Harry and Meghan: Royal baby could be a Yank

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NATION & WORLD - By Gre­gory Katz

LON­DON — What would the Found­ing Fathers think? Al­most 250 years af­ter the United States launched a revo­lu­tion to rid it­self of the Bri­tish royal fam­ily, the next royal baby could be an Amer­i­can.

The idea that a scion of the former colonies would be sev­enth in line to suc­ceed Queen El­iz­a­beth II to the throne could change the royal fam­ily from within — and help ex­tend a surge in pop­u­lar­ity for the monar­chy.

The child of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex — Meghan Markle be­came a duchess when she wed Prince Harry a year ago — is due very soon.

Baby Sus­sex, as the child is known ahead of its birth, will be a prod­uct of two cul­tures: its fa­ther a prince who is a sym­bol of Bri­tain; its mother quintessen­tially Amer­i­can — a self-made TV star with a white fa­ther and an AfricanAme­r­i­can mother.

The child is un­likely to ever be­come king or queen, but the pres­ence of a half-Amer­i­can child who may choose to hold dual na­tion­al­ity could shake up the royal fam­ily, just as the ar­rival of Meghan has had a mod­ern­iz­ing ef­fect on the House of Wind­sor.

“It’s quite pos­si­ble the child will have a lot of Amer­i­can in­flu­ence,” royal com­men­ta­tor Hugo Vick­ers said. “The royal fam­ily is not to­tally un­used to that kind of thing. Chil­dren have been born with Greek moth­ers or Ger­man moth­ers in the past, ob­vi­ously, but Meghan is the first Amer­i­can mother so close in the royal fam­ily.”

Cer­tainly, Meghan isn’t fol­low­ing any of the royal scripts when it comes to child­birth prepa­ra­tions.

Un­like Harry’s brother Prince Wil­liam and his wife Kate, Harry and Meghan have cho­sen to keep the de­tails about their baby plan­ning pri­vate, de­spite — or per­haps be­cause of — in­tense media in­ter­est in the baby’s ar­rival, ex­pected in the next few weeks.

The cou­ple haven’t re­vealed where Meghan in­tends to give birth, so there isn’t likely to be a 24/7 media stake­out out­side the hos­pi­tal as was the case for the births of Wil­liam and Kate’s three chil­dren, Prince Ge­orge, Princess Char­lotte and Prince Louis.

Don’t ex­pect a photo of the happy fam­ily walk­ing out of the hos­pi­tal look­ing pic­ture per­fect hours af­ter the birth ei­ther — Harry and Meghan have said they want to cel­e­brate pri­vately with their ex­tended

“It’s quite pos­si­ble the child will have a lot of Amer­i­can in­flu­ence.”

fam­ily be­fore telling the world a baby has been born.

Palace of­fi­cials ac­cus­tomed to hav­ing a role in chore­ograph­ing the cov­er­age of ma­jor royal events are con­cerned that Harry and Meghan may an­nounce the birth on their brand new In­sta­gram ac­count — and give the pub­lic its first glimpse of the baby via In­sta­gram as well.

Harry faces less pres­sure to con­form to royal pro­to­col than Wil­liam be­cause of Wil­liam’s role as a likely fu­ture king — he will fol­low his 70-year-old fa­ther Prince Charles to the throne.

That also makes the baby’s Amer­i­can parent­age less of a press­ing is­sue, since it would take a se­ries of tragedies to hit Wil­liam’s chil­dren for Baby Sus­sex to be­come monarch.

That hasn’t kept the Bri­tish media from spec­u­lat­ing that Meghan will choose an Amer­i­can as a nanny — Mary Pop­pins be damned! — and pos­si­bly even put a man, or manny, in that cru­cial role. Some be­lieve Meghan will in­sist on dual cit­i­zen­ship for the child, a sta­tus that is al­lowed by both coun­tries.

Joe Lit­tle, the man­ag­ing ed­i­tor of Majesty mag­a­zine, says many peo­ple have no is­sues with evolv­ing tra­di­tions in the monar­chy.

“Our royal fam­ily, like all the other Euro­pean royal fam­i­lies, are no longer mar­ry­ing within royal fam­i­lies, so this is in­evitable, and many would say a good thing,” he said.

FRANK AUGSTEIN/AP PHOTOS

Bri­tain's Prince Harry and his then-fi­ancee Meghan Markle ar­rive at Not­ting­ham Academy in De­cem­ber 2017.

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