Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child.
Kensington Palace announced the news in a tweet saying the couple were “very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.”
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“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 Duchess of Sussex is said by the Palace to be in good health.
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. pic.twitter.com/Ut9C0RagLk— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 15, 2018
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be “delighted” for the couple.
Doria Ragland, the mother of the duchess, is “very happy about this lovely news” and “looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild”.
The couple arrived in Sydney this morning ahead of a 16-day tour which will take in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga and include the Invictus Games.
The NHS website’s advice for women trying to have a baby states: “It is recommended that you avoid becoming pregnant while travelling to an area with high or moderate risk of Zika virus transmission, and for eight weeks after you return home.”
However, it is thought Meghan has taken advice about the tour and decided to continue to both Fiji and Tonga, although she is expected to skip a couple of outings in Fiji.
Harry and Meghan were wed at Windsor Castle in May and the news was announced on the eve of their first tour outside the UK and Ireland.
The Duchess of Sussex had sparked rumours she was pregnant at Princess Eugenie’s wedding last Friday, as she chose to wear a long coat that covered her stomach for the whole day.
Meghan Markle kept her coat firmly buttoned up at Eugenie’s wedding on Friday (Reuters)
There will be much suspense amid the royal baby fever as to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will call their baby.
Meghan has immersed herself in the royal way of life, ending her career as an actress, and becoming a full-time royal.
But the pair are also forward-thinking royals, and the duchess has her own American upbringing to draw on.
However, the couple may decide to surprise everyone when naming their first child.
Canadian-born Autumn Phillips, and husband Peter Phillips, opted for a non-traditional name for their daughter Savannah – the Queen’s first great-grandchild – in 2010.
In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy.
In the UK, the most popular name for a girl born in 2017 was Olivia, and for a boy Oliver.
Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?
Seventh in line. The baby will bump Harry’s uncle the Duke of York into eighth place in the line of succession.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie move into ninth and 10th place, and the Earl of Wessex – the Queen’s youngest son – drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.
How will the baby be related to the Queen?
The baby will be a great-grandchild of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales’s grandchild and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s niece or nephew.
Will he or she ever be monarch?
Unlikely. The baby will have three cousins Prince George – a future king – and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are further up the line of succession, so it is a safe bet that throne will stay on the Cambridge side of the family.
According to one bookmakers, the current favourites are James and Victoria.