A long-awaited event is finally here. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their first child together. Ever since the couple tied the knot in May 2018, royal family fans and the media eagerly awaited a sign that a baby might be on the way. An official announcement came in October of the same year: Harry and Meghan were expecting. And now that the historic birth has taken place, here’s a recap of everything that’s happened so far – and what’s yet to come.
Yes, Harry and Meghan have finally become parents and shown off their brand-new arrival to the world. Right from the day that the royal couple announced their engagement, though, everyone knew that they wanted to have kids eventually. When the pair did their post-engagement interview with the BBC, they were asked if they hoped to have children. And Harry answered, “One step at a time, and hopefully we will start a family in the near future.”
The pregnancy announcement came just before Harry and Meghan travelled to Australia in October 2018 for their first tour as a married couple – and now the big day has finally arrived. The official Kensington Palace Twitter account broke the news, stating, “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.”
Meghan and Harry also released a more personal message – one directed at their fans. “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,” the statement read.
In addition, Kensington Palace also released some statements about Harry and Meghan’s loved ones. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, for example, was “very happy about the lovely news, and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.” And as for Harry’s family, they’d apparently expressed their delight to the prince and Meghan when they’d all met up for Princess Eugenie’s marriage ceremony.
The official statement read, “The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge [were] delighted for the couple and were able to congratulate them at the wedding in person.” However, that little detail led to a minor controversy in the British press.
Some quarters of the media considered that by making the baby announcement at around the same time as Princess Eugenie’s wedding, Harry and Meghan had upstaged the bride. For instance, the Daily Mail pointed out that Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson – the mother of Eugenie – tweeted a picture of herself at the wedding merely a minute after the pregnancy announcement went live. Perhaps it was a coincidence – or maybe it was an expression of frustration.
An authority on etiquette named William Hanson spoke to The Daily Telegraph about the timing of the announcement. “Whether they are royal or not, they committed a faux pas. They did slightly upstage the bride, and that is a complete no-no,” he said. “I’m quite surprised, as Harry and Eugenie are supposed to be quite close. Perhaps she realised what was going to happen and was relaxed about it on the day. But many will think that the timing was off.”
The government of Australia nonetheless appeared thrilled to be hosting the newly pregnant duchess. “What fantastic news! Australia is thrilled for you both,” tweeted Australian prime minister Scott Morrison. “Looking forward to sharing in the joy during your stay down under.” Other prominent politicians likewise sent good wishes.
There was a little bit of consternation about whether Meghan should be travelling while pregnant, however. Some of the places she and Harry were stopping off at were known to contain the Zika virus, for example, which is typically transmitted via mosquitos. The condition can affect the baby’s development in the womb, the implications of which might be serious.
An expert on the matter spoke to People about these medical concerns. “I’m sure that [Harry and Meghan] will have sought travel health advice in terms of protective methods in terms of mosquito bites,” said Professor James G. Logan, head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “There is a lot you can do to minimize risks.”
And Meghan continued to attend royal engagements as her pregnancy progressed. In December 2018 she was at the usual Christmas events, for example, including going to the Christmas Day service with the other royals. Prior to that, Meghan went to a care home to meet residents and with a smile admitted that she was feeling “very pregnant.”
Apparently, Harry and Meghan might have chosen to not learn the gender of their baby while it was still in the womb. Indeed, during the Australian tour, when the Duke and Duchess met members of the public at the Invictus Games, someone in the crowd shouted to Harry “Congratulations, I hope it’s a girl!” And Harry was heard responding, “So do I!”
And on the third day of their tour, the Duke and Duchess met with schoolchildren from Melbourne. Naturally, the kids had lots of questions about the future baby, including what Meghan and Harry might name it. “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone. We’re going to sit down and have a look at them,” Meghan reportedly said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
What’s more, Harry’s father, Prince Charles, has had a few words to say on the subject as well. While attending an event at Australia House in November 2018, Charles made a joke about potential names. “My son Harry tells me that during their recent tour of Australia, he and his wife were offered countless thoughtful suggestions for the naming of their forthcoming baby,” he said.
“Just between us, I suspect that Kylie and Shane may possibly make the shortlist,” Charles continued. “But, ladies and gentlemen, I would not hold your breath for Edna or Les.” That was most definitely a joke, but an unusual, modern name was certainly on the cards. That’s because Meghan once reportedly wrote on her lifestyle blog that she liked the name “Grey.”
When the baby shower for Meghan took place, the media eagerly observed events to see if they could discern any details about the new arrival. Unfortunately for the press, though, Meghan and her friends kept a very tight lid on things. Even the cookies at the wedding were green and white – not pink or blue, which might have given the game away.
Meghan’s baby shower wasn’t your typical one, however. After all, the guest list included big names such Amal Clooney and Serena Williams, and the cost was reported in excess of $500,000. Meghan’s maternity wear wasn’t average, either. Fashionistas noticed that her pregnancy outfits were a far cry from what most mothers-to-be would sport.
Meghan’s maternity wardrobe wasn’t cheap, either. Reportedly, she splashed out more than seven times the amount that her sister-in-law Kate Middleton had done on her maternity clothes. Meghan’s ensembles almost always met with approval, however. And her impact on fashion sales – the Meghan Effect – still can’t be denied.
Throughout her pregnancy, Meghan mostly opted for bespoke outfits from designers she liked. “I think what it comes down to is there is a mindset, especially among some in the fashion community, that maternity clothes can be frumpy or dowdy,” fashion journalist Elizabeth Holmes told Town & Country in March 2019.
“The problem is that maternity wear and maternity bodies are a specialty in the fashion world, and understanding the dynamics of a changing figure and how each bump sits differently can pose tailoring problems,” Holmes continued. “And I think we’ve see some of that with Meghan.”
One of Meghan’s go-to fashion lines during her maternity period was Hatch. In January 2019 she was spotted wearing a black “Eliza” dress from the label while calling in at the offices of a charity. “It was the first time she had come out in something that really showed off her belly,” the CEO of Hatch, Ariane Goldman, told Town & Country.
Meghan wearing Hatch was a massive boon for the company, of course. “You cannot pay for global press the way that this story hit,” Goldman admitted. “It’s been incredible. We sold out of the Eliza dress within three days. Then, we relaunched it again because we had so much demand, and we sold out again.”
Meghan’s pregnancy had an unexpected impact on other companies as well. Fans of the Duchess started a campaign on Twitter, for example, to raise money for charities supported by Meghan. Moreover, on Mother’s Day in the UK the hashtag #GlobalSussexBabyShower was created, and it had a truly impressive effect.
One such charity was Camfed, or the Campaign for Female Education, an organization that focuses on improving the education of young African females. “We are still blown away by the response to the #GlobalSussexBabyShower! We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity,” Camfed tweeted on their official account.
Another charity that received support was Wellchild. “We have been surprised and delighted by the donations from supporters of #globalsussexbabyshower,” chief executive Colin Dyer admitted in a statement. “It’s great that an online outpouring of goodwill can lead to practical help for children with serious illness and their families.”
And Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy also brought something special for the Instagram social media network. In April 2019 the Duke and Duchess made their first post on Instagram under the username @sussexroyal, and they immediately created a new record for the site by gaining in excess of a million followers in less than six hours.
One of Harry and Meghan’s first posts was to thank their fans. “What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday,” read the message. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child.”
And on Monday, May 6, 2019, the wait was finally over. Yes, the couple finally broke the news to the impatient world that they had become parents that morning. Standing outside of Windsor Castle’s stables, Harry gave the monuments announcement to the press – in a moment that will undoubtedly be remembered for generations.
When Harry revealed that his and Meghan’s child had arrived – and that the new arrival is a boy – he was visibly delighted. “I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy earlier this morning – a very healthy boy,” the duke told the gathered cameras. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well.” And on a personal note, he added, “It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.”
