With Just Weeks Until Her Due Date, Meghan Markle Made A Surprise Public Appearance For Charity

Images: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images / Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Meghan Markle is pregnant – and that the baby is due between late April and early May 2019. Yet the Duchess of Sussex still shows up at public engagements from time to time. In March 2019, for instance, Meghan made a surprise appearance at an event where her husband, Prince Harry, was giving a speech. And needless to say, the duchess got everybody talking.

Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

This should come as no surprise by now, though. After all, Meghan has had a worldwide following ever since she and Harry announced their engagement in November 2017. In many ways, in fact, the duchess is seen as a breath of fresh air for the British royal family – given that she is American, biracial and a divorcée. Meghan even wore a daring sheer dress for one of her official engagement photos.

Image: Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Images

It goes almost without saying, then, that Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May 2018 was one of the most exciting events of the year. Her fans watched breathlessly for Meghan’s first appearance as a bride, in fact. There had been, after all, lots of speculation about her wedding dress. In the end, then, the duchess wore a boat-necked dress created by Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of Givenchy.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan’s white veil was also quite spectacular. Yet even more than that, the accessory hinted towards what the duchess’ future as a royal would be like. You see, the flowers on the five-meter-long veil represented each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, which form an important part of Meghan’s work as a duchess.

Image: CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

In fact, Meghan started doing diplomatic and charitable work shortly after the wedding. Her first solo project, for instance, came in September 2018. This event helped launch a charity cookbook in aid of survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster, which had seen 72 people killed and a further 70+ wounded. And the people who worked with the duchess praised her efforts.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan, a self-described feminist, has also seemingly taken special interest in companies that empower women. The official royal website, for example, highlights the duchess’ endeavors as the UN Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership. And in addition to this, Meghan has visited a U.K. charity that helps women leave sex work and has even taken a patronage at women’s employment charity Smart Works.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Her husband, Harry, is also equally determined to try and make the world a better place. And as an ex-solider, the prince seems particularly keen on projects that help wounded service personnel. One such endeavor is the Invictus Games, a sporting competition for injured soldiers that started in 2014.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: DARREN ENGLAND/AFP/Getty Images

Soon, though, Harry and Meghan will have one more thing added to their busy schedules. Yes, their first child will be along shortly – and then their entire lives will change. This is an occasion that has been eagerly awaited by the public ever since Kensington Palace announced the happy news back in October 2018.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images

“Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019,” Kensington Palace announced on Instagram at the time. “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

It must certainly have been joyful news for Meghan and Harry, as the couple had spoken about their desire for children even before their marriage. In their post-engagement interview with the BBC in November 2017, in fact, the pair were asked about the possibility of kids. Harry replied, “You know, one step at a time. Hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images

On the day that the baby is born, though, there will likely be multiple protocols to follow. According to royal tradition, for instance, the Queen should be the first person to know about the new arrival. Reportedly, Prince William even called his grandmother on an encrypted phone after the birth of his first child, Prince George.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

And after the Queen is informed of a safe delivery, the official statements will likely start to roll out. The royals now have their own Instagram account, which is followed by millions, so it will make sense to put an announcement on there too. The news also needs to be sent to the media, which will be waiting intently.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images

There’s also a more archaic tradition that normally takes place around the same time. For this, an official notice including the details of the birth as well as signatures from the doctors attending the mother is placed on a golden easel outside Buckingham Palace. This routine took place for all of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children: George, Charlotte and Louis.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

But that’s not all that Harry and Meghan have to think about. That’s because, once the baby is born, there’s the matter of whether the child will have a royal title or not. Regardless of gender, you see, the baby will be seventh in line to the throne. This means that he or she won’t necessarily get a “prince” or “princess” title.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Royal titles can be a complex issue, in fact. For instance, the oldest son of a duke – which is what Harry is – is entitled to use one of his father’s “lesser” titles. So if Harry and Meghan’s first child is a boy, he would be known as the “Earl of Dumbarton,” which is one of the subsidiary titles Harry got from his grandmother on the day he married.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

If the baby is female, though, she would most likely get the title of “Lady” with her last name being Mountbatten-Windsor. But there’s also the question of whether Harry and Meghan would want their child to have a royal title at all. Princess Anne rejected titles for her children, for example, so they are known as simply Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

But whether or not the royal baby gets a royal title, he or she will most likely have a lot of names anyway. Generally, you see, royals have three or four monikers – even though they’re usually only referred to by their first names. So there’s understandably a great deal of speculation over what the child will be called. Usually royals stick to traditional-sounding first names, of course, but Meghan and Harry could always go in another direction.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images

Despite all this, though, Harry and Meghan reportedly want their baby to be raised in as normal an environment as possible. William and Kate are also trying to do a similar thing with Prince George, who may one day be crowned monarch of the United Kingdom. Reportedly, they haven’t even told George that kinghood may lie in his future.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga – Pool/Getty Images

As far as anybody knows, then, Meghan and Harry will live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor with their new baby. Frogmore is a quiet and relatively modest country house (by royal standards), so the royals could expect a little privacy. Yet the child will still have an envy-inducing life. They’ll be sent to the best school possible, for one thing, and they’ll eventually get to travel the whole world with their parents too.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images

But that’s all for the future. In the here and now, then, Meghan had her baby shower in February 2019 – and apparently it was a very impressive one. The duchess’ A-list friends, who include Serena Williams and Amal Clooney, were there. And it was held in Manhattan’s Upper East Side at the Mark Hotel, which commands up to $75,000 a night.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Adrian Edwards/GC Images/Getty Images

