Why Meghan Markle Didn’t Take Photos After Archie’s Birth

Many think this was a decision Meghan and Harry made for themselves, but an explosive interview suggests that it wasn't their decision to make.

A royal mother making an appearance outside the hospital following the birth of a new baby is somewhat of a tradition—Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, introduced her children to the world this way, and so did her late mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or the festivities surrounding a presidential inauguration, it’s something people have come to expect as a marking of a special occasion. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, did things a little differently.

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As soon as Meghan’s first pregnancy was announced in 2018, preparations began for the birth of the new royal. As part of this, Buckingham Palace released a statement announcing that Meghan and Harry planned to keep the arrival of their baby private—meaning no traditional photo op on the hospital steps.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby,” a palace spokesperson said. “Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”

Articles were released stating that Meghan was “uncomfortable” with the idea of staging an appearance so soon after giving birth, but we learned in a recent CBS interview between Oprah Winfrey and Meghan and Harry that this may not have actually been the case.

In reality, Meghan claims she was never asked to take the traditional photo outside of the hospital because Archie wouldn’t be given a title, a decision that she says was not her and Harry’s to make. The media reported that the new parents didn’t give their son a title because they wanted him to be seen as normal and not carry the burden of being a prince. During their sit-down with Oprah, the couple also revealed that Archie wouldn’t be given the same rights and protections that other royal grandchildren have received.

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When Archie arrived in the early morning hours of May 6, 2019, the palace released a statement that all was well and Meghan, Harry, and her mother, Doria Ragland, were with the child at Frogmore Cottage. Meghan’s personal team of medics, along with her mother and Harry, were by her side for the birth and the Queen’s doctors were on standby. There was no traditional picture. Instead, the new family of three was given a photo op two days later on May 8th in front of St. George’s Hall at an official press event.


  • Harper’s Bazaar: “Buckingham Palace shares an update on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby”
  • Vanity Fair: “Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Skip the Traditional Royal Baby Photo Op”
  • CBS: Harry and Meghan detail royal struggles, from discussions of baby’s skin tone to suicidal thoughts

Erin Kayata
Erin Kayata joined Reader’s Digest as an assistant staff writer in March 2019, coming from the Stamford Advocate where she covered education. Prior to this, she was part of a two-year Hearst fellowship program where she covered crime and education in suburban Connecticut. She graduated from Emerson College and spent part of her undergraduate career writing for the Boston Globe. When she’s not writing articles about useful facts and pop culture, you can find Erin enjoying the local theater scene and working toward her goal of reading 50 books a year.