While there's been considerable effort to keep Meghan Markle's exact due date under wraps, we know that the Duchess of Sussex is set to give birth sometime in April.
You might think that as a mom-to-be and a new member of the world's most famous family, Meghan would be enjoying unprecedented popularity with the press in her adopted home, particularly given the way she devoted herself to service these past nine months.
But as a new report from Vanity Fair points out, Meghan continues to suffer abuse and degradation from the British media that no other royal has been forced to endure.
The vitriol spewed at Meghan has drawn comparisons to the negative treatment of Sarah Ferguson, Kate Middleton, and even Princess Diana, but royal historian tells VF that the coverage of Meghan “is much more of an attack.”
“It’s a pile-on," Koenig says.
“You see it in the reporting about Meghan, but people don’t want to speak honestly about the real issue: they don’t believe a black woman has a place in the royal family,” says journalist Maiysha Kai.
“There is this sense that she’s never going to be enough.”
For evidence of this troubling phenomenon, one need look no further than mainstream publications like the Daily Mail, which ran a headline reading “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” shortly after the world learned of Harry and Meghan's relationship.
That sort of coverage prompted Harry to issue a statement to the press decrying their bigoted treatment of his then-girlfriend.
It's also the sort of coverage that's contributed to an environment in which Meghan is targeted by racists, necessitating an increase in security around Kensington Palace and Frogmore Cottage.
Despite the obvious impact of this unbalanced treatment in the media, journalists such as The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey remain “adamant that race has not been a factor in press coverage.”
According to Vanity Fair, Meghan's treatment in the press took a turn for the worse after she announced her pregnancy in October of 2018.
Whereas Kate's pregnancy prompted "royal baby mania," Meghan stood accused of "showing off" her bump and stealing the focus at royal engagements.
Perhaps even worse, news of an increasingly ugly feud between Meghan and Kate came to dominate headlines and promote the deeply damaging "angry black woman" narrative that's tainted coverage of Meghan from the time she became a royal.
The causes of this malicious treatment run deep, and they affect far more than just the way Meghan is perceived by the British public.
We would like to hold out hope that perhaps the duchess will receive more equitable treatment once she gives birth.
But nothing that we've seen so far gives us any cause for optimism.