Royal baby: 5 things to know about Meghan and Harry's first child

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in London on Feb 7, 2019. The royal baby was born in the early hours of the morning on May 6, 2019.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in London on Feb 7, 2019. The royal baby was born in the early hours of the morning on May 6, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

It's a boy! Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Britain's Prince Harry, gave birth on Monday (May 6).

The royal couple showed off their newborn son, who was wrapped in a white blanket and wearing a knit cap, on Wednesday.

Cradling his son, Harry appeared with Meghan before a small group of reporters at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle, where they held their wedding reception just under a year ago.

When asked how she was felt as a new mother, Meghan said: “It’s magic - it’s pretty amazing and I have the two best guys in the world so I am really happy.”

The couple later announced that they had named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. 

They visited the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle and Meghan’s mother, Ms Doria Ragland, was also present.

Here's what we know about the royal baby so far.

1. A BABY IS BORN

The royal baby was born at 5.26am London time (12.26pm Singapore time) on Monday. According to CNN, this was one minute after sunrise.

The baby weighs 3.2kg and both Markle and the child are healthy and well, Buckingham Palace said.

The Palace also said the location of the Duchess' delivery is "private".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had earlier said they were unlikely to release post-partum photographs and wanted to celebrate their baby's birth privately.

Prince Harry had also said that the public will see the baby only on Wednesday.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children (from left) Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George. PHOTO: AFP 

This is in sharp contrast with his brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, who had posed for the media outside a London hospital just hours after each of their three children was born.

2. THE HAPPY COUPLE

Prince Harry told reporters on Monday that "mother and baby are doing incredibly well".

Speaking after the birth, the Duke of Sussex said the child had been "a little overdue" and that he planned to make another announcement on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

When asked what it was like to be present at the birth of his son, he laughed and said: "I haven't been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. It was amazing, absolutely incredible and, as I said, I'm so incredibly proud of my wife."

"As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for, so I'm just over the moon," he added.

"It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined... How any woman does what she does is beyond comprehension."

The royal couple also thanked supporters on their official Instagram account, adding that more details would be shared in the forthcoming days.

Kensington Palace first confirmed that Prince Harry and American actress Markle had been dating "for a few months" in November 2016.

Almost exactly a year later, the two announced they were engaged to be married, and later confirmed the wedding would take place in May the next year.

On May 19, 2018, they were married in front of 600 guests at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The duchess's pregnancy was announced in October that year.

3. ARTHUR? EDWARD? THE ATLANTIC OCEAN?

Speculation had been rife about possible names for the new addition to the royal family, even as Prince Harry said that the royal couple were "still thinking about names".

 
 
 
 

"The baby's a little bit overdue so we've had a little bit of time to think about it, that's the next bit," he said on Monday during an interview in the royal mews of Windsor Castle.

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter had earlier told CBS that the pair may choose a name that has ties to both British and American history, British news outlet Daily Express reported.

"I don't have an inside track on the actual name, but I think when it comes to names we are looking at a very strong name because that is who Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are."

"But I also think we are going to see a name that works on both sides of the pond," she said.

Her observation has triggered several humorous social media responses.

In a tweet that now has more than 1,000 likes, London-based satirist Karl Sharro suggested "The Atlantic Ocean" as a possible name. The Atlantic Ocean separates Britain and the US.

Other suggestions include "Aluminium", an example of one of several words pronounced or spelled differently in American English ("Aluminum"), and "Ford Prefect", a fictional character in British author Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, named after the car model.

Bookmakers have named Arthur and Edward, as well as Philip (a nod to Harry's grandfather), among their top choices for the newborn.

British newspaper The Telegraph noted that the couple have more freedom with name choices given that the newborn is unlikely to be king.

In comparison, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave traditional names for their children, picking George for their firstborn, who is likely to be king in the future.

"They will most likely honour the grandparents within the middle names of the child," Ms Wendy Bosberry-Scott, spokesman for etiquette experts Debrett's, told CNN.

"For a boy, the names Arthur, George, Albert, David and Charles are favourites within the senior royals," she added.

4. SUCCESSION AND CITIZENSHIP

The new royal will not automatically be a prince.

The titles of prince and princess were restricted to senior members of the Royal Family historically by King George V, grandfather of Britain's current monarch, Elizabeth II.

The Queen has the power to overrule that decree, a power she exercised for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children.

The newborn is seventh in line to the throne, behind the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and his children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - and Prince Harry.

He is also the eighth great-grandchild of the 93-year-old queen, the world's longest-reigning monarch.

Markle and Harry's new son is also the first inter-racial baby born into the British royal family.

The baby is a dual citizen, having automatically acquired American citizenship via Markle at birth, according to the BBC.

5. WELL WISHERS


Members of the public taking photos as footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson bring out the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace to formally announce the birth of a baby boy to Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle in London, Britain, on May 6, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

Messages of congratulations have been streaming in for the royal couple, chief among them one from the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.

"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," Buckingham Palace said.

It added that Markle's mother, Ms Doria Ragland, was "overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild".

Speaking to British tabloid The Sun, Markle's father, Mr Thomas Markle, congratulated the new parents.

"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 from his home in Mexico.

Prince Harry's uncle, Charles Spencer, brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, also tweeted his congratulations: "Really very lovely news today - many, many, congratulations!"

Here are some other messages.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son today and look forward to meeting the latest addition to the family."

- Prince William and Kate Middleton

"Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their baby boy. Wishing you all the best at this happy time."

- British Prime Minister Theresa May

"Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their baby boy. May God bless the new family with love, health and happiness."

- The Archbishop of Canterbury

"Many congratulations to TRHs the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of a wonderful baby boy! The birth of the first child is a wonderful moment for any couple - I wish them the very best in bringing him up to represent the best of our great country."

- British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

"Congratulations, Meghan and Harry! Barack and I are so thrilled for both of you and can't wait to meet him."

- Former US first lady Michelle Obama

"The entire #Suits family sends their congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the birth of their baby boy!"

- Markle's Suits co-stars


Sources: BBC News, Daily Express, CNN, CBS, The Telegraph, The Sun, Slate, The Guardian, The Hill, British Royal Family official website