This story originally appeared on ELLE UK
In a break away from royal tradition, the pair announced the news via a spokesperson and released a black and white photograph of themselves, taken remotely by their friend Misan Harriman, in which Meghan displays her growing baby bump, dressed in a bespoke Carolina Herrera dress.
The news came more than two years after the pair announced that they were expecting their first child hours after landing in Sydney, Australia for their first official royal tour as a married couple in October 2018.
The due date for the couple’s child is currently unknown but the rumour mill has already gone into overdrive as to the tot’s name, where they’ll be born and whether or not they’ll be a British citizen.
From baby names and the child’s line of succession to the throne, to the royal family’s reactions to the news, here’s everything we know about Meghan Markle’s pregnancy so far:
When did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announce the pregnancy news?
The couple announced the news that Markle was pregnant with their second child on Sunday, February 14, 2021.
‘We can confirm Archie is going to be a big brother,’ a spokesperson for the couple told the BBC. ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.’
The pair also shared a photograph of themselves to coincide with the announcement, taken remotely from an iPad by Harriman.
‘Meg, I was there at your wedding to witness this love story begin, and my friend, I am honoured to capture it grow, [sic]’ Harriman commented in a caption sharing the photo on her Instagram page. ‘Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on this joyous news!’
In the photo, Prince Harry sits bare foot, cradling his wife’s head on his lap. Meanwhile, Markle lies down in a lightly-coloured Herrera dress, with her right hand on her bump, looking up at her husband of almost three years.
The date of the announcement is significant as it’s the same date the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles shared the news that they were expecting their second child, Prince Harry, 37 years ago.
When is Meghan Markle due to give birth?
It is currently unknown how far along Markle is in her pregnancy, but it’s safe to say we know the pair’s second child is due this year.
When the Duchess was pregnant with her first child, the royals announced the news in October 2018, seven months prior to Archie’s arrival. If the couple have decided to announce the news of her current pregnancy seven months before her due date, then it would mean Markle could give birth in September.
As a result, Markle will be 40 years old when her second child is born, after turning 40 on August 4. Meanwhile, Harry might have the same birth day as his second child, with the royal turning 37 on September 15.
Where will the second royal baby be born?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are yet to release official details as to where they plan to welcome their second child but given their secrecy over Archie’s birth, it’s likely we won’t know the tot’s birthplace until after their arrival.
That said, given the couple relocated to California last year and have since set up a permanent home in Montecito, it’s likely the child will be born in the US and not in the UK, unlike most members of the royal family.
The couple’s first child was born at 05:26 BST on May 6, 2019 at the Portland Hospital in London. The choice of location was different from that of Princess Anne, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton who gave birth to their children at the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
It was initially believed that Archie was born at the couple’s UK residence, Frogmore Cottage, but it was later confirmed – via his birth certificate – that his birthplace was the same as that of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Ahead of their first child’s birth, the couple announced that they intended to keep plans surrounding Archie’s arrival private.
‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby,’ read a statement released by Buckingham Palace.
‘Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.’
Who will deliver the royal baby?
As the location of the child’s birth is currently unknown, it’s likely we won’t know who will deliver the child, much like we didn’t for Archie.
The bulletin officially announcing Archie’s birth, which sat on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace, did not include the names of the doctors who attended to the birth.
Following Archie’s arrival, Harry spoke briefly to the press about how ‘amazing’ it was watching his wife give birth to their son.
‘It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined,’ he said, adding: ‘How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension but we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing.’
Who knew of the pregnancy?
It’s unknown how many people knew of Markle’s current pregnancy prior to the couple’s announcement but it’s likely it was a secret held by several of the couple’s closest friends.
Harriman was clearly in the know as he was tasked with photographing the couple, remotely, at their Californian home to announce the news.
It’s likely the royal family were also informed of the news prior to the couple’s announcement to the public.
What title will the baby have?
If Archie’s lack of royal title and his parents’ decision to step back as senior members of the royal family last year are anything to go by, it’s highly unlikely the royal couple will give their second child one.
While Archie was entitled to become the Earl of Dumbarton following his birth, in keeping with royal children taking on their parents’ earldom, the couple decided not to give their first child an honorary title.
