The Queen has today congratulated Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as they announced they are expecting their first royal baby.
Harry and Meghan told Her Majesty she would be having her eighth great-grandchild next spring during Princess Eugenie’s wedding at Windsor Castle on Friday.
The couple were seen beaming as they touched down in Sydney for their first major international tour since they married in May and were holding hands in the grounds of Admiralty House when their happy news was announced.
Meghan, 37, is in ‘good health’ and has had a successful 12 week scan – suggesting that the baby was conceived in late July – just ten weeks after they walked down the aisle.
And it is due in late April 2019, possibly around St George’s Day, April 23, meaning the child could share a birthday with his cousin Prince Louis.
Announcing their baby news Kensington Palace said today: ‘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. 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 Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have said they are ‘delighted’ to be welcoming their eighth great-grandchild in a joint statement with Prince Charles, who will have four grandchildren when baby Sussex is born next year. Prince William and his wife Kate also hailed his brother and sister-in-law’s good news.
Last month Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland was seen taking baby-care classes in Pasadena, California, and could move to London to help look after the child because Meghan may not want to hire a nanny.
Ms Ragland today issued a statement saying she was ‘very happy at this lovely news and is looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild’.
But it is not know if her estranged father Thomas Markle had been told and Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Today Meghan and Harry flew in to Australia on a normal commercial Qantas passenger flight and chose an Airbus A380 – which has higher cabin pressure and half the cabin noise of other aircraft to ensure a more restful journey for the newly-pregnant Duchess.
And rumours she is carrying a baby went into overdrive as soon as the former actress got off the plane in Sydney because she kept touching her stomach and later covered her midriff with a folder.
On Friday Meghan also wore a suspiciously wide-fitting Givenchy coat to Princess Eugenie’s wedding in Windsor with husband Harry spotted repeatedly rubbing her lower back.
The new royal baby is expected to take the surname Sussex in the same way that Prince William’s children, George, Charlotte and Louis have taken his title Cambridge as their last name at school and nursery.
In the same way, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice have previously used the surname York, after their father’s title Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will not be a prince nor a princess unless the Queen steps in.
Social media exploded as the news was announced at 8.40am UK time and some have named the child a ‘Brexit Baby’ – because it will be born shortly after Britain leaves the EU on March 29.
Meghan and Harry have started a 16-day tour of Australasia – but their trip to Fiji and Tonga next week will go ahead despite advice that pregnant women should not travel to the region because of its moderate Zika risk.
The couple said today they had sought medical and advice and decided to go ahead with their plans.
Meghan and Harry are embarking on their first proper royal tour together.
They were spotted walking hand in hand enjoying the grounds of Sydney’s Admiralty House – just after announcing their pregnancy.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle traveled straight to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove’s sprawling harbourside residence in Kirribilli after touching down at Sydney’s airport.
The Royal couple arrived on a Qantas A380 flight from London via Singapore, for their first major international tour since their world-stopping nuptials.
They shunned a private jet to travel on flight Qantas flight QF2 from London via Singapore.
The couple were in the first class cabin but non-royal passengers were also with them with one saying they were heard saying how ‘excited’ they were to be travelling to Australia.
With them was their entourage of 10 staff members, including press secretaries and a hairdresser, and several more security staff.
Royal fans already suspected the Duchess was pregnant after she wore a suspiciously wide-fitting Givenchy coat to Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding on Friday.
Many TV viewers were sure they could see a baby-bump beneath her long, navy blue coat as the Duchess was whisked into St George’s Chapel, Windsor by her doting husband.
The couple held hands when they arrived in Sydney early on Monday morning on a Qantas A380 flight from London via Singapore.
Meghan was wearing her favourite Sarah Flint heels, which she teamed with the two tone coat she wore in a photo of her and Harry posing with the official 2018 Invictus Games flag last week.
Earlier she sparked a storm of pregnancy speculation after she touched down in Sydney clutching two purple folders in front of her stomach.
Meghan Markle was seen holding the items in her right arm as she stepped off the plane on Monday morning with Prince Harry, leaving fans of the Royal couple guessing what information they could contain.
For many, the folders added to speculation Meghan Markle is expecting a baby, fuelling the fire already stoked by the large blue coat she wore at Princess Eugenie’s wedding last week.
The couple returned to their own wedding venue at Windsor Castle on Friday but missed a lavish second day of celebrations on Saturday because of their flight to Australia.
Prince Harry, who wore a grey jumper over a smart shirt, placed his brown satchel into the back of the car before it set off to Admiralty House, the Governor-General’s sprawling Sydney harbourside residence, where the couple will stay on Monday night.
While a heavy police presence greeted the couple at Sydney Airport ready to whisk them away, the pair will have a low-key start to their Australian tour, with official duties not starting until Tuesday giving them time to rest after the long-haul flight.
The Duke and Duchess arrived with a ten-person entourage in tow, which is believed to include press secretaries and a hairdresser.
Meghan’s best friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney is also expected to join the couple on the tour.
Jessica and her husband Ben are expected to fly from Toronto to Sydney to join Harry and Meghan in an ‘unofficial’ capacity – meaning they will pay their own expenses.
The Duchess could be expected to have to change outfits three times a day on the tour, and may turn to Jessica for help.
A crowd of Royal fans turned out in the rain outside the Kirribilli address to welcome the pair.
But the streets of the suburb did not quite match up to the glamour as the visiting royal couple were greeted by discarded mattresses, chairs, milk crates, and pieces of carpet.
Despite the arrival day being organised months in advance, it coincided with one of North Sydney Council’s fortnightly household waste collections, which meant battered goofs were left strewn on the streets as their car went by.
Prince Harry and Meghan will also visit Dubbo, in the New South Wales central west, Melbourne and Fraser Island in Queensland on their Australian tour, which is Meghan’s first visit to the country.
Theywill spend a week in the country and then on Tuesday, October 23 they will head to Fiji for two days and then on to Tonga before returning to Australia.
On Sunday, October 28 they will cross the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, visiting Wellington, the Abel Tasman National Park, Auckland and Rotorua before heading home on Wednesday, October 31.
‘The programme across these four Commonwealth countries will focus on youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts, including the dedication of several new Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy projects, and the recovery and rehabilitation of servicemen and women through the Invictus Games Sydney 2018,’ the palace said in a short statement when announcing the tour itinerary.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend 76 engagements across the four countries, including the Invictus Games in Sydney, which runs from October 20-28.