Royals | Celebrity

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's First Child Will Make History In A Special Way

Kensington Palace/Instagram

After weeks of speculation, the Kensington Palace finally confirmed on October 15 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are expecting their first child.

"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019," read the statement.

"Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public."

The couple, who are currently on their first international royal tour, expressed their excitement over becoming parents during their first stop in Sydney, Australia.

“We also genuinely couldn’t think of a better place to announce the upcoming baby,” Harry said at their welcome reception. He added, "whether it’s a boy or a girl."

The baby, who will be seventh in line of succession to the throne, will join several cousins, including Prince William and Kate Middleton's children, Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and six-month-old Prince Louis.

According to the laws of royal succession established by Harry's great grandfather King George V, it's unlikely that the baby will receive a His or Her Royal Highness (HRH) title like its aforementioned cousins.

The decision is ultimately up to the Queen, but what we do know is that if it's a boy, he will be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of the titles Her Majesty gave Harry on his wedding day. If it turns out to be a girl, she will have the title of Lady Mountbatten-Windsor.

However, even if Harry and Meghan's baby doesn't end up a prince or princess, he or she will still make history in a very special way.

The upcoming royal baby will be one of the first ever heir to the British throne to be of mixed race.

Some historians believe that Queen Charlotte, who became queen when she married King George III, was Britain's first black or biracial queen. Born Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streliz, the German princess is believed to have descended from the Portuguese royal family, who have roots in Africa.  

Since the verdict is still out on Charlotte's racial background, many now consider Meghan, whose father Thomas Markle is white and mother Doria Ragland is black, as the first biracial member of the British royal family.

Meghan has never shied away from discussing her mixed heritage. In 2015, the former actress wrote a piece for Elle magazine in which she revealed how she is proud of who she is.

"While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman. That when asked to choose my ethnicity in a questionnaire as in my seventh grade class, or these days to check ‘Other,’ I simply say: ‘Sorry, world, this is not Lost and I am not one of The Others. I am enough exactly as I am.'"

Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award, spoke to People about her excitement over having a person of mixed race be in line of succession.

“It is so beautiful at every level,” said Tessy, who attended Harry and Meghan's wedding. “It is has so many stories to it. And it all continues from the wedding. We all can’t wait to see what the baby will be and what the baby will look like, what this beautiful gorgeous bundle will look like."

Like Princess Charlotte, if the Sussex's baby is a girl, she will keep her position in the line of succession even if Harry and Meghan end up having a son down the line. This is because William and Kate ensured that the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 was passed before they had children.

The legislation, which states that a person's birth order, regardless of gender, will determine their rank in line of succession, was approved during a Commonwealth summit in Australia back in 2011.

With Prince Louis' birth in April, for the first time in the history of the royal family, a female heir wasn't bumped by the arrival of a male sibling. Charlotte maintained her position as fourth in line to the throne while Louis currently sits at fifth.

Are you excited to see what Harry and Meghan's baby will look like? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.