Gayle King was also at the party, and she shared a tiny tidbit with CBS’ This Morning afterwards. She said, “[Meghan] didn’t open any of the gifts because she wants to do that when she and Harry are back together. So I really don’t know what everybody got. I think I got something I think is very nice.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

So everything is in place for the much-anticipated birth of the child. But Meghan isn’t relaxing in the privacy of her own home just yet – even though she could if she so desired. That’s because in March 2019 the duchess made a surprise appearance at an event called WE Day, which took place at the SSE Arena in London.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

The WE Charity is devoted to ending child labor and supporting development around the world. So WE Day, the organization’s website explains, “fills stadiums around the world with the greatest celebration of social good.” Major figures including celebrities and world leaders all take part, and for the 2019 event, Harry made a speech.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

“It’s a great privilege to be back in this exciting, buzzing space, this time as President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, a platform we created for you where your ideas and creativity will be taken seriously,” Harry told the audience. “Because it’s you [who] are making the most impact in your communities.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

“I am proud to stand before you and see you just as enthusiastic as I remembered,” Harry continued. “To be amongst all of you progressive, motivated, open minded, change-makers is what gives me hope for the future. Your optimism is inspiring. You see opportunities where other people see challenges; you seek solutions when others just focus on problems.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

“You care about values, doing the right thing and championing the causes that will shape your future,” Harry told the people listening to him speak. “You don’t judge someone based on how they look, where they’re from or how they identify. In this room, you see the world for what it is: vibrant, colorful, mixed and full of promise.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Harry went on to talk about mental health, which is something he’s focused on throughout his humanitarian work. He has even confessed to suffering mental health issues as a young adult – due to the traumatic death of his mother, Princess Diana. Eventually, and with the help of his brother, Harry sought counseling to help him cope.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

So, at this event, Harry praised the audience for “helping to normalize the conversation” about mental health. He continued, “Mental illness is about recovery; mental health is about consciousness; mental fitness is about well-being. To be happy is to be mindful: mindful of your feelings, mindful of your surroundings, and mindful of the 7.7 billion other humans that inhabit this planet.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

Harry then spoke about the environment and the threat of climate change. He added, “We’ve been far too slow in waking up to the issues and acting on the damaging impact our ways of living are having on the world. We now have the facts, the science, the technology and the ability to save not just our planet but ourselves.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

Harry also praised the people at WE Day for the work they are doing. The Duke of Sussex continued, “We are all inter-connected. You in this room understand that and are already making this a safer, healthier and more resilient home for all of us and for generations to come. If we look at the world we’re living in, I know it can feel challenging sometimes, but your role is to shine the light.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Then Harry mentioned Meghan. He said, “You confidently voice your opinions because you can embrace them proudly. As my wife often reminds me with one of her favorite quotes by Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

Harry concluded his speech with a “to-do list” directed at the audience. He went on, “Be braver, be kind to each other [and] be kind to yourselves.” Then, as he reached the end, he announced to the audience, “I am now going to try and drag my wife onstage.” Yep, it turned out that Meghan had been watching the whole thing.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

Meghan then came out to join her husband. She was very visibly pregnant, of course, and the crowd immediately cheered and clapped for her. And while Meghan didn’t say anything, her body language spoke volumes. She held Harry’s hand and leaned on him. The Prince then added, “Guys, I am with you and we are with you. Get to work.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

This marked the first time that Meghan had joined Harry at a WE Day event, but the spirit of the occasion is something that would be very much up the duchess’ street. The charity does lots of things to inspire new families to work within their communities, for one thing. And Meghan is, of course, about to start a family.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Meghan’s choice of fashion for the event caused plenty of comments too. She was wearing a pair of maternity trousers, which, according to website What Meghan Wore, were most likely Rag & Bone Maternity denim skinny jeans. And for footwear, the duchess wore black suede Manolo Blahnik shoes, a mainstay of her wardrobe.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Meghan also wore gold rings and bracelets from Pippa Smalls. And her equestrian-style blue blazer was from the Ralph Lauren Collection line. That particular piece is apparently made from 100 percent cashmere with a lining of silk, and it would have set Meghan back nearly $3,000, if she’d bought it herself. Of course, it could have also been a present.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: John Phillips/Getty Images

And Meghan was certainly wearing one present at the event. This was a necklace created by Jennifer Meyer that, sweetly, displays the word “Mummy.” It’s made from 18-carat gold and hangs on a 14-carat gold chain. Meghan has been spotted wearing it before, and it was reportedly a gift from somebody at the baby shower – although no one yet knows who.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty Images

Meghan was also wearing items of jewelry that were very in-keeping with the event. On her left arm, for instance, she sported a WE Minga bracelet. These are sold via the WE.org site and are “inspired by weaving traditions in the Amazon.” According to the organization, too, every piece bought helps build new classrooms and schools.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Meghan’s second WE bracelet is called a “Semiprecious Tamaa Bracelet in Rose Quartz.” The website describes the ethically mined piece as “the perfect gift to share love with someone you care about.” And sales from that one go towards supporting health education – a cause Meghan is passionate about.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

So it’s a very exciting time for Meghan and Harry. In fact, Harry could have been talking about his child when he claimed to be hopeful for the future thanks to all of those people attending the WE event. And indeed, the baby may too give similar speeches one day.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT