Caitriona Balfe: who is Outlander star's husband, when did she have a baby - and what did co-star Sam Heughan say?
Many fans were unaware that the model and actress was pregnant, as she keeps her personal life with partner Tony McGill out of the spotlight
Outlander star Caitriona Balfe has given birth to her first child.
The actress, who plays Claire Fraser in the hit time-travelling drama, announced the birth of her new son with her husband Anthony “Tony” McGill this week via social media.
Meanwhile, her on-screen husband Sam Heughan, aka Jamie Fraser, was quick to congratulate her on her new arrival.
Ms Balfe keeps her personal life notoriously private, so fans were delighted when she gave them a sneak peek into her world through the candid Instagram post.
Here’s what you need to know about the news.
Who is Caitriona Balfe’s husband?
Ms Balfe lives a relatively low-key life when she’s not starring in Outlander.
The Irish actress, 41, married music producer Mr McGill back in August 2019 in a secret ceremony.
The private couple tend to keep their relationship out of the public eye.
We do know that the couple first met in London, before they ended up settling down in Glasgow.
They were first linked in 2015 after they were spotted together on social media. Then, in 2016, they were photographed as a couple when they attended the ceremony for Jodie Foster’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But Ms Balfe rarely posts pictures of her husband on her social media pages in an attempt to keep their relationship private.
When did the couple get married?
At the 2018 Golden Globes, where she was nominated for best actress for her role in Outlander, Ms Balfe revealed that Mr McGill had asked to marry her following two years of dating.
She told People magazine that she was “very happy” that the musician-turned-producer had popped the question.
After being engaged for three years, the couple were finally married in September 2019 at St. Mary’s Church in Bruton, Somerset.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror about the nuptials, Ms Balfe said: "I managed to squeeze it in on a weekend during production, but it was beautiful and I had all my close friends and family there.
"Once you are in a room full of people that you love and who love you, it's just so special and fun. I just want to be happy and to try to stay sane."
Of course, Mr Heughan, who is good friends with his co-star, was one of the select guests in attendance at the close-knit ceremony.
In the past, the Outlander actress has been forced to address comments by fans of the show who desperately want her and Mr Heughan to get together off-screen.
During a 2018 interview with Parade, she said: "There’s a small vocal group that really wanted it, which is just a testament to the characters that we portray, that the love story is so inspiring and so aspirational that people just really wanted to believe in it.
"And that’s a nice thing. But I think things are pretty clear now that I’m engaged to someone else. Everyone gets it now."
When did Caitriona Balfe have a baby?
In happy news, Ms Balfe told her followers that she’d given birth to a baby boy on Instagram on Wednesday 18 August.
Fans of the actress were shocked at the announcement after Ms Balfe was successful in keeping her pregnancy under wraps.
Filming for the sixth season of Outlander only finished up in June this year, meaning she would have been concealing her bump under her many costumes during production.
Posting a black and white image of a tiny baby hand in hers, Ms Balfe told her 1.7million followers: "I’ve been off socials for a while as I was taking some time to enjoy cooking up this little human.
"We are so grateful for this little soul... that he chose us as his parents.
"I’m in awe of him already and can’t help stare and wonder at all the possibilities of who he will become, where he will go and what he’ll do on the big adventure of his life."
She also shared a number of charitable organisations alongside the post, encouraging her followers to donate what they can to help other, less-fortunate children around the world.
Ms Balfe continued: "Here in the west we have so much, we are so lucky and so if you’d like to join me in supporting any of the wonderful charities that need help trying to give those that are forgotten dignity and hope, we can give the gift of peace and safety and opportunity to a few more children…"
She didn’t say whether or not she and her husband had named their new arrival.
How did Sam Heughan react to the news?
Predictably, Mr Heughan appeared ecstatic for his longtime friend when Ms Balfe made her baby news public.
Congratulating his co-star, he commented on the Instagram post: “Congrats you two (3!!!). Wonderful sentiment. X”
The twosome have worked together on the hit Starz show for seven years and counting.
Mr Heughan has previously opened up about his close friendship with the actress, telling PopSugar in 2017: “Caitríona and I get on very well. She’s extremely talented and an extremely nice person, and we have a lot of fun.”
The model and actress has also spoken about her relationship with Mr Heughan in the past, calling him a “really good friend”.
She said to Elle in 2017: “He always checks in. I don’t know, he has one of the biggest hearts and smallest egos that I know. I feel very lucky. Sam and I have an amazing bond, we’re really great friends.”