Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have likely irritated press the globe over, by announcing today that they’ll be controlling the media circus around the birth of their first child.
Most pointedly, the couple have refused an immediate, post-birth shoot — a tradition which has lived with the Royal Family for decades and the protocol accepted three times over by Harry’s brother and sister in law, William and Kate.
“We won’t have that moment of Meghan and Harry stepping forward immediately after she’s given birth in the next few hours, with a baby as we have been used to with Kate,” said royal reporter Camilla Tominey on The Today Show this morning.
“There will be a few days reprieve and then we expect the couple to do a media facility where there’ll be a photographer and a camera crew on the grounds of Windsor Castle to see them with the baby. But it will be very much organised by them, stage-managed by them; what they’re not going to have is this standing out and facing the cameras within hours of giving birth which is what we’ve been used to with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 23, 2018
But seriously, who could object to Meghan and Harry’s decision?
Those photos of Kate Middleton emerging from her hospital bed mere hours after the births of her children, George, Charlotte and Louis were no doubt gorgeous and exciting, but also wince-worthy.
After long, likely painful and emotionally-charged labours, Kate was expected to dress up, have make up plastered on her face, squeezed into high heels and then pushed outside to an awaiting media frenzy; paparazzi and journalists capturing her at one of the most vulnerable times, with the added expectation that she look both joyful and serene.
For Meghan, the pressure would likely be even greater. Since first arriving on the scene as Harry’s girlfriend there’s scarcely been a day where tabloids have refrained from conjuring up an elaborate scandal implicating her: Her father’s mental health battles, her brattiness, her feud with Kate, her terrible treatment of staff– the list goes on.
And, of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Unlike other members of the royal family, Meghan has had to endure many months of racist, bigoted bile from ignorant trolls across social media.
Having been subjected to this level of scrutiny and abuse, It’s little wonder that Meghan and Harry are working to protect themselves and their newborn.
“I think actually there’s an element of control here,” said Tominey. “We know that Prince Harry is fiercely protective of his privacy and that of his wife. I think when the child comes into play, it’s going to be a completely different ball game. Because both he and William remember being pursued by the press as children and they didn’t enjoy it.”
Of course, there’s no escaping the fact that Meghan and Harry are Royals, and with that comes the duty of life in the public eye. But for at least a few days post the birth of their first child they want to pretend they’re a normal couple and enjoy their privacy as new parents. They want to forget they live in a goldfish bowl.
And personally, I back them all the way.