Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are now just months away from welcoming their second child. As they countdown the days to when they will officially become a family of four, Markle is reportedly laying out her birthing plan. Already a mom to son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who is set to turn 2 on May 6, Markle is hoping to do things a little different this time around when she gives birth to the first member of the British royal family to be born in the United States.
According to a source who spoke to Page Six, Markle is planning to welcome her daughter via a home birth at her $14.5 million Montecito estate. This birthing plan would be drastically different from how little Archie entered the world, Markle having given birth to her first child at London's private Portland hospital. Ahead of Archie's birth, it had been believed Marke wished to have a home birth at Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor Estate residence where she and Harry lived before making the move to the U.S. That initial plan would have revived the long-dead home birthing tradition and would have followed in the footsteps of other royals' births, including Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth.
"Meghan's plan was to have a home birth with Archie, but you know what they say about the best-laid plans. In the end, her doctors advised her to go to hospital and all she was interested in was about delivering Archie safely," the source said. "But she has a beautiful home in California; it's a beautiful setting to give birth to her baby girl."
Should complications arrive during the summer birth, Markle would be just a short drive away from Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, which is voted one of America's best hospitals. The source also revealed that after welcoming her daughter, Markle is planning to take maternity leave, though the duration of that leave is unclear.
There are still plenty of uncertainties surrounding the arrival of the newest royal, including how the little one's birth will be announced. The arrival of the couple's first child bore similarities to many royal traditions, with Archie's birth formally announced with an easel placed on the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. The couple also participated in a photocall on the grounds of Windsor Castle. However, now that Markle and Harry are private citizens, Page Six's source noted it is unclear "if they will announce the birth, or what that will look like. This time around, they don't have to adhere to the royal protocol."