LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a International Women's Day panel discussion at King's College London on March 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Samir Hussein/WireImage
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a International Women's Day panel discussion at King's College London on March 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Now playing
02:03
Royal baby: Meghan and Harry buck photocall trend
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge reacts to a question from the media as he leaves after a visit to School21 following its re-opening after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in east London on March 11, 2021. - The visit coincides with the roll-out of Mentally Healthy Schools resources for secondary schools and how this is helping put mental health at the heart of their schools curriculum. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge reacts to a question from the media as he leaves after a visit to School21 following its re-opening after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in east London on March 11, 2021. - The visit coincides with the roll-out of Mentally Healthy Schools resources for secondary schools and how this is helping put mental health at the heart of their schools curriculum. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Prince William speaks out after Harry and Meghan's interview
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Labour Party Shadow Home Sedretary Diane Abbott walks through the Central Lobby back to the House of Commons after the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
WPA Pool/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Labour Party Shadow Home Sedretary Diane Abbott walks through the Central Lobby back to the House of Commons after the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
UK's 1st Black female MP reacts to Prince William's claim that royal family is not racist
UNSPECIFIED - UNSPECIFIED: In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - UNSPECIFIED: In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:36
Royal family responds to Harry and Meghan interview
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets children as she attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets children as she attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:33
Prince Harry says he grew up unaware of unconscious bias
CBS/Harpo Productions
Now playing
02:43
Prince Harry says the Queen was not allowed to meet him last year
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England.
Now playing
02:07
Meghan and Harry announce they're expecting second child
"The Late Late Show with James Corden" / Youtube
Now playing
01:37
See Prince Harry and James Corden tour LA on open-air bus
CBS
Now playing
01:39
Duchess of Sussex says Buckingham Palace is 'perpetuating falsehoods'
Twitter/@misanharriman
Now playing
01:15
Inside Harry and Meghan's life after royalty
UNSPECIFIED - UNSPECIFIED: In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - UNSPECIFIED: In this handout image provided by Harpo Productions and released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:04
Harry and Meghan talk about decision to leave royal life
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 23: (UK OUT FOR 28 DAYS) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex  visits District 6 Museum on September 23, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage/Getty Images
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 23: (UK OUT FOR 28 DAYS) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits District 6 Museum on September 23, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Now playing
02:24
Duchess of Sussex discusses miscarriage in opinion piece
Meghan Markle social media mxp vpx _00003220.jpg
Fortune
Meghan Markle social media mxp vpx _00003220.jpg
Now playing
00:49
Meghan Markle explains why she is not on social media
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Getty Images)
Toby Melville/Pool/Getty Images
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville/Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:53
Harry and Meghan suing over pictures of Archie
Now playing
01:20
Prince Harry and Meghan: UK must confront colonial past
(CNN) —  

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, was introduced to the world, cradled in Princess Diana’s arms, at a photo call on the steps of the Lindo Wing, the private maternity ward at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, just days after his birth in September 1984.

As Harry prepares to become a father himself, however, he and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, don’t plan to expose their newborn son or daughter to the glare of the world’s press in the same way.

Harry and Meghan have broken with modern convention by choosing to keep all details of the new arrival private. We don’t even know where the birth will be, whether at hospital or at home.

The couple said in a statement on April 11 that they “look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”

We will be informed when the Duchess has gone in to labor and again, once the baby is born. Then, when the couple is ready, a small group of journalists, photographers and camera crews will be invited to capture the first images of the new family.

As in many other areas, Harry and Meghan are doing this in their own way, but their decision to avoid a high profile public “unveiling” for baby as soon as possible has become a talking point in itself.

’Every inch the princess’

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, departs the Lindo Wing with her newborn son, Louis, just hours after his birth on April 23, 2018.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, departs the Lindo Wing with her newborn son, Louis, just hours after his birth on April 23, 2018.

Meghan’s sister-in-law Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has chosen to introduce all three of her babies to the world’s media on the steps of the Lindo Wing shortly after their arrival.

“She looked every inch the princess,” Emily Nash, royal editor of UK celebrity magazine Hello!, told CNN. “She looked like a royal on a royal engagement would and, as a mum myself, I found it slightly incredible that she was looking so fresh,” added Nash, who was among the many reporters waiting for the duchess outside the hospital.

Kate’s glamorous look attracted criticism as well as flattery, however. Actress Keira Knightley lambasted the duchess in a 2018 essay for the book “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies.” Knightley argued that Kate was setting unrealistic expectations for other women with her immaculate postpartum appearance.

Referring to the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015, Knightley wrote: “She was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see… Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”

Others have argued that Kate was simply fulfilling her duty as the mother of future heirs to the British throne.

“We have to remember Catherine is going to be the Queen Consort in the fullness of time,” Bonnie Greer, American playwright and commentator, told CNN. “The baby she brought out the first time, George, will be king. So, in a sense, she had a duty to come out and show us, here he is, this is the next King at the end of the century.”

Duty calls

Of course, Kate wasn’t the first royal mother to appear on the steps of St. Mary’s with babe-in-arms. The Queen’s second grandchild, Zara Tindall, was the first newborn to be pictured there, with her mother Princess Anne in 1981.

Princess Diana then appeared with Prince William outside the hospital in 1982.

Diana and Charles leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London with Prince Harry's elder brother, William, in July 1982.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Diana and Charles leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London with Prince Harry's elder brother, William, in July 1982.

Dickie Arbiter, the princess’s press spokesman at the time, told CNN there was no question whether Diana would present her baby to the media after his birth.

“She was aware of what the royal family is all about and what the certain traditions are attached to it and what is expected,” Arbiter said. “What is expected at the end of the day is all about duty.

“And if you’re giving birth to the second in line to the throne then yes, it is your duty to come out and show him off, which she did. And then she did the same with Harry two years later.”

Asked how physically challenging this must have been for Diana, Arbiter said: “Yes, it would have been painful but she put on a brave face and she smiled. She did what she thought was expected in front of the cameras and then got in the car and went back to Kensington Palace. Difficult to do straight after birth but it was something that she felt had to be done, and it was done.”

Leading the way?

Meghan, though, is having none of this. In their April 11 statement, she and Harry said that while they are “very grateful for the goodwill they have received,” they have decided “to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”

Greer believes that in doing so, Meghan is setting a positive example for other expectant mothers. “Hopefully women won’t feel the pressure to look like they’re ready for the cover of Vogue after they’ve given birth,” Greer said. “And I think Meghan is leading the way with that, which I think is great.”

02:15 - Source: CNN
How Harry and Meghan may break from royal baby traditions

Perhaps Meghan is following royal custom in her own way by deciding to keep the birth out of public view.

Home births, which by their nature are more private, were once the norm in the royal family. As Arbiter explained, “the Queen’s four children were born at home – Charles at Clarence House (and) Anne, Andrew and Edward at Buckingham Palace. Princess Margaret’s two children were born at home.”

As seventh in line to the throne, Meghan and Harry’s baby is much further removed from needing to comply with any royal duties obliged of more direct heirs to the throne, such as their cousins, William and Kate’s children.

Greer believes that by keeping the birth private, Meghan may be sending a message to the world that “her baby, even though it’s born into a very public family – one of the most public in the world – is not a public baby. ‘This is our baby and we’ll let you see this baby when we’re ready to show you.’”

Whenever Harry and Meghan decide to introduce the new royal arrival, the world will be ready and waiting.