Why People Are Talking About Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Zika Right Now
The speculation about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's plans to start a family began almost as soon as their relationship went public. They even addressed it in their first joint interview, when they sat down for the BBC on the day of their engagement. At the time, Harry s
And while any couple in their mid-thirties might recognize this as similar to the pressure they feel from foving—if overbearing—relatives, the public guessing game has reached a fever pitch in the months following their wedding and the beginning of the Duchess of Sussex's public life as a royal.
This week, the speculation turned to Harry and Meghan's upcoming royal tour of the Oceania region, as people looked for clues in their itinerary that might indicate something about the timing of their plans to start a family.
Richard Palmer, the royal correspondent for the Daily Express, reported that a British bookmaker had reduced the odds of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first child being born in 2019 to 1-4. He also said, "I believe women visiting areas affected by Zika are advised to wait up to six months before trying to get pregnant. That may be an issue in Fiji and Tonga."
For those unfamiliar with the mosquito-borne illness, Zika virus can cause microcephaly and other congenital anomalies in children when contracted by pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and their sexual partners. There is no vaccine for the
The National Travel Health Network and Centre, a group set up by the British Department of Health, recommends that pregnant women should avoid traveling to regions where Zika transmission is a risk, and couples who have traveled to said regions should "avoid conception while traveling and for up to 6 months on return."
The CDC is slightly less severe in its advice, recommending that the couple wait three months before trying to conceive.
Palmer's tweet echoed the issues raised by ITV's royal editor Chris Ship in a late August article titled "Why Harry and Meghan's big tour may affect the couple's plans to start a family."
Both Palmer and Ship make sound, factual observations about the risk of infection, but many on social media felt their posts went
"I hope that this isn’t what yourself & other reporters choose to focus on for this tour," wrote a fan account titled "Meghan and Her Prince." "Can we please step out of Meghan’s uterus? It’s really not our business."
The handle @geekygirl500005 also weighed in saying, "Chris wrote an article about the Zika virus and now everyone feels they have an opinion on Meghan’s uterus."
It's likely the conversation both about the risk of Zika in Fiji and Tonga and whether it is an appropriate topic for royal reporters to cover will continue in the weeks leading up to the royal tour.
Meghan and Harry fly to Australia on
See the full schedule below:
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.