Plus, Buckingham Palace released an official announcement stating the baby’s weight, which is 7 pounds and 3 ounces. The Palace also revealed who was by Harry and Meghan’s sides at the time. “The duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage,” the statement explained.
Meanwhile, Meghan is reportedly estranged from her father, Thomas Markle, but he nonetheless spoke to The Sun about the birth. “I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family, and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity and honour,” he said.
Many celebrities and politicians expressed their congratulations to Harry and Meghan, too, including Michelle Obama, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Ellen DeGeneres and Meghan’s old Suits co-star Patrick J Adams. A birth announcement was also placed outside Buckingham Palace. “The Queen and the Royal Family are delighted at the news that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 5:26 am today,” it read.
On May 8, Harry and Meghan finally gave the waiting world the first glimpse of their new son – and the moment was beyond adorable. Naturally, though, speculation had been growing as to what the royal child might be called. After it was revealed that the baby is a boy, “Edward” “Arthur” and “Philip” quickly became the favorites among bookmakers. But now, the winner has finally been announced.
That’s right: Meghan and Harry’s adorable son has finally been given a name. An official Instagram post on May 8 revealed, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first-born child Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.” Welcome to the world, Archie!
The journey to parenthood has no doubt been an exciting one for Harry and Meghan. But now that their baby boy is born, people are wondering about the future. Where will Archie be raised, for instance? Actually, that question has already been answered: the family are moving to a royal property called Frogmore Cottage.
In April 2019 an anonymous source informed Entertainment Tonight about the housing arrangements. “The extensive gardens at Frogmore Cottage will offer Baby Sussex freedom from the paparazzi to play outdoors and enjoy a wonderful childhood,” they said. Indeed, Harry has often spoken of his dislike for press intrusion.
The anonymous person went on to say that the Duke and Duchess “couldn’t be more excited about starting their life together with their new baby and are keen that their child will be able to enjoy their privacy away from the goldfish bowl.” And royalty expert Katie Nicholl added to Entertainment Tonight that “Harry is very keen for Baby Sussex to be brought up in the countryside, but he is also keen to strike out on his own.”
There is also the question now of where Meghan and Harry’s child might be educated once he grows older. Well, in February 2019 E! News reported that the Duke and Duchess were mulling over having Archie attend ACS Egham International School in Surrey, a private establishment that has an American curriculum.
An anonymous source told E! News that Harry and Meghan “are thought to want a more diverse education for their son.” The Duchess herself would probably be willing to break with tradition, it seems. “Meghan is also keen for her child to be fully aware of his or her American heritage,” the source continued. Kensington Palace, however, hasn’t commented.
There’s also the matter of Archie’s godparents, of course. And this is a complicated matter in royal circles. While a lot of regular folks choose brothers and sisters to be godparents of their child, royals generally don’t. For example, although Harry’s brother, William, has three children with Kate Middleton, Harry isn’t godfather to one of them.
It’s thought that Meghan’s friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney might be asked to be Archie’s godmother. UK betting agencies think so too. “It seems almost certain that Jessica Mulroney will play a huge part in the life of Meghan and Harry’s family, so much so that we make her firmly odds on to be named as godmother to their first child,” Harry Aitkenhead of being website Coral told the Daily Express in March 2019.
However, most royal children have several godparents, so Archie may end up with more than one famous person in his orbit. “Meghan’s showbiz past means that she has a whole host of high-profile celebrity friends, and you can’t rule out some of them being named as a godparent, with Serena [Williams] and Oprah [Winfrey] among the options,” said Aitkenhead.
As for Meghan and Harry’s choice godparents and other important details about their newborn that are yet to come, all we can do is wait and see. For now, though, we wish Archie and his parents all the best for the exciting adventure ahead of them. And it’s safe to say that we’ll be staring at the adorable photographs for days!