The royal baby countdown is well and truly on, and as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prepare to welcome their first child, we take a look at the rumours that have been whirling over the past six months. Everything under the sun has been reported, from Meghan expecting twins to the former actress supposedly planning a home birth. Read on to see the royal baby myths debunked…
Is Meghan Markle having twins?
As soon as the Duchess started to show, one of the first rumours that spread like wildfire was that Meghan is having twins. The speculation was so rife that in November, Paddy Power had to suspend their bets on twins after they saw an unusual surge from punters. But it's safe to say that Meghan is having one child; the palace's official statement read: "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."
Harry and Meghan are expecting their baby in the next few weeks
Is Meghan Markle planning a home birth or a water birth?
As she reached her third trimester, the rumour surrounding Meghan was that she was planning a home birth – just like her grandmother-in-law the Queen. Meghan had supposedly "read up on natural-birthing techniques including hypnobirthing" and was even considering a home delivery. However, it's highly unlikely that Meghan will be planning a home birth for her first child. She is expected to give birth at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, or Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, near her country home in Windsor.
Is Meghan Markle having a doula?
A strong hint that Meghan is not planning a home birth is when her rumoured doula Lauren Mishcon denied the reports. Mother-of-three Lauren had supposedly been hired by Meghan to assist her on the day and had even been giving Prince Harry tips on how to help his wife during labour. But Lauren told The Jewish Chronicle: "It's the result of a Facebook joke on my personal page and a very tenuous connection between my husband's grandfather and Princess Diana. The more I deny it, the more people believe it." Lauren had joked on a Doula UK members' website message board that she was "busy in spring" and "could not possibly say" why.
Was Meghan Markle pregnant at her wedding?
After Meghan walked down the aisle in her Givenchy wedding gown, some fans claimed the dress was loosely fitted around her stomach to accommodate for her growing baby bump. But the rumour couldn't be further from the truth. If Meghan was pregnant at her wedding on 19 May 2018, she would have definitely given birth by now.
Is Meghan Markle due earlier than we thought?
During her tour of Australasia last autumn, one well-wisher who met Meghan claimed that she was further along than she actually was. Singer Missy Higgins met the royal in Sydney in late October, and after their meeting, she took to Instagram to write: "What an honour to meet the beautiful Duchess today! She was such a sweetheart. I said I felt sorry for her having to do all these meet-and-greets while 4 months pregnant!" This would have put Meghan's due date at the end of March, but the mum-to-be has actually revealed she is due at the end of April or early May.
The Duchess doesn't know her baby's gender
Does Meghan Markle know her baby's gender?
Fans appear to be convinced that Prince Harry and Meghan are having a girl, but the royals have always insisted they are keeping their firstborn's gender a surprise. During a visit to Merseyside, Meghan told one well-wisher that she didn't know what she was having, but noted that everyone seems to have a "strong opinion".
Will Meghan Markle raise her child gender-neutral?
One report that the palace vehemently denied was that Harry and Meghan are planning to raise their child gender-neutral. An article in Vanity Fair made the claim, with sources stating that the former actress had used the word "fluid" to describe her plans. The magazine noted that there are "multiple possible interpretations" behind the claims. But a palace spokesman said: "This story is totally false."