Archie’s last name is Mountbatten-Windsor and he is technically not a prince, despite his father Prince Harry holding that title.
In 1917, King George V (the Queen’s father) issued a Letters Patent that would limit the use of royal titles only to the children and grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the heir. Until fairly recently, this meant that only the male great-grandchildren of Her Majesty’s could have the ‘prince’ title.
In 2013, the Queen approved a change to the rule that allowed the extension of royal titles to Prince George’s sister and brother, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, respectively.
Will the baby be a British or American citizen?
The couple’s second child will be the first royal to be born outside of Britain since Prince Philip 100 years ago, if they are born in the US.
Archie was born in the UK, which automatically made him a British citizen. He was the first Anglo-American to be born into royal family and it’s believed he is entitled to a US passport given his mother is an American citizen.
The UK government states that a person is considered a British citizen if at least one of their parents ‘was a British or Irish citizen’ when they were born.
Meanwhile, according to the US Department of State, a baby born outside the US to one American parent can acquire US citizenship if the American parent has been present in the country prior to the birth for at least five years.
‘For birth on or after November 14, 1986, the US citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for five years prior to the person’s birth, at least two of which were after the age of fourteen,’ it adds.
This means that children born to an American and non-American citizen get automatic citizenship as long as one of their parents has been in the US for at least five years before the child was born, which is the case for Meghan’s unborn child as she was raised in Los Angeles, California and moved to the UK in 2017.
How old is Archie?
Archie became the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild through her eldest son and heir to the crown, Prince Charles, when he was born on May 6, 2019. He was introduced to the world on May 8, 2019 and christened two months later.
Archie is currently 22 months old and will turn two this May.
What will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry call their second child?
Your guess is as good as anyone’s as to what the couple will call their second child but bookmakers already have frontrunners.
Names including Spencer, Albert, Philip, Elizabeth, Alfie, Alexandra, Alice and Emma are already in the running.
What place will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal baby hold in line to the throne?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new baby will be eighth in line to the throne, with the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), the Duke of Cambridge (Prince William) and Prince George still being first, second and third in line to the throne, respectively.
The three royals are then followed by Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry (despite stepping back as a senior royal), Archie and then Markle and Harry’s second child.
How did their family and friends react?
Following the pregnancy announcement, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson stated: ‘Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and entire family are “delighted” and wish them well.’
The Kensington Palace social media accounts, which are run on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have not released a statement about the news.
The announcement came days after Princess Eugenie welcomed her first child, a boy, with her husband Jack Brooksbank.
On Archie’s birth certificate, his parents’ occupations are listed as ‘Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom’.
Who will the baby’s godparents be?
Following Archie’s arrival, the couple decided to keep the names of their son’s godparents a secret, which was in stark contrast to royal birth news in recent years. While the Sunday Times later confirmed Archie’s godparents, it’s likely the parents will keep those of their second child’s private, too.
It’s unknown who the couple will choose to be godparent for their second child but we wouldn’t be surprised if they opt for someone who is based in the US while they reside there.
What has Meghan Markle said before about motherhood, pregnancy and miscarriage?
Markle has previously opened up about the changes in the direction of her life after welcoming her first child, stating in an interview that ‘everything’ she does is for her son, Archie.
‘My gut is that it [motherhood] makes you more courageous,’ she said in an October interview. ‘It makes you so concerned for the world they’re going to inherit…. You go, every single day, “How can I make this better for him? How can I make this world better for Archie?” and that is a shared belief between my husband and I.’
In November, the royal revealed for the first time that she had recently suffered a miscarriage.
In an article for the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex recounted the experience, which happened last summer.
The former actress explained how she had just changed the nappy of Archie when she felt a ‘sharp cramp’ which made her ‘drop to the floor with him in my arms’.
‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,’ she wrote.
Markle wrote about the importance of talking openly about miscarriage – a topic which she noted ‘remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning’.
Following the royal’s admission, she received messages of support from people around the world, including model Chrissy Teigen who shared the news that she had lost her child, Jack, pre-term last October.
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