On Oct. 15, Kensington Palace announced via its official Twitter page that the Duchess of Sussex was expecting a baby in the spring of 2019. The Duchess of Sussex–better known as Meghan Markle, a retired biracial American actress and wife of the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry–cancelled most of her plans to ensure she got enough rest, despite being on a royal tour in Australia.
Although currently avoiding most public appearances, Markle has had a busy summer. She recently gave her first interview since becoming a part of the royal family, and has also accompanied Harry in visiting Amal and George Clooney, who are likely the first choice as the new royal baby’s godparents. Additionally, Markle flew to Toronto to visit her best friend, Jessica Mulroney, this time without Harry. Both Clooney and Mulroney are mothers to twins, raising fan speculation that Markle is also expecting twins.
“The announcement of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby has come less than a year after the birth of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s third baby,” Simon Lee (11) said. “The news of the royal baby is not only exciting, but is also socially significant in that Meghan Markle is half African-American, while the rest of the royal family is of Caucasian descent.”
Meghan Markle is quite unfitting for the traditional idea of “royal”. As a divorced, outspoken, feministic, retired American actress of African-American lineage, she stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the royal family. To the conservative and relatively racially homogeneous royal family, such characteristics can be regarded as undesirable. Despite being “unroyal”, however, many have acclaimed such characteristics of Markle, as well as her open and genuine personality, to be a refreshing addition to the royal family.
“Meghan Markle’s marriage with Prince Harry is influential because it means that the royal family will finally have an African-American member,” Brian Bok (10) said. “Now, the royal family will better represent the racial blend of modern Britain, instead of being composed entirely of white Britons as it had been previously.”
Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding was held on May 18 in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The public generally looked upon the marriage as a positive social change, although some accused Markle of rejecting her African-American lineage in order to assimilate into high society, despite her speaking out against racism and colorist in the entertainment industry on multiple occasions.
“Meghan Markle has faced considerable criticism in her lifetime, first as a Hollywood actress and now as a member of the royal family,” Alan Kang (10) said. “People have brutally condemned Markle for insignificant happenings in the past, and the same thing could happen to her baby. Retiring from acting and refraining from public appearances has helped shield the baby from such attacks, but people are curious about this new royal baby, especially because Markle is of African-American lineage, and her baby will be as well. It is only a matter of time before the royal family will have to introduce the baby to the public.”