The former American actress, 37, officially became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry, 34, in May 2018. The couple is expecting their firstborn any day now.
“I think what we’ve seen with Meghan that makes her so unique and I think has really endeared her to people is that while she has a great respect for the traditions of the monarchy, the cultural institution that she married into, she also showed this ability to bring her own sense of identity, her heritage, being an American into being a royal,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Fox News.
Nicholl, a British best-selling author and royal correspondent for Vanity Fair, recently published “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love,” which presents an in-depth look at Harry’s romance with Markle and how their high-profile union is reshaping the monarchy. It features interviews with friends close to the couple, those who have worked with Harry, as well as palace aides, among others.
“The transition to parenthood is a huge one for anybody, but it’s particularly huge when a royal baby is involved because there’s just so much attention and interest to anything,” explained Nicholl. “But… I think [Markle] will manage to bring her own sense of parenting and reflect on her own American traditions. And I think she will find a way to very nearly merge that with royal tradition, along with everything else that is expected of a royal baby.”
Nicholl pointed out that as a first-time mom, Markle will be able to instill some of her own American traditions because top members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Harry’s grandmother and father, have quickly embraced Markle.
“Charles thinks Meghan is the best thing that has ever happened to Harry,” said Nicholl.
Nicholl pointed out Markle was allowed to enjoy a lavish, star-studded baby shower in New York City thrown by her close friends. And the British monarchy had no trouble with Markle celebrating overseas.
“I think that the royal family understands that Meghan’s heritage and culture of being an American are very, very important to her,” Nicholl continued. “We saw that with the baby shower — it’s not particularly an English thing to do, but it is an American thing to do. It was important to Meghan and she was very much allowed to go and enjoy that tradition. I think we will see her embrace parts of her cultural identity in the way that she and Harry raise the child. And I think it will be done with the full blessing of the queen.”
However, Nicholl warned Markle shouldn’t stay too far behind from royal tradition because she is still expected to keep up with the role of duchess gracefully.
“The couple must be careful not to stray too far,” said Nicholl.
Nicoll recently told Fox News that Elizabeth, Harry’s grandmother, gave the former “Suits” leading lady her official stamp of approval.
“I’ve been quite impressed by how much responsibility the queen has given Meghan,” Nicholl explained. “The queen likes Meghan. She recognizes how happy Meghan makes Harry, but she also sees how capable Meghan is as a royal. She showed them how much she thought of Meghan in the early days before they were actually married when she invited Meghan to be a part of the Commonwealth Day service. Quite an important event in the royal calendar. And there was Meghan before she was actually married into the royal family.”
Nicholl claimed Elizabeth is so fond of Markle she did more than invite her to personal, intimate family gatherings leading up to the marriage — she put her to work as a future duchess.
“The queen put Meghan on that world stage before she was even a member of the royal family,” said Nicholl. "I remember being really struck by that, surprised and impressed. The way Meghan has been fast-tracked into the royal family has been quite unique.”
Before the baby’s arrival, Markle and Harry moved into their newly renovated Frogmore Cottage on Elizabeth’s Windsor Estate. Nicholl said it is the ideal setting for the family looking for privacy.
It’s also a place Harry and Markle will allegedly use to raise a large family.
“I think Harry and Meghan are united in wanting a big family,” said Nicholl. “I think that Frogmore [having] 10 bedrooms is probably an indication that they’re certainly hoping for more than one child. Certainly, from the sources that I spoke to, it’s on the agenda and they don’t want to waste any time about it.”