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Has Baby Sussex Arrived Already and We Just Don't Know It?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

There are lots of rumors running around that Baby Sussex might have arrived already. While anything is technically possible, I think we can be essentially certain he or she has not, for the simple reason that the Palace said they would tell us when Meghan goes into labor. The confusion started in early April when Harry and Meghan issued a press release announcing the media procedures for their baby's approaching arrival. The top half of the press release said:

This led to some bizarre headlines claiming that we won't know when Baby Sussex arrives, and now the rumors and speculation that the baby may have arrived already, and the Susexes are just keeping things on the QT. But, that can't have happened unless the Sussexes broke with their own media plan. The bottom half of the press release (not pictured here) contained instructions to the media from the Palace. The media instructions said that when the Duchess of Sussex goes into labor, the media will be notified and they will be permitted to set up camp along the Long Walk at Windsor. They can broadcast there as the world waits for the baby to be born. Then, the media will be notified when the baby has arrived. 

The confusion stemmed from the final clause in the first (public) part of the press release that said that the news won't be shared until the couple have time to celebrate privately as a family. I can see why that might sound like the couple might keep the birth private for a few days with none the wiser, but in fact I think it means nothing more than that they won't immediately announce the birth. You probably recall that when George was born we were all on tenterhooks waiting. When the news finally broke that he had arrived, it turned out he had been born several hours before, but William and Kate had waited to inform the public while they enjoyed quiet time with their new arrival. Harry and Meghan are simply stating they plan to do the same. 

So to recap, the above snippet is not the complete press release. The instructions to the media were very explicit. They (and all the rest of us) will be told when Meghan is in labor, the media will set up outside Windsor, and we will get lots of live coverage as we wait. When Harry and Meghan decide the time is right, the media will be told that Baby Sussex has arrived. We don't know what the Sussexes consider "an opportunity to celebrate privately." For William and Kate it was a few hours, for Harry and Meghan it could be a few hours, many hours, maybe a full day--but the key is that whatever the time period, the media will already have been informed that Stage 1 (labor) is in progress. They will be encamped outside Windsor, and we will know the wait is almost over. The baby announcement won't drop from a clear blue sky, there will be build up.