Meghan Markle pregnant: royal baby due date, possible names and latest news

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Harry and Meghan at a reception to celebrate Charles’ 50th anniversary as Prince of Wales, in March 2019 [Photo: Getty]

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child.

Kensington Palace announced the news on October 15 2018, as the couple arrived in Australia for their royal tour.

Palace officials tweeted a statement saying the couple were “very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019.”

“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.”

The couple is thought to have shared their happy news with other Royal Family members at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brookbank’s wedding on Friday 12 October, ahead of their tour.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were said to be “delighted” for the couple.

Following the announcement, Kensington Palace took to Twitter to share Doria Ragland’s delight. Meghan’s mother admitted to being “very happy about this lovely news.”

When is the royal baby due?

Kensington Palace isn’t in the habit of revealing royal due dates and has only ever revealed the baby is due in spring 2019. However, Meghan told well-wishers during a visit to Birkenhead in January that she is due to give birth at the end of April or beginning of May.

What gender is the royal baby?

The couple do not know the sex of their unborn child, although there has been plenty of speculation surrounding the baby’s gender.

The pink roses, and orange and yellow tulips that were delivered to Meghan’s baby shower in New York sparked rumours that she’s expecting a girl

Harry and Meghan at WE Day at Wembley’s SSE Arena in March [Photo: PA]

Royal watchers also thought that Meghan’s friend Abigail Spencer had dropped a hint about the sex of the baby. The Suits star was spotted carrying a bag with gifts wrapped in blue paper, which fans felt was a sign that the royal couple will welcome a baby boy.

Where will Meghan Markle give birth?

According to reports, Meghan is ‘planning to have her baby at the Lindo Wing’ – the private maternity ward at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

A source told the Telegraph in January: “Staff at the Lindo Wing have been asked not to take holiday in April. Everyone thinks it’s got something to do with the royal baby but no one is confirming anything.” 

It’s the same maternity ward where the Duchess of Cambridge had her three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. William and Harry were also born there.

There has also been some speculation that Meghan could decide to give birth at the NHS-run Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, Surrey – where the Countess of Wessex had her two children. 

Harry and Meghan are set to move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor before the baby arrives – and that’s just a 15-mile drive to Frimley Park Hospital, in comparison to the 23-mile journey to the Lindo Wing in London.

What will the royal baby be named?

There’s much suspense amid the royal baby fever as to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will call their baby.

Meghan has immersed herself in the royal way of life, ending her career as an actress, and becoming a full-time royal.

But the pair are also forward-thinking royals, and the duchess has her own American upbringing to draw on.

According to the latest odds by UK bookmaker William Hill, the favourite for a girl is currently Diana with odds of 10/1.

Harry and Meghan, pictured in Morocco, have not personally revealed any favourite baby names [Photo: PA]

Alice comes in at second place (12/1) followed by Victoria (14/1) and Alexandra (16/1).

If they have a son, Arthur is the number one choice (12/1) with Edward (16/1) and James (16/1) following closely behind.

However, the couple may decide to surprise everyone when naming their first child.

Canadian-born Autumn Phillips, and husband Peter Phillips, opted for a non-traditional name for their daughter Savannah – the Queen’s first great-grandchild – in 2010.

In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy.

In the UK, the most popular name for a girl born in 2017 was Olivia, and for a boy Oliver.

Meghan’s NYC baby shower

Meghan flew to New York in February to catch up with some of her closest friends, including tennis star Serena Williams, stylist Jessica Mulroney and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

Her A-list pals threw her a baby shower at The Mark hotel, reportedly in the Penthouse Suite. Around 15-20 guests attended the bash and guests were given iced biscuits as favours.

The day before the party, a team of florists were pictured delivering bouquets of pink roses, and orange and yellow tulips, as well as an orange tree to the venue. 

A large box from nursery furniture brand Babyletto was also spotted being delivered. 

According to the NYC baby shower was the first of two. A smaller gathering has apparently been scheduled for friends in the UK before the newborn arrives. 

Where will the baby fall in the line of succession?

Seventh in line. The baby will bump Harry’s uncle the Duke of York into eighth place in the line of succession.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie move into ninth and 10th place, and the Earl of Wessex – the Queen’s youngest son – drops out of the top 10 for the first time to 11th in line.

Meghan and Harry married on May 19, 2018 (Photo: Getty)

How will the baby be related to the Queen?

The baby will be a great-grandchild of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales’s grandchild and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s niece or nephew.

Will he or she ever be monarch?

Unlikely. The baby will have three cousins Prince George – a future king – and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are further up the line of succession, so it is a safe bet that throne will stay on the Cambridge side of the family.

Will the baby be a prince or princess?

As things currently stand, Harry and Meghan’s child will not be a prince or princess, unless the Queen steps in.

Her Majesty’s grandfather declared under the provisions of the 1917 Letters Patent: “…the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”

As the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, Prince George was always going to be given a HRH title, but the Queen made an amendment in 2012 to allow all of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children to have the same.

Without this Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would have been a Lady and a Lord instead. 

Where will the baby live?

In November 2018, it was announced that Harry and Meghan will be moving to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, ahead of the baby’s arrival in spring.

Kensington Palace said: “Windsor is a very special place for Their Royal Highnesses and they are grateful that their official residence will be on the estate.”

Until now, the Sussexes have lived in Nottingham Cottage – a two-bedroom house in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also live.

Frogmore Cottage is undergoing renovation work to turn it from staff accommodation to a family home for the couple and it’s expected that Meghan and Harry will move in before the baby is born.

When get Harry and Meghan get married?

Harry and Meghan were wed at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19 2018. The couple announced their engagement in November 2017.