For as long as they've been reigning England, it seems, the royals have truly captured the hearts and imaginations of a loyal public fanbase around the world. So, it's no surprise that since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, people have been freaking out, to say the least, wanting to know every last detail of their lives together and what their future holds. One particular question on everyone's minds is this: Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's kids have red hair? How likely is it that they will be the proud parents of a royal ginger — or even multiple royal redheads?
Well, I'm here to tell you that the possibility of a few fire-haired kiddos within their potential pack of kids all depends on a variety of genetic factors, and all in all, it's kind of a crapshoot as to the color of their hair.
The thing about having red hair is that the gene that causes this color is recessive, which is what makes it so much more rare than a mane of black, brown, blonde, or something in between.
It also depends on how much red hair is already present in the bloodlines of both Windsor and Markle.
The more red hair present in the families, of course, the greater the possibility it's going to show up in their children. Markle has a mixed racial heritage, and while the mutated gene that makes red hair is somewhat less common in people of color, it is a gene that can express itself within anyone who has the particular sets of DNA that result in reddish locks.
And again, to explain further, the whole red-hair-as-a-recessive-gene thing — what does that mean, exactly?
Well, a recessive trait, genetically speaking, is a characteristic that can be masked by a dominant gene.
In order for a recessive gene to express itself, it must, in one way or another, be present in the genes in the DNA of both parents. If a trait, like hair or eye color, is passed directly from one parent to a child, it usually means that the trait being passed is a dominant one. But if the trait skips generations (as red hair often does), or seems to happen at random within a bloodline, then the chances are much more likely that the trait is recessive.
Basically, a person's DNA is a kind of recipe or set of instructions in your genes. It has all the components and directions on making up how you look, and even how you behave. Every gene holds within it the directions to comprise a particular part of you, like your hair color, or even your tendency toward having a disease.
Oftentimes, a collection of genes need to sort of band together in order to result in a particular trait, and keep in mind, you get copies of genes from both of your parents — like, you get copies of genes for your hair color from both parents. And yes, some genes are more dominant than others, and the dominant traits usually, you know, dominate.
So, if brown hair is a dominant trait, and if brown-haired genes are present with the red-haired gene, it's more likely that brown hair will result.
But the red-haired gene will get stronger the more it is present in both bloodlines. And, interestingly enough, those who are well-versed in genetics are able to predict with relative accuracy the likelihood of a child having particular genes if they look back in the family trees of both parents.
Now, we know Prince Harry is not a total loner in the red-haired department, since his grandpa Prince Philip had red hair as a young man, but since I personally don't know if anyone on either side of Meghan Markle's family has red hair, it's hard to tell what the outcome will be for their potential future children.
So, again, the possibility of a redheaded royal baby might be slim, and the truest answer to our original question at this point, my friends, is that only time will tell.
Regardless of hair color, all we can really say is that, should Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose to have children one day, we hope those royal babies get showered with all the affection and love they deserve. Here's to many adorable, happy, healthy, and well-loved royal babies, no matter what their hair color may be!