The wait is over!
The newest royal baby — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first child — arrived early Monday morning. And it's a boy! The couple made the announcement on their Instagram account, just minutes after the palace announced Meghan Markle was in labour.
Mother and baby, who is seven pounds three ounces, are both doing well, the palace said in another statement. Later in the day, Buckingham Palace placed a framed notice of the baby boy's birth on a ceremonial easel on the forecourt of the palace.
"The Queen and the Royal Family are delighted at the news that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526am today," the official notice reads.
"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."
"The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth. 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 palace said earlier.
"The Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage."
On Tuesday, Prince Charles — who was in Berlin — added that "We couldn't be more delighted at the news and we're looking forward to meeting the baby when we return."
It's been a whirlwind year and a half for Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34. The couple announced their engagement in November 2017, after a quick romance that included many reported covert visits and finally some PDA, in Toronto, where Meghan was filming the TV show "Suits."
The American-British pair were married May 19, 2018, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The archbishop of Canterbury declared Prince Harry and Meghan Markle husband and wife at the live-streamed wedding that was attended by A-list celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, actor Idris Elba, singer James Blunt, Amal and George Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, actor Tom Hardy, tennis champ Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra, and the cast of "Suits."
Shortly after, rumours started swirling that Meghan was pregnant.
Keen eyes observed that she wore a conveniently shaped dress to the 100 Days to Peace Gala in London in September, and rumours only intensified when Meghan kept her coat on for Princess Eugenie's wedding ceremony early the next month.
Kensington Palace announced that Meghan and Prince Harry were expecting a child last October, as the two kicked off a royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. The palace would only confirm that the duchess was due "in the spring," but observers deduced she might be due in April.
"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 palace said in the announcement.
Bets were on the baby being a girl, or twins
Early in their pregnancy, we learned that Prince Harry wanted a girl.
In Australia, during an event for the 2018 Invictus Games, a fan told Harry "I hope it's a girl!"
"So do I!" Harry quipped back.
Royals fans have looked for clues to the baby's sex throughout Meghan's pregnancy, with many betting on it being a girl (one betting site listed Diana, Alice, and Victoria as the top three potential names). While Meghan reportedly told crowds in January that neither she nor Harry knew if they're having a boy or girl (apparently they both wanted it to be a surprise), some noted that there was an awful lot of pink at her New York City baby shower in February.
In March, while speaking on a panel for International Women's Day, Meghan said she hopes her child will be a feminist, but noted that was in no way restricted to the baby being a girl.
"So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case," Meghan said.
Rumours have also swirled that Meghan was carrying twins. Irish bookies reportedly had so many people putting money on the royal baby actually being babies, plural, that they had to shut down bets.
"An unprecedented amount of bets on Meghan and Harry to have twins has forced us to stop taking bets on the market altogether," a spokesperson for the company Paddy Power said. "Since the day began, the stream of bets has led us to believe that perhaps the punters — or an insider source — knows something more than we do."
Doing things their own way
For instance, Meghan flew to New York City in February for a lavish baby shower, despite a royal expert previously saying that baby showers for members of the royal family are "highly inappropriate" because of their vast wealth (afterward, the same expert clarified Meghan did not break royal protocol by attending the shower, which was reportedly hosted and paid for by tennis great Serena Williams).
"Meghan coming home for a baby shower — it's absolutely in keeping with who Meghan is. She's doing it in America, where it is traditional, and she's doing it with her group of very loyal girlfriends," Victoria Arbiter told Today.
WATCH: Stars arrive for Meghan Markle's baby shower. Story continues below.
Rumours also swirled that Meghan and Harry were looking at unconventional birth options, such as hypno-birthing. Other reports claimed she would opt out of the traditional Lindo Wing, where Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge both gave birth to their children, in favour of a home birth. But none of these reports were ever confirmed.
The baby will be the first modern-day royal to be raised at Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The couple announced they will move to the cottage where their engagement photos were taken last November.
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