It’s a boy - but royal baby came with delivery drama
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have welcomed their first child, a son.
Speaking from Windsor, the Duke of Sussex beamed as he announced to the media that his wife had given birth to the baby boy at 5.26am on Monday local time (2.26pm AEST).
"I'm very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy this morning, a very healthy baby boy. I'm so incredibly proud of my wife."
Harry said the little boy was "absolutely to die for".
"It's brilliant, I'm absolutely thrilled. We're really grateful for all the love and support shown to us.
"It's been overdue so we have had a little bit of time to think about names so that's the next bit. I haven't been at many births. This is my first birth. It was amazing and absolutely incredible. I'm incredibly proud of my wife.
"Every father and parent will say your baby is absolutely amazing but this little thing is absolutely to die for. I'm over the moon."
Harry said that while the baby was overdue, and that had given them time to think about a name, they hadn't decided on one yet.
He said one could be announced within the next two days when the trio are expected to pose for the cameras.
"Still thinking about names … that's the next bit," Harry said.
Harry could not stop beaming after giving his hastily arranged live public announcement about his son's birth.
Off camera he looked relaxed and was understandably in a very good mood but confessed to missing out on rest, adding: "I've had about two hours' sleep."
The boy is one of the lightest royal newborns in recent years. The baby's sex was a surprise for the couple, who chose not to find out what they were having.
MEGHAN MISSES OUT ON HOME BIRTH
Meghan Markle had wanted a birth that was as private as possible - but it's understood her hopes were dashed at the 11th hour.
Mail Online reports the Duchess was taken to hospital on Sunday, before giving birth on Monday morning local time.
Secrecy shrouded the move, so much so that not even senior royals were told, according to the report.
Just one week ago it was reported Meghan still had a home birth planned.
While Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the hospital delivery, sources confirmed to Mail Online that it had occurred.
BACK TO WORK
New dad Harry will be back at work on Thursday when he launches a count down to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.
Harry will be in The Hague for the event, which honours injured returned servicemen and women.
"Confirmed. Prince Harry WILL go to The Hague on Thursday as planned. Meghan will be at home - mum Doria is there too," British royal correspondent Chris Ship said.
"So he will, as he wanted, be able to see his other baby @InvictusGamesNL!!!"
BUCKINGHAM PALACE 'DELIGHTED'
It comes as the newest arrival to the royal family was announced outside Buckingham Palace in front of hundreds of onlookers.
Crowds pushed up against the gates of the palace to see a framed notice of birth for Harry and Meghan's new son, which was placed on a ceremonial easel in the forecourt.
Earlier, Buckingham Palace said in a statement that Meghan and her child were "both doing well".
A town crier announced the royal baby's birth in Windsor.
"Oh ye, oh ye, oh ye. Buckingham Palace proudly announces the birth of a newly born royal baby boy to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
"God bless America and God Save the Queen."
It also revealed that Meghan's mother, Doria, was by her side at Frogmore Cottage, suggesting it may have been a home birth.
"The Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage," a statement from Buckingham Palace read.
An Instagram post on Harry and Meghan's @sussexroyal page said: "We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019.
"Their Royal Highnesses' son weighs 7lbs 3oz (3.26kg).
"The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives."
Charles, Camilla, William and Kate were said to be "delighted" at the news.
The birth of the child, his weight and gender, was announced after the Queen was informed.
The baby news came just an hour after the royal family said in a statement that Meghan had gone into labour: "The Duchess went into labour in the early hours of this morning, The Duke of Sussex was by Her Royal Highnesses' side. An announcement will be made soon."
THOMAS MARKLE 'PROUD' OF GRANDSON
Meghan's estranged dad Thomas has also sent the couple his congratulations.
"I'm delighted to hear that mother and child are doing well," Mr Markle said in a statement to The Sun. "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 continued, "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."
Meghan's estranged sister, Samantha, has yet to comment.
Meghan was last seen on an official engagement on March 19 when she signed a book of condolences in London with her husband for the victims of the Christchurch terror attack.
The American former actress and the duke moved into their renovated home Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate at the beginning of April, as they prepared for their baby's arrival.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take some private time to bond with their son ahead of official photographs, eschewing the tradition of new royal parents presenting their baby on the steps of their birthing hospital.
They are expected to show their new baby boy to the world on the grounds of Windsor Castle to one photographer, one television camera and one reporter in several days.
The child will be seventh in line to the throne, after Prince Harry.
Prince Charles is first in line, followed by Harry's brother Prince William, then William's children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
There is no official title arranged for the new baby, but the Queen can give permission for the child to be called a Royal Highness, as she did for Prince William's children.
William and Harry's cousins Beatrice and Eugenie are both titled princess, but their other cousins have lesser or no royal titles, at the request of their parents.
COUPLE THANKS PUBLIC FOR SUPPORT
Prince Harry and Meghan thanked wellwishers ahead of the birth and, in keeping with the couple's support of humanitarian causes, asked for donations to charities selected by them instead of gifts.
An Instagram post from the pair's page praised those who had been so generous.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked that you kindly consider supporting various organisations around the world in lieu of sending gifts for the upcoming arrival of their first born. Not only did many of you lend your support, you took action," the post read.
"Their Royal Highnesses wanted you to know the impact of your support - the direct effect your donation, energy, and action made!
"YOU chose to be part of the collective good, and you have made a real difference.
"Whether a $5 donation, £1000 contribution, offering to volunteer, or spreading the word - you've played your part. And on behalf of The Duke and Duchess (and Baby Sussex), we thank you so much."
The Duke and Duchess married at Windsor Castle in May last year, watched by almost two billion people.