This 1 Royal Rule Could Seriously Complicate Meghan and Harry’s Parenting

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are delighted to be expecting their first child — and the entire world is thrilled, too. Meghan will give birth this spring, and the two can’t wait to begin the journey of parenthood. However, there is one age-old royal rule that could potentially complicate the couple’s parenting decisions.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry are expecting a baby this spring

In October 2018, the couple announced they’d be expecting their first child together this spring. Meghan and Harry have had a fast-paced relationship since they met; they dated for a relatively short time before getting engaged in November 2017. They married in May 2018 and announced the pregnancy in October. The couple had said they were excited to start a family, and sources close to the royals didn’t think they’d wait long before having kids. Now, they’re excited about their first child, but their parenting style might differ from that of Harry’s brother and sister-in-law.

There have been rumors that the couple’s parenting style will differ from Will and Kate’s

Meghan and Harry, from a royal perspective, aren’t as important as Will and Kate. Will is Prince Charles’ oldest child, which means he will someday be king. And George, Will and Kate’s oldest child, will also someday be king. But Harry and Meghan’s children won’t need to be in the spotlight as much as Will and Kate’s, and there have been rumors that the couple will raise their children differently. The two supposedly don’t want to give their new baby any royal title. Sources have also said that Harry and Meghan want to be more hands-on with their children and not hire any nannies; they want to pick them up from school, bring them to activities, etc. But ultimately, everything they do needs to be okay with Queen Elizabeth.

According to a centuries-old royal rule, Queen Elizabeth technically has custody of Meghan and Harry’s baby

Believe it or not, Queen Elizabeth has custody of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. A rule put into place by King George I back in the 1700s says that the ruler has total custody over any royal children. And though the rule was implemented about 300 years ago, Marie Claire reported it was never removed. Technically, the queen has the ability to overrule any parenting decisions Meghan and Harry want to make.

The queen likely won’t interfere in Meghan and Harry’s parenting, but she does have the final say

Harry and Meghan have suggested doing things a bit differently than other royal parents have. And while there is a good chance the queen will not interfere with the couple’s parenting style, she has the final deciding vote in how royal family members raise their children. Harry and Meghan don’t seem to want their kids in the spotlight much. The queen will most likely respect that, but at the end of the day, she still controls the couple’s future baby. For example, she might decide she doesn’t want the royal baby to fly with both parents for safety reasons. Or if she strongly objects to the education Meghan and Harry seek for the child, she can do something about it. She has the ability to call the shots on major decisions, but as long as Meghan and Harry parent well (which we’re sure they will), she likely won’t intervene at all.

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