Regardless of where she gives birth, Meghan Markle’s labour will be as carefully planned as her maternity wardrobe.
With Baby Sussex due in late April or early May, the duchess and husband Prince Harry have two locales to choose from (possibly with a doula in tow)—the public Mulberry Birth Centre at Frimley Park NHS Hospital or the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital.
And you’d better believe they’re royal approved! The Duchess of Cambridge famously debuted day-old Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis on the steps of the Lindo Wing, like Princess Diana before her, while Harry’s uncle and aunt, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, brought their little ones into the world at Frimley Park.
While the iconic Lindo Wing (which rings in at more than $10,000 for a suite) is pure five-star private glamour, the more holistic Mulberry has also made quite the impression on former patients. These birthing facilities are both extra, with frills like spa lighting, king-size beds, champagne toasts, gourmet menus and luxe toiletries. In case you weren’t jealous enough, here’s some more info on Meghan’s potential maternity digs…
The Mulberry Birth Centre at Frimley Park Hospital
Just 15 miles from Harry and Meghan’s first family home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, Frimley Park Hospital would make a lot of sense for the royal parents-to-be, as pointed out by the Daily Mail.
The delivery rooms in the Mulberry Birth Centre look perfectly in line with holistic Meghan’s sensibilities thanks to calming mood lighting, birthing pools and spa-like floral wallpaper. The large rooms have king-size beds (can you imagine?), Dyson fans and a gourmet vegan menu option with a burger, stir fry, curry, fruit smoothies and more.
Noah and Bear co-founder Jo Thomson, who delivered in the public hospital’s birthing pool, told The Sun that it felt like the halfway point between a home birth and a maternity ward. “It’s like a hotel in the Mulberry, it doesn’t feel like you’re in a hospital,” she said. “It’s really feminine, the walls are covered in pictures of flowers and you can have different colour settings and moods with all the lights.”
This is what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby will look likeFriends of the pair recently told Vanity Fair that they’re planning a natural birth and the mom-to-be will use hypnobirthing to manage the pain, a breathing and visualization technique that, along with aromatherapy, is supported at the Mulberry. This will follow months of relaxing and blood flow-boosting treatments by accupuncturist-to-the-stars Ross Barr, which she plans to continue “right up to her due date.”
If that wasn’t enough, new dad Prince Harry will surely enjoy the room’s “big comfy chairs” and Baby Sussex won’t spend their first precious hours in your average plastic cot. “They’re more like bedside cribs, with proper bars,” Jo added. “One side comes down so you can co-sleep with it next to the bed. It’s much more homely.”
The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital
Though we wouldn’t want to spend an extra 20+ minutes in the car with baby on the way, especially in London traffic, Meghan may opt to welcome Baby Sussex in the tried and true Lindo Wing, where her sister-in-law Kate delivered all three of her children.
There are more than a few perks at this posh ward, from the afternoon tea and sandwiches served to celebrate baby’s arrival to bottomless glasses of bubbly, a gourmet chef and a post-delivery massage. Much like the Mulberry, it’s definitely got glam hotel vibes.
“While the Lindo Wing was a functional hospital, it was a little bit like a hotel in terms of the service,” Londoner Katherine Filkins, who also delivered there, told Hello!. “You had really fancy toiletries, the quality of the food that you got was fantastic. There was a wine list, you could have had champagne if you wanted. Right after the birth, they bring you a delicious afternoon tea for you and your family.”
The rooms are also big enough to pack in a group of well-wishers (which we all know can be a blessing or a curse!) and Katherine’s other half was spoiled, too. “My husband was treated very well and they were more than happy to create a bed for him. He’d have a selection of meals to choose from the menu every day.”
Plus, the duchess’s sister-in-law Kate is said to have paved the way for hypnobirthing and natural labour at the Lindo.
Or Meghan could have a home birth
Or, if you’ve got a big, newly renovated house, why not welcome your royal baby there? It’s been said that the Duchess of Sussex may shirk hospitals altogether in a break with recent practice. But home births actually have roots in royal tradition—queens and princesses sweat through their deliveries in the comfort of their palaces well into the 20th century.
When the Queen delivered Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in the ’40s, dad-to-be Prince Philip was reportedly on the squash court! (Though he later redeemed himself by becoming the first royal dad ever to be present for a birth in 1964.). Princess Anne was the first member of the fam to opt for a hospital—the Lindo Wing, ‘natch—and since then it’s been the mode of choice.
With her tendency to carve out her own unique royal path, we won’t be surprised if the palace tweets that Meghan and Harry are having baby in their stunning country home. And with a bougie nursery just steps away (vegan paint, anyone?), it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with a hospital glam squad and unimaginably public debut.