By Sarah Walker, Hello! CanadaUpdated Mar 12, 2019
Photo: Getty Images
With the arrival of Baby Sussex about a month or so away, rumours are swirling about whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal baby will be a boy or girl. While it was reported that the Duchess of Sussex would like to raise their first tot without any gender stereotyping, Kensington Palace released a statement denying the claims, saying these plans are "totally false."
The original report, published by Vanity Fair, said that a source revealed: “Meghan has been talking to some of her friends about the birth and how she and Harry plan to raise their baby. Her exact word was fluid.” She said they plan to raise their child with a fluid approach to gender and they won’t be imposing any stereotypes.” What that would mean is that the newest member of the royal family could be raised without traditional, gender-specific toys or dolls, but the palace has put these rumours to rest.
It was previously revealed that both Prince Harry and Meghan wanted to keep the new nursery at Frogmore Cottage neutral, opting for grey and white decor hues over gender-specific ones like blue or pink. They also wanted the space to feel more modern and be eco-friendly. Vegan paint infused with eucalyptus oil was apparently used to brighten the space!
Though surprising to some, this is hardly the first time that a member of the royal family has opted to raise their child with a new and unique set of rules. In many cases, Prince William and Kate have carved their own paths as 21st century royals, while also bearing in mind the importance of royal tradition. The pair's ultimate goal has been to raise their three children – Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 10-month-old Prince Louis – in as normal a way as possible. They've spent more time away from Kensington Palace than previous royals, and they've kept public events with their kids to a minimum.
Emily Nash, HELLO!'s royal correspondent, once said: "This is all part of William and Kate's plan to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible. Spending their children's early years at Anmer has given the royal couple a chance to give them time out of the spotlight, which will become harder when they move back to London."
She continued: "They are preparing George and Charlotte for life in the royal family and keeping all the associated traditions, but at the same time, they want them to enjoy the same everyday experiences of other children their age, like going to the shops, the playground or petting zoo without any fuss." Emily added: "William, having grown up very much in the spotlight, is keen to protect his own children as much as he can. After all, they have a lifetime of royal duties ahead of them, so there is no rush!"
Kate has also made a habit of being the Cambridge family photographer (instead of hiring a professional one), releasing images of her children that are more candid than those of previous royals, and the pair have chosen to send their kids to less traditional schools than previous generations of royals.
When George started school in London in 2017 the pair made the surprise announcement that he would attend Thomas's Battersea – and not Wetherby School in Notting Hill that William and his brother Harry attended. As Emily noted: "George's first day at school will be a lot more low key than William's, when there was a sea of photographers outside the school as he arrived. There are likely to just be a handful of photographers and TV cameras present to capture the moment on behalf of the world's media."
Let's also not forget that Princess Charlotte made history just by being born. Her arrival marked the first time the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 came into play. In the past, sons took precedent over their sisters in the line of success to the throne, but the new law strips gender from the equation, meaning Charlotte remains fourth-in-line to the throne, while her younger brother is fifth.