival after, and she’s further down the succession line than Harry. They sputter and tell me again that Meghan is an attention whore and doesn’t deserve blah blah and has to repay the wedding money blah blah. Sometimes, when I’m truly bored, I like to poke them to fact check but I end up blocking them when they call me a stupid idol worshipping c*nt or some such. Fun times.

    • MA says:

      She really can’t win. Every time she acts contrary to their “attention seeking famewhore actress” stereotype, they fly into a rage and twist it into either, how dare she, the owes us! or they twist doing things in private somehow into proof of how attention seeking she is.

  24. Margareth says:

    I was so happy with Harry and Meghan’s decision and I even must say that the pics at the Windor Castle were so much better than those outside the Lindo Wing.

    • S808 says:

      Agree! The photos were very regal. Other royals should adopt that location for birth or engagement photos

  25. Marivic says:

    I think one of the main reasons why the vile and mean racist Royal Rota wanted to see Baby Archie upon birth was because they wanted to see whose color he took after.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Yep. They wanted to know so they could disparage and otherize him from the Cambridge kids. Be sure they would have made some remarks about him not being pink or some other such nonsense.

  26. TheOriginalMia says:

    Never understood the vitriol surrounding their choices. Archie is 7th in line. The ins and outs of Meghan’s delivery were none of our business. That’s a special time between her & Harry. Forcing her to get up, have hair and makeup to present their child hours after delivery is too freaking much. I’m glad they stuck to their guns and did what they did. Harry was so happy and I was happy for them. I’m glad Meghan got to go home, relax, unwind and enjoy her boys and her mom. Eff those who didn’t really care about Meghan and Archie’s well-beings throughout the pregnancy.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Their son will never be a working royal. Other royals in this generation (Zara, Peter) get to have their births in peace, with kids who also 1) do not have titles 2) will not be working royals. It made sense for this event to be private for many reasons.

  27. A Guest says:

    There was a huge uproar by the BM when it was announced that Archie’s birth would be private. Security was a huge issue too.

    Rumors of bribes being offered to staff at hospitals and even a plan to follow the ambulance and/or block it’s way to get pictures.

    I wouldn’t have put it past any of that lot to bring TOD or Sr into the mix to confront Meghan as someone suggested upthread. Coupled with the fact that the crazies on Tumbler were openly plotting to confront/harm Meghan to “prove” that she wasn’t actually pregnant. The whole thing was out of control.

  28. Aimee says:

    I just looked up that hospital on a map. How is it close to Windsor???

    • notasugarhere says:

      They may have based themselves out of NottCott in London for that last week, as they admitted she was a week overdue.

  29. L4frimaire says:

    I hope the book delves a bit more into it and gives it more context. The British press seemed to go next level savage before the birth, when she went on maternity leave. They were basically threatening her and Harry in NY Times if they didn’t give them access to photograph her leaving the hospital. The few weeks before were all kinds of outrageous stories, especially trying to pair her with random men. Was very strange and quite mean. There were also a lot of surrogate,fake pregnancy conspiracies floating around Twitter. I specifically remember the tabloids speculating on a Lindo wing birth, with all this details about the cost, how posh it is etc, with a how dare she tone. The Fail comments were particularly vicious, with comments like she would use the Lindo to try to steal Kate’s thunder, doing it for attention, that it should only be reserved for the future heirs,etc, who does she think she is. I think part of it was just to avoid the drama of it because there was a definite attempt to rile the public up about her giving birth at Diana’s and Kate’s hospital. Then of course if she didn’t, it was because she was snubbing them, having some hippie home birth or something. What were they supposed to do? It was crazy and we have no idea if there were security issues or threats behind the scenes as well. It would have been pure mayhem if they even attempted a Lindo wing type scenario, regardless of where she gave birth, and at that point, the RRs didn’t deserve jack from them.

    • MsIam says:

      I think those Rota members must have no conscience. I think there must be a box on the job application that asks “ Is there any level of behavior you will not sink down to?”. Truly unhinged.

