Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, former American actress Meghan Markle, are expecting their first baby in spring 2019, Kensington Palace announced on Monday (Oct 15). British media said Meghan was believed to be about 12 weeks pregnant.
“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,” the couple’s official residence wrote, using their royal titles.
“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,” it said.
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, were wed at Windsor Castle on May 19 in a star-studded, fairy tale setting that was watched all over the world. They had returned to the castle for the marriage of Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie on Oct 12, where media said they broke the news of the pregnancy to the family.
Their baby announcement comes as they start their first major international trip together, a 16-day South Pacific tour that includes Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand – all members of the Commonwealth of predominantly former British colonies.
Upon touching down in Sydney on Monday, the couple smiled and held hands as they made their way through a swarm of media at the airport. They are spending the day in private to recover from the long flight before official engagements start on Tuesday.
They include meeting political leaders for the official welcome, a pair of koalas, a boat ride on the harbour, and a meet-the-people walk at Sydney Opera House. The couple’s main purpose is to open and attend the Invictus Games in Sydney, which open on Saturday and run through Oct 28.
The sporting event was founded by Prince Harry in 2014 for injured and disabled military veterans to engage in competitive events such as wheelchair basketball, athletics and swimming.
Harry is the second son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, and sixth in line to the British throne. His brother, Prince William, is second in line behind heir-to-the-throne Charles. Harry and Meghan’s baby will be seventh in line to be ruler of the monarchy.
Meghan has made several high-profile appearances in Britain since their marriage, including a trip in June with Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II to open a landmark bridge and a regional theatre in north-western England.
Harry and Meghan also visited Ireland in July, their first outing abroad since getting married.
In her first solo charity project as Duchess of Sussex, she launched a cookbook in September in support of families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London. She wrote the foreword to the recipe collection entitled Together: Our Community Cookbook, produced by women who suffered from the blaze.
The fatal June 2017 fire in a 24-storey residential block killed 71 people and left many more living in temporary accommodation. – AFP/dpa/Reuters