As you know, we’re getting closer and closer to the birth of Baby Sussex. Apparently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have opted not to deliver at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital where several other royal babies were born, including the Cambridge three, George, Charlotte, and Louis. Instead, reportedly, the Sussexes will welcome their first child near where they now live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Makes sense, right? Like for simple geography? It can take an hour to drive from Windsor to London. I’ve never had a birth plan but I would imagine you don’t want to be stuck in a car in traffic when you’re trying to push out a baby.
More controversially, according to the Daily Mail, Meghan has “snubbed” the Royal Household gynaecologists. I say “controversial” because that’s how they’re characterising the situation:
The Duchess of Sussex has delivered an astonishing snub to the Queen’s highly-regarded doctors, insisting she doesn’t want ‘the men in suits’ to oversee the birth of her first child.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, in a significant break with Royal tradition, 37-year-old Meghan has appointed her own delivery team, led by an unnamed female doctor.
Royal Household gynaecologists Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston – who is a specialist in high-risk births – attended at the arrival of all three of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children. They are among the best in the world but neither has been given the leading role in Meghan’s care.
And she has politely declined their services as lead physicians for the birth.
In keeping with protocol, the Queen’s doctors cannot be excluded completely.
There will be some role for them, and should something go wrong – as it did with the Countess of Wessex – the Queen’s doctors would step in and take over.
One source said: ‘Meghan said she doesn’t want the men in suits. She was adamant that she wanted her own people. It did leave a few of us a little baffled.’
Another said: ‘It is slightly surprising. These people [the Queen’s doctors] are the best of the best and when it comes down to it, their role would actually be very limited in the birth itself, assuming all goes to plan.’
It is understood that meetings to discuss the birth will be held as the due date approaches, with the baby expected next month.
Other Royals to have given birth under the care of Royal gynaecologists include Princess Diana and Princess Anne.
Sources close to the Duchess stressed the ‘personal’ nature of her decision, with one insider saying: ‘Above all, this is her birth, her baby, and she must do whatever feels right for her. How could anyone judge her for that?’
Well, they’re trying. They’re trying to judge. Describing this as a “snub”, a rejection of the Queen, instead of a decision that’s best for Meghan and the baby, is judgement, or an incitement of judgement. “Who does she think she is?” “Does she think she’s too good for what’s good for the Queen and for Kate?”
Times change. But they also don’t. Here’s an interesting tweet that came up in my feed yesterday about when Princess Diana was pregnant with William and how she wanted to give birth in the hospital over the Queen’s supposed objections because Her Majesty “abhorred the thought of the future King of England being born in an ordinary hospital”.
I noted this in a reply to someone else’s tweet, but these new articles about #Meghan”snubbing” the Queen’s doctors & shocking everyone with a modern birth for #BabySussex are nearly rewrites of articles about Diana’s plans for Will’s birth, but at least no bikini shots this time pic.twitter.com/PcE4jmp24S— The Royal Fact Checker (@royalfactcheck) April 7, 2019
Diana decided to change How Things Were Done. That seems reasonable, non? In all of our lives, we don’t do things exactly the same as How They Were Done in our parents’ or grandparents’ time. Prince Philip was playing squash, FFS, when Prince Charles was born. That’s obviously How Things Were Done then. Now? Playing squash or polo or shooting pheasant while your wife is in labour probably isn’t a good look.
Still. It’s another item on the Royal Meghan is Breaking the Rules list that’s meant, in certain fusty-ass coloniser circles, to suggest that she’s disrespecting the institution with her assertiveness and her agency and her American-ness and her blackness even though studies show more and more women prefer female doctors over male doctors, particularly in obstetrics. What made me laugh is in their article about this, the Daily Mail posted this photo of the “three wise men”, Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Sir Marcus Setchell, the Royal gynaecologists, “among the most eminent in the world, the “men in suits” that Meghan is supposedly snubbing in favour of her female doctor.
Man, I wish I could spend a week with the Mail’s editorial team, just for the laughs. Just to have been there when they decided that THIS was the photo they wanted to run alongside a story about Meghan’s choice to have a woman deliver her baby – and it was intended to make her look like an asshole. Like, someone on the Mail’s editorial team, IN THE YEAR 2019, picked this shot of three dudes who look like they just left the boardroom and are about to go meet Rupert Murdoch for a drink and a cigar at a private members’ club to accompany an article about Meghan Markle’s pain in the ass womanly demands. REALLY!?
Because you show me this photo and her decision becomes immediately and completely obvious. And none of this takes into account the overwhelming amount of research about the higher rates of pregnancy and childbirth complication for black American women, even famous and successful black American women like Beyoncé and Serena Williams. All of this would be top of mind for Meghan Markle during her pregnancy and the decisions she and Harry are making about her care as they work with a physician who can best meet her specific medical needs. None of this seems to be top of mind in the way this story is being presented.