The newest royal baby has finally arrived!
The Duke of Sussex was by Markle’s side during the birth. The baby weighs seven pounds, three ounces, and both he and the Duchess are healthy.
Kensington Palace announced the baby’s arrival via Instagram. In the caption, the Duke and Duchess “thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.”
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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. 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. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.
An overjoyed Prince Harry greeted reporters shortly after the baby’s arrival.
The birth was “the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine,” he said. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled.”
Prince Harry later added that he’s “so incredibly proud” of the Duchess of Sussex.
WATCH: Prince Harry said Monday he was “excited to announce” that he and Meghan Markle had a very healthy baby boy.
“As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for,” he said.
Prince Harry said the public would see the baby in a few days’ time.
According to Kensington Palace, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage, and she’s “overjoyed” by the arrival of her first grandchild.
Markle and Prince Harry have been tight-lipped about the details of the impending birth and how they plan to raise their firstborn. Here’s what we know so far.
The baby’s birthplace remains unknown
The Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital is a popular destination for royal moms, including Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.
It wasn’t a clear choice for Markle and Prince Harry, as they weren’t thought to be living in downtown London, where the hospital is located.
Royal expert Victoria Arbiter guessed that the couple would choose a facility “closer to their home base in Windsor” — and it appears she was right.
There have been no reports of ambulances coming or going from Frogmore Cottage.
“The Lindo Wing has seen more royal births than any other hospital, but that doesn’t mean it’s a tradition,” said Arbiter. “I think where to give birth is very much a personal choice.”
Markle wouldn’t be the first to depart from convention if she did, in fact, choose to give birth somewhere other than the Lindo Wing.
“Fergie had her babies at the Portland hospital, Sophie Wessex had her babies at Frimley Park, which is not too far from Windsor,” said Arbiter.
A different kind of royal baby announcement
Typically, in anticipation of a new royal baby, the media is alerted when the expectant mother is admitted to hospital.
“It’s very difficult for a royal to sneak into hospital so … with Kate , we got the notice when she was already in hospital,” Arbiter told Global News. “That way, had anyone spotted her going in, were still ahead of the story.”
This wasn’t the case for Markle and Prince Harry — the baby announcement wasn’t made until Markle was at the hospital.
According to Arbiter, this was not a break with tradition or protocol.
“They’re just doing what works for them,” she said.
As tradition dictates, the easel announcing the newest royal baby landed at the gates of Buckingham Palace at 4:45 p.m. local time.
It says the baby’s time of birth, that mother and baby are doing well and is signed by the attending doctors. The easel usually stays up in front of the palace for 24 hours.
The baby will likely be named in honour of another royal family member
In conversation with reporters after the baby’s arrival, Harry added that the couple was “still thinking about names.”
However, eagle-eyed fans of the Royal Family have been speculating about the likely choices.
According to betting platform Ladbrokes, Arthur (5/1) is the current favourite.
In second place is the posh Alexander (6/1), which may be a nod to the Queen’s middle name, Alexandra.
Philip is also a leading contender (10/1) after the child’s great-grandfather Prince Philip.
The newest royal baby is seventh in line to the throne
This baby will be seventh in line to the throne, right behind dad Prince Harry.
From closest to the throne to farthest away, the line of succession will be as follows: Charles, William, George, Charlotte, Louis, Harry and then baby Sussex.
“It’s very unlikely that this baby will ever be monarch. It would take a catastrophe of unforeseen circumstances if we were to wipe out Charles and the entire Cambridge clan,” said Arbiter.
That said, once Charles is king, the newborn will still be the grandchild of the sovereign, at which point he and his father will take on “very significant roles.”
There’s been much speculation about why the baby is not eligible for a royal title, but Arbiter said this rule goes back to George V.
“People who don’t know better are using it as an opportunity to say the Queen is angry with Meghan… which is nonsense,” Arbiter said. “ just didn’t foresee a future in which there would be four generations alive.”
Had the Queen already passed, this baby — as the grandchild of the sovereign in the male line — would be HRH Prince or Princess. Since the Queen is still alive, this baby is not eligible for the title of HRH Prince or Princess.
“If a boy comes along, he will likely be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s subsidiary titles. If a little girl comes along, she will be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor,” Arbiter said.
The potential royal godparents
The role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s spiritual journey.
“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” said Arbiter.
A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.
WATCH: Royal baby — Fans gather outside Windsor Castle to celebrate the birth
“She has been an amazing friend and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister … They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” Arbiter said.
If Prince Harry and Markle wanted to go the Royal route, Princess Eugenie is a likely choice.
Arbiter also expects to see a few of Prince Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included.
Alternatively, Prince Harry may pick his childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” said Arbiter.
The Royal Family’s first American citizen
Markle is a U.S. citizen, which means this baby has dual citizenship.
He is both American and British, and the first American citizen with a direct line to the British throne.
This presents some anomalies when it comes to money.
“Meghan, as a U.S. citizen, does have to file a tax return. I’m not a tax expert but as I understand it, you’re charged a percentage of taxes while you’re outside of the country,” said Arbiter.
This was confirmed by David Treitel, founder of American Tax Returns Ltd., in an interview with CNN.
Despite living in the U.K., Markle will be obliged to file a U.S. tax return and to report any foreign accounts, assets over $200,000 and gifts valued at more than $15,797 “regardless of whether it is actually in your possession,” Treitel told CNN.
This means Markle has needed to declare items like the diamond in her engagement ring, taken from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection, for example.
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Baby Sussex will be required to do the same with all of his or her assets and income until they are 18 years old.
The Royal Family is “notoriously private” about their finances, said Arbiter, so this is sure to cause some issues.
“It becomes a huge financial nightmare… and the Royal Family will try desperately to keep their finances private,” she added.
—With files from Laura Hensley
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.