Royal photographer Arthur Edwards has been around a while. Decades. He was there to capture Prince Charles and Princess Diana leaving the Lindo Wing with Prince William in 1982, and again in 1984 after Prince Harry was born. So it must’ve been bittersweet for Edwards to see Will, a man who he’s photographed for years and essentially witnessed grow up, walk down those same hospital steps three different times with wife Duchess Kate and their babies.
Harry, on the other hand, might not give Edwards that same opportunity.
“I photographed Harry coming out of that hospital in his mother’s arms, and I hope to photograph Harry’s baby when coming out in Harry’s arms,” Edwards told Town & Country magazine. “But Harry might do it differently. He may have his own plans. We’ll know soon enough.”
Hmm, now is it Harry’s plans or Duchess Meghan‘s? With Meg’s due date believed to be sometime this month, the big question — aside from where she’s having the baby — is will we get a Baby Sussex photo op?
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter is betting on it, if only to buy the new family some time and privacy.
“I would think Meghan and Harry would stop for a photograph because by standing and giving the press what they need in that photograph and in that moment, it reduces the value of any kind of paparazzi pictures,” she told T&C. “That first photograph has the potential to be incredibly valuable. Which is when you see royals take control of the narrative. And they say, ‘We’ll give you this picture but in exchange you’ve got to leave us alone and respect our privacy.'”
So not a getaway car in the back entrance of whatever hospital they’ve chosen but perhaps not like what we’ve been used to with Will and Kate posing with George/Charlotte/Louis so soon after their arrivals either. Royal reporter Omid Scobie added that Meghan isn’t exactly down with being camera-ready so soon after having a baby.
“Given what we know about Meghan, the optics of a totally glamorous, picture-perfect moment hours after giving birth are not quite in alignment with her views on the world,” he said on his podcast, On Heir.
And while that may be disappointing for fans and Sussex shippers, it’s completely understandable.
“Harry and Meghan are going to be keen to protect [their baby],” which is a sentiment shared by all parents (or should be). But Arbiter acknowledged they face a different kind of scrutiny.
“Bless this baby’s little heart because it’s a huge historical burden to carry, but the child happens to be the first mixed race heritage baby in the Royal Family,” she explained. “That is very exciting, that’s reflecting society as it is today. But as I say, that is also a tremendous historical burden for that little baby to have on his or her shoulders.”
So perhaps to save themselves and, most importantly, their baby from potential judgment and hate that could arise, Harry and Meghan might do things their way, a different way. And if that means bucking the system, getting ahead of any negative stories and showing off their baby on their terms, all the power to them. It’s no coincidence that Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account is now up and running; it might just be where Baby Sussex makes his/her debut. And it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the first real shot we get of Harry and Meghan’s newborn is a little hand clutching Mom or Dad’s finger, a classic celebrity go-to. But if it’s a close-up of his/her adorable face, we’ll happily take that too.
Or maybe the Sussexes will opt for something totally different and the first baby reveal will be official family portraits. One of just the three of them, of course, then another with grandparents Doria Ragland, Charles and Camilla, and perhaps Thomas Markle (it’s been weeks since we’ve heard from him, you never know) and great-grandparents, The Queen and Prince Philip, and then finally one with everyone plus the Cambridge clan. Hey, all things considered, maybe they’ll even ask Edwards to be the photographer.