LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, gave birth to a boy on Monday (May 6).
The baby, who has not yet been named, was born in the early hours of the morning weighing 3.2kg. Both Meghan and the baby, the couple’s first child, were healthy and well, the palace said.
“How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the lovely support from everybody out there,” a smiling Prince Harry told reporters in Windsor, west of London where the couple live.
“It was amazing, absolutely incredible. As I say, I am so incredibly proud of my wife and, as every father and parent would ever say your baby is absolutely amazing, this little baby is absolutely to die for.”
In a formal announcement on their official Instagram account, the royal couple thanked "members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives". They said more details will be shared in the coming days.
Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, was present for the birth and Ms Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, was also with the couple at their home, Frogmore Cottage, on the estate of Windsor Castle where they married in May last year.
The Queen and other members of the royal family were delighted by the news, the palace said. Prime Minister Theresa May sent congratulations. “Wishing you all the best at this happy time,” she told the royal couple on Twitter.
Mr Thomas Markle, Meghan's father, said on Monday that he was delighted at the birth of his grandson, and spoke of his pride that the child would serve the British royal family, the Sun newspaper reported.
“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. “God bless the child and I wish him health and happiness, and my congratulations to my lovely daughter Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry, and God save the Queen.”
The baby is the eighth great grandchild of the 93-year-old queen, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, and could be entitled to hold joint British and American citizenship according to nationality rules.
However, the child will not automatically be a prince or a princess and any such title would have to be bestowed by the Queen by issuing what is known as a letter patent.
Albert, Philip, Arthur and James are the favourite names for the child, according to bookmakers.
Britain’s royal family attracts huge media interest but the younger members, especially Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, a US-born former actress, are treated like Hollywood superstars.
Unlike Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate, who posed for massed photographers outside a London hospital just hours after their three children were born, Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to take part in only a limited photo call in the grounds of Windsor Castle, within a few days of the birth. The couple have previously said they intended to keep the plans for the arrival of the new royal private.
For some, the child’s birth will represent a significant moment for the monarchy, becoming the first mixed-race baby born into a senior position in British royalty, according to royal experts.
“It’s symbolic of a more modern monarchy. It appeals to people across the world,” royal biographer Claudia Joseph told Reuters. “They will be able to identify with the royal family as never before.”
Others note however that Meghan, whose mother is African-American and father is white, has been the target of racist commentary on social media.