Royal watchers around the world got some of the biggest news in years this week when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the birth of their first child, a healthy baby boy.
The announcement of the birth was made by the Duke of Sussex himself. Of course, per tradition, his announcement was followed by an official posting from Buckingham Palace where a birth announcement was placed upon a golden easel for public viewing.
Delivered at 05:26 BST, the Duke said the Duchess and child were both doing well and that the child came in at a healthy weight of 7lbs 3oz (3.2kg).
The baby boy, the seventh in line for the British throne, is also the first to hold both a UK and US passport. It is expected that his upbringing will be more casual than that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges’ children who are all more immediate in proximity to the throne.
One model cited by royal historians is that of Princess Anne with her daughter Zara.
Of course, the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s child is attracting attention outside of the immediate lineup for the throne.
This is because the birth is seen as a sign of modernization of the British monarchy and the glitz and glamor that Meghan Markle’s Hollywood sensibilities bring to her role echo those of Prince Harry’s own mother.
There is no announcement yet as to the name of the child but that is expected any day now, most likely during the public viewing at Buckingham Palace.
Prince Harry joked that he and Meghan had quite a bit of time to think about the name of the child since he was “a bit overdue.”
This is the eighth great grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
The Prince was present during the birth and was happy to share his experiences with the press.
“I haven’t been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. It was amazing, absolutely incredible, and, as I said, I’m so incredibly proud of my wife.
“As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I’m just over the moon. It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.”
The official announcement from Buckingham Palace read, “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news. The duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.”
The birth has made news around the world and many of Meghan Markle’s colleagues in Hollywood and beyond have tweeted their congratulations on the birth of the child.
Naturally, people will analyse this event for some time, both situating it within the current British context as well as in a wider view. For now, however, the UK is celebrating the birth of a baby boy to two of the most popular members of the royal family.