Yes, it has already been a month since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle presented baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world at Windsor Castle, ending months of feverish anticipation from an eager public desperate to lay eyes on the new royal baby.
Since then, Prince Harry and Meghan have made sure that their firstborn’s first weeks have been resolutely private while they adapt to parenthood. Two days after his birth, Meghan told the waiting press that Archie was "magic." So it’s no surprise the following weeks have been equally special, and it appears that Harry and Meghan have been determined to do things without any outside help.
According to royal biographer Katie Nicholl, the couple have been fully embracing parenthood in their own specific and independent way, and have eschewed the usual "armies of help" offered to royal families in favor of a more hands-on approach. "They’re totally embracing the ups and downs of parenting," Katie tells Grazia. "In the first few weeks they didn’t have a night nurse or a maternity nurse, so they’ve both had unstructured sleep. Meghan is breastfeeding, Harry’s been changing [diapers], so like most new parents, they’re both heavily involved and sleep-deprived."
This was a very conscious decision by the royal couple who, Katie says, have been clear that they don’t want an "entourage" around them at their private residence, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. "They wanted to be hands-on parents, so they’re doing it without an army of staff," she adds. Despite the Sussexes’ lack of help, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who flew in from LA before the birth, was on-hand during Archie’s first weeks. "They really relied on Doria, who stayed in the main house," she says.
Meghan’s approach to motherhood, according to Katie, has been holistic and natural and she has embraced the idea of a "fourth trimester" — which starts from the moment the baby is born and lasts until it is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as they adjust to their new world outside your womb. Katie explains, "Meghan read up on this concept before Archie was born." As part of this approach, visitors were allegedly kept to a minimum during Archie’s first weeks; though the royals, including Prince William and Kate, Prince Charles and Camilla, and the queen and Prince Philip, were among the first to meet their new family member.
"They wanted to keep visitors few and far between," Katie added. "They wanted time to settle and to be together as a new family before they opened the doors to others." When Doria returned to LA last week, however, it was time for some of Meghan’s friends to meet Archie. Jessica Mulroney — her closest friend — immediately flew over from Toronto to lend a hand. Jessica reportedly shared an Instagram of her daughter Ivy in a toy store in Windsor, prompting speculation that they were shopping for Archie (to add to his existing hoard of presents, which includes an inscribed polo mallet from Harry’s team, a mere library full of books from Oprah Winfrey, and a $250 Tiffany & Co sterling silver bubble blower from Priyanka Chopra and husband Nick Jonas).
Serena Williams, who is another close friend of the duchess, is also believed to have visited Meghan with her husband, Alexis Ohanian, and their one-year-old daughter, Olympia. The tennis star shared an Instagram thought to be taken in a state room at Windsor. "Meghan’s got a very tight-knit group of girlfriends," Katie added. "Jessica and Serena are both mothers, so they’re in a really good position to advise her."
As Grazia has previously reported, Meghan and Harry have been determined to make their own decisions and build their own set of rules when it comes to their new family life, which has been criticized in the press (even their choice of buggy was deemed "too modern", because Meghan had "shunned" the classic Silver Cross brand that has been used by the royals for generations).
As the weeks have passed, however, and their lives are adjusting to their new arrival, Harry has returned to work (even making an official visit to the Netherlands the week after Archie was born). What is clear is that Harry and Meghan are finding their groove as new parents, and they are doing it their way, in their own happy, private bubble.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia.