When the Duke of Sussex emerged from Frogmore Cottage yesterday afternoon to face the waiting media, his dishevelled appearance was no different to that of any new father.
“Mother and baby are doing incredibly well,” he said, admitting he’d had just two hours sleep the previous night. “It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.”
Harry was unable to stop beaming as he added: “I am 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.”
News the royal baby’s arrival was imminent broke around 2pm when various media outlets began to report Meghan had gone into labour. However, the rumours came too late as it later emerged the couple’s son – their first child – had been born at 5:26am – eight hours earlier.
Unlike previous royal births, which have followed strict traditional protocol, this one was announced on the couple’s Instagram account, @sussexroyal.
The post said: “This afternoon, His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex shared the news of the arrival of his and the Duchess’ first born child. Their son was born early morning on the 6th of May, 2019 and weighs 7lbs and 3oz.
“Their Royal Highnesses thank you for your support and kindness during this exceptionally joyful time in their lives as they welcome their baby boy.”
The sex of the baby was a surprise for the delighted couple, who chose not to find out which gender it would be in advance.
The baby, whose name it likely to be revealed in two days’ time when he is formally introduced to the public, is seventh in line for the British throne and is Queen Elizabeth II’s eighth great-grandchild.
The Queen and Philip, grandfather the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all said to be delighted with the arrival.
The palace statement also mentioned the siblings of Harry’s late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash when he was 12.
Meghan’s mother is with the new family of three at Frogmore Cottage.
“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 palace said. Harry was also present at the birth.
The newest addition to the Windsor family is a first cousin of William and Kate’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Ahead of the birth, Harry and Meghan made a personal decision to keep their arrangements private amid speculation they had opted for a home birth at Frogmore Cottage, close to the Queen’s Windsor Castle residence.
They also said they would only share news of the baby’s arrival once they had a chance to celebrate privately as a family.
Baby Sussex’s birth comes less than a year after Harry married American former actress Meghan in a glittering ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, became engaged following a whirlwind 16-month romance after going on a blind date in London.
The duke had told how “all the stars were aligned” when they met.
The announcement they were expecting a baby was made in October at the start of the couple’s busy 16-day tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
Harry branded the baby “our little bump”, while Meghan said they “were nearly there” in the final weeks of her pregnancy.
The baby was around a week overdue and is believed to have been born at the couple’s Frogmore Cottage home.
Congratulations poured in for the couple and their new arrival, including from the cast of Suits – the TV show on which Meghan was once a star.