Meghan and Harry's plans for baby's secret arrival is not royal snub but rather a parenting approach, claims expert
Harry and Meghan are not likely to pose for the world's photographers and TV crews on the hospital steps with their newborn
It definitely came as a shock to a lot of Royal fans when Kensington Palace officials made an announcement on Thursday saying Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have decided to keep plans around their first baby's arrival private. Harry and Meghan, according to the Palace, "look forward" to sharing the news of their baby's birth once they have had a chance to celebrate privately as a new family.
The drastic decision is proof of the fact that Harry and Meghan are not likely to pose for the world's photographers and TV crews on the hospital steps with their newborn, unlike Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, when she gave birth to their three children.
While it is believed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken this necessary step to shield their upcoming newborn from unwanted media glare, experts have also notably argued that keeping the baby away from the press will only result in more speculations and unwarranted interest in the baby.
John P. David, President of David PR Group and author of 'How to Protect (Or Destroy) Your Reputation Online', discussed with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about the possible reasons for the royal couple to be keeping their baby's arrival plans a secret, and how it will all pan out for media coverage surrounding their upcoming child.
Speaking about Meghan and Harry's decision to give a delayed announcement on their baby's arrival, John says, "I think this has less to do with a media strategy and more to do with the realities of giving birth. How that impacts a woman and her body is significant."
He further explains, "Few mothers want to do a photo shoot shortly after giving birth – as has been the tradition with William and Kate’s children. Mothers who just gave birth don’t want to be in make-up and high heels taking pictures. They would rather be in slippers and pajamas at home with their new baby."
As a future king, William is expected to help mark great occasions, while Harry, who is sixth in the line of succession, has more leeway. But will this be seen as a broken royal protocol? John thinks not. "This is Meghan Markle and Prince Harry saying: 'We are not following this tradition because it doesn’t make sense for us'," he says.
Moreover, the PR expert believes that upholding the royal baby's arrival into the world might not mean unnecessary media attention for the newborn and the parents. "Clearly Megan and Harry are setting the standards for how they want their baby to be covered by the media, and they’re making it very clear that they don’t intend to let the media drive the agenda," John admits.
Meghan and Harry, who are expecting their first child in late April or early May, say they have not learned the gender of their baby. The Palace press office has announced very few details about their plans, refusing to comment on unconfirmed British press reports that Meghan may opt for a home birth.
John also thinks that all these elaborate birthing and childcare plans laid down by Meghan and Harry ahead of their toddler's birth could be the royal couple's way of ensuring the safety and privacy of their baby, considering the fact that they recently moved from Central London to a more secluded house near their wedding venue.
"I think by setting their own policies in advance of the birth, they are protecting their child’s privacy," says John. "Prince Harry has (already) come out as a critic of social media," he explains, alluding to the Duke of Sussex's speech about how social media can be "more addictive than alcohol and drugs, yet it's more dangerous because it's normalized and there are no restrictions to it."
John continues his assessment, saying: "Perhaps this is the beginning of a pendulum swing where people are finally realizing that keeping key parts of your life more private is a good thing. The Royals are showing that they can create trends in things other than fashion."