  30. Beech says:

    I used to read a royal blog that over the years has changed hands and became a venomous hate on for MM. The comments were unhinged, it’s a pillow pregnancy, she’s getting fillers to simulate facial weight gain, that it was slap to the queen MM chose her own medical team, the delivery date a lie, why, why, why won’t the godparents’ be revealed. The frothing was real.

  31. guest1 says:

    “in her full american glory” lol americans did not invent feminism

    • Vanessa says:

      Yeah they like to throw this kind of commentary about Americans as well as generalising comments about the British, and then people end up arguing in nationalistic way. It’s a cheap type of discourse (and unhelpful in these times)

  32. BraveLilToaster says:

    Those pics are gorgeous and Harry looks so proud. It really makes me happy for them that they got out of there when the conversation is still at this level of petty. As a mom, I can’t imagine not being able to frump around in sweatpants as needed and have to perform every aspect of motherhood and womanhood to a professional level on demand.

  33. chica says:

    @Becks
    Why do you think the Cambridge Children will follow that route as they’re currently being raised by the family on both sides, who care not to actually do something of worth? It’s more likely they will be conditioned to behave in the privileged royal sense of greed, entitlement, laziness, and superficial performative gestures as their parents. Harry was different bc he had his mother…having lost Diana when he did, and being raised and maligned in that institution as a spare in order to prop up his brother, i can’t imagine how these children will be any better than the lot of the royal examples we have to choose from. Look at the Middletons and Windsors family history. At best, they’ll turn out more like the York princesses. Entitled, indulgent, and clout chasing. But overall, harmless and uninspiring.

    It’s not like these children will be given the opportunity to consort with regular ppl who could inspire them and empower them to be more than a tool in the royal establishment. They won’t have the ability to just up and leave…where will they get the money? Their parents and the courtiers will keep them dependent an/or controlled by other means.

  34. Vanessa says:

    The pure sense of entitlement that those royal reporters and royal watchers have on the royals hit into completely over drive when it came to Meghan was unbelievable to witness. Things were meant to be private for the white royals were ok but Meghan she wasn’t not allowed any sort of private or respected it’s like the royal reporters felt like Meghan was their properly to abuses and anyone who dares calls them out is automatically playing the race card . Kate was able to have three peaceful pregnancies without the media hounding her every move she barley seen through her pregnancies and that was ok . Meghan was viciously attack daily there active threats to harm her and her unborn baby one crazies even went as far as to travel to her baby shower planning on attack her to wipe the allegations smudge smile off her face. The daily mail we’re putting in offers to pay anyone with information about Meghan delivery plans they went as far as tracking down her alleged doctor at her home . The depth of the abuse Meghan went through was horrible and no one in the royal family spoken up about the abuse Meghan had to endured .

  35. A says:

    Another part of it, I think, is also the fact that this is her first child (and Harry’s as well, obviously). I think that she really did want something more intimate, not only to keep the press away, but also because this was something she wanted to experience as a family.

    At the end of the day, the press got their pictures, and it frankly works out better for them too–they get better pictures, they don’t have to camp outside the hospital playing the waiting game, and it’s just a far less messier process overall for everyone involved.

  36. Ginger says:

    Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were born at Portland Hospital…it wasn’t so far afield of what the RF has done before.

  37. Mariane says:

    I’ll never forget how trashy RRs and photographers felt so emboldened go as far as write articles to demand she does a photo call. Becca & that royal photographer Edward something were disgusting to read. They were implying that the biracial was OWNED by them +public😠
    I’m so happy that Harry and Meghan are free now. If Meghan is pregnant (I hope) she’ll have more privacy in LA than she did here. Her being close to her mama & friends fills me with joy.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Yes when it was announced that the birth would be private tv presenter Anne Widdecombe was outraged and said on Jeremy Vine show “we own them”. Now if someone can find someone saying something similar about eg the Queen, Princess Anne, Prince George etc would love to see it.

      The press behaviour & language around Archie’s birth was very uncomfortable especially as there was just a 2 day wait for commentators to “have a look at him” . Then of course Archie experienced racism from a popular broadcaster at just 3 days old.