Thursday 23 May 2019

It's a boy: Meghan and Prince Harry celebrate a new arrival

British royal baby latest: Baby Sussex is as yet unnamed

Meghan and Harry
Meghan and Harry
MODERN PARENTS: Meghan and Harry in March. Though Meghan is now overdue, Harry is taking off for the Netherlands next week for a couple of days on a ‘major diplomatic visit’. Picture: Reuters

Meghan Markle has had a baby boy, her husband Britain's Prince Harry has confirmed.

The latest member of the British Royal Family arrived a little overdue.

The baby boy is seventh in line to the throne, and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's eighth great-grandchild.

He has not yet been named.

Speaking from Windsor, the Duke of Sussex said: "I'm very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy this morning, a very healthy baby boy."

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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks to members of the media at Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 6, 2019, following the announcement that his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a son. - PIC: STEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images

Harry joked he hasn't "been at many births" but added, "It was amazing, absolutely incredible and as I said, I'm so incredibly proud of my wife and as every father and parent would ever say your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for so I'm just over the moon."

He also stated that he and Meghan will face the media probably in two days time "as planned, as a family".

The new dad was beaming as he said, "It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.

Read more: Meghan believed to have revived royal home birth tradition

"How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we're both absolutely thrilled.

"We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there, it's been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody."

The official Buckingham Palace Statement reveals that the baby was "safely delivered" at 5.26am.

MODERN PARENTS: Meghan and Harry in March. Though Meghan is now overdue, Harry is taking off for the Netherlands next week for a couple of days on a ‘major diplomatic visit’. Picture: Reuters
MODERN PARENTS: Meghan and Harry in March. Though Meghan is now overdue, Harry is taking off for the Netherlands next week for a couple of days on a ‘major diplomatic visit’. Picture: Reuters

"The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz," it adds.

"The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth.

"The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news.

"The Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.

"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."

The name of the baby, which is seventh in line to the throne, will be announced at a later date.

Read more: Royal baby bumps Harry's uncle, the Duke of York, down a place in line of succession

The duke and duchess's Instagram account @SussexRoyal also announced the birth saying: "It's a boy! Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to announce the birth of their child."

Crowds of well-wishers have gathered outside Windsor Castle to celebrate the happy news.

Ahead of the birth, the duke and duchess made a personal decision to keep their arrangements private, amid speculation that they had opted for a home birth at their new home, Frogmore Cottage, close to the Queen's Windsor Castle home.

They have said they will only share the news of the baby's arrival once they have had a chance to celebrate privately as a family.

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Royal super fans John Loughery (C) pops the cork on a bottle of champagne, as they stand near Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 6, 2019, following the announcement that Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a son. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

The newest addition to the Windsor family will be a first cousin of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and a fourth grandchild for the Prince of Wales.

Baby Sussex's impending arrival comes less than a year after Harry married American former actress Meghan in a glittering ceremony in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Bookmakers will be waiting to see whether they have to pay out on the name, delivery date, and weight of the baby.

Read more: How social media plays a crucial role in the news of Baby Sussex

Predicted choices include Diana, Elizabeth, Alice, Isabella, Grace and Victoria for a girl and Arthur, Albert, Frederick, James, Charles and Philip for a boy.

A water birth or hypno-birthing would have been options open to ex-Suits star Meghan during labour.

Around two in 10 women giving birth in England use water or a birthing pool for coping with pain, with one in 10 delivering in the pool.

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Harry and Meghan. Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga/Pool via REUTERS

Meghan, who is an avid yoga fan, and Harry, who meditates each day, may have chosen to try hypnobirthing - pain management using a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques.

Royal births are usually also marked with the traditional custom of placing a framed paper proclamation on an ornate gold stand behind the iron railings of Buckingham Palace.

Meghan's pregnancy was confirmed by Kensington Palace on October 15 last year, just five months after the couple's wedding, and as they were about to start their first long-haul overseas tour.

Harry urged his wife to pace herself during the marathon 16-day trip to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.

The duchess pulled out of a meeting with Invictus competitors in Sydney after the Games opening ceremony overran by two hours the evening before.

Meghan has kept busy in the months that followed, announcing her first four patronages, and carrying out a steady stream of engagements, including an official visit to Morocco.

Read more: Chrissie Russell: 'There's something very uncomfortable about royal baby watch - no woman's womb should be up for public debate'

Celebrations ahead of the birth included an exclusive baby shower for the duchess in New York City, with the private jet journey and penthouse suite, reportedly funded by celebrity friends, said to have cost some £300,000.

Meghan was last seen on an official engagement on March 19 when she signed a book of condolence in London for victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

The baby will not be an HRH, or a prince or princess, unless the Queen steps in, because George V limited royal titles in 1917.

As a boy the baby will be able to use one of Harry's lesser titles and be known as the Earl of Dumbarton.

Read more: Sarah Caden: 'Royal sibling rivalry wrecks the Harry and Meghan baby buzz'

Press Association

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