Meghan Markle ‘feels sorry’ for Kate Middleton over forced baby photos


Baby Sussex — the soon-to-be-born child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — will be seventh in line for the throne. But don’t expect this child to be anything less than a prince or princess.

Although Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, Princess Anne, opted for her children (and, therefore, grandchildren) not to bear such royal honorifics, sources told The Post that Meghan likely won’t give up the lofty title.

“All royal ranks are at the Queen’s discretion and Princess Anne set an interesting precedent by choosing to raise her children without any royal titles at all,” said Patrick Jephson, the former chief aide to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. “[But] my guess is that Harry and Meghan’s child will already be a prince or princess by the time we see the first photo.”

According to friends of Meghan’s, who agree the baby will almost certainly be bestowed a title, the California-born actress and her husband have opted not to find out if they are having a boy or a girl.

The tot will also have dual nationality, as the first British royal to meet the criteria for US citizenship.

Meghan is reportedly planning a home birth and without the Queen’s household doctors, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, widely considered to be among the best in the business. The duchess will, however, have a helicopter on standby at the Sussexes’ new Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, should she need to rush to a local hospital.

Since her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, the former “Suits” star has rewritten the royal rule book: from walking herself partway down the matrimonial aisle to not planning to pose for public photos shortly after giving birth — and even waiting to announce the baby’s arrival.

In fact, one friend of Meghan’s told The Post that the duchess, a committed feminist, actually “felt sorry” for her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, having to face the world’s media — while wearing a dress, heels and impeccable hair and makeup — mere hours after giving birth.

Instead, Meghan and Harry released a statement, reading in part: “Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”

It’s expected they will pose for a photo call at Windsor Castle on their own schedule.

“They’re basically conducting the birth in virtual secrecy. I think it’s a bit foolish,” said Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor at The Sun. “Harry absolutely hates being the subject of speculation, and this just shows his petulance to the media . . . it’s just a shame.”

Friends said that Meghan wants to emulate the warm mothering she received from her yoga-teacher mom, Doria Ragland, who has already left her Los Angeles home to be on hand for the birth.

A friend of the family told The Post: “Meghan and Doria are like two peas in a pod. Both perfectionists, both can be controlling, but they know their own minds for sure! They just like things the way they like them. Everyone in the family says that when they’re together, Harry — who is extremely fond of Doria — will have to take a back seat. He won’t be able to get a word in edgewise.”

Meanwhile, a friend of Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, said the former “Married With Children” lighting director, who has been in ill health recently, is “devastated” at the prospect of never meeting his grandchild.

The father and daughter infamously fell out just days before the wedding when it was revealed Markle had been staging and selling ­paparazzi photos.

The friend said Thomas, who lives in the beach town of Rosarito, Mexico, “has spent the past year going over everything again and again in his head. He feels that the punishment does not fit the crime. He cannot understand why Meghan won’t talk to him. All he wants, all he dreams of, is meeting his grandchild. He is totally and utterly devastated.

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