Private royal birth 'another example of Harry’s bitterness at the media'

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured at the Commonwealth Day service in March [Photo: PA]

In contrast to Kate and William and Charles and Diana, parents-to-be Meghan and Harry have opted to keep the birth of their first child private.

Prince Harry, 34, and wife Meghan Markle, 37, have decided they will share news of their baby’s arrival once “they have an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”

Both Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge posed for photographs on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s hospital in Paddington, hours after giving birth to each of their children.

Diana and Charles with baby William in 1982 and Kate and William with baby George in 2013, outside the Lindo Wing [Photos: PA]

Duncan Larcombe, The Sun‘s former royal editor, tells Yahoo UK the decision is “just another example of Harry’s real bitterness at the media in general.

“I think this goes back to the death of his mother, but particularly it goes back to when his relationship with Meghan was made public,” he adds.

“Harry was absolutely enraged by some of the snide comments the columnists made and they way it was reported, and the social media trolling.”

The prince made an unprecedented statement in November 2016, warning the press and online trolls about the ‘wave of abuse’ on his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle.

Mr Larcombe predicts that Meghan and Harry’s baby will be kept out of the public eye, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three children.

“We will be lucky as members of public, to see this new baby more than perhaps two or three times a year for the first five years of its life.

“William and Kate have fought an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to ensure that any paparazzi pictures of their children are not used by the mainstream British press.

“Largely, that has pretty much been respected. I think that’s what will happen with Harry.”

READ MORE: Royal baby private birth plan provokes mixed reaction from public

But Mr Larcombe says Harry’s “bargaining position is weakened” with the media because he did not invite press to the royal wedding last year.

This was in contrast to the amount of journalists at Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ big day in 2005 and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 nuptials.

Mr Larcombe adds that “there’s only so much control you can have over the British media,” and that keeping details around the birth private will lead to speculation and inaccuracies.

“Ultimately, there’s a lot to be said for actually telling your own story, rather than let it be speculated the whole time,” he adds.

Harry and Meghan’s baby is expected in the coming weeks [Photo: PA]

Following Buckingham Palace’s news this morning, CNN royal commentator Victoria Arbiter thinks Harry and Meghan’s decision to keep the birth private is a “smart move.”

She tells Yahoo UK: “It may not be the popular choice, but by establishing boundaries early on they will avoid any future accusations of sending mixed signals.

“They have been very clear regarding their desire to protect their baby’s privacy and this is their way of taking control.

“Given it is unlikely their child will be an HRH, he/she will be entitled to a private life regardless of their parents’ popularity.

“As children William and Harry regularly had to face a wall of cameras. They hated it. I think Harry will likely follow his brother’s lead and do everything he can to ensure his child enjoys as normal a life as possible in what will be very abnormal circumstances.

“Expect a zero tolerance approach should any outlet cross the line and invade their children’s privacy.”

The couple’s decision to keep details of their baby’s birth private, is not too dissimilar to that of Zara and Mike Tindall with their daughters Mia and Lena.

Princess Anne’s only daughter Zara is not a working royal and is currently 17th in line to the throne.

Harry and Meghan’s child is not likely to be a prince or princess unless the Queen issues a new Letters Patent.

Titles within the Royal Family are limited under the provisions of the 1917 Letters Patent issued by the Queen’s grandfather King George V.

PR expert Nick Ede tells Yahoo UK says that the decision made by Harry and Meghan “shows that they’re in control.”

“They’re calling the shots. We’re used to public births because of William and Kate, but Harry and Meghan’s child is not in line to the throne, so they get to decide what they want to do.

“It’s opportunity for them to take ownership of their child’s privacy.”