There's nothing quite like a royal baby announcement to brighten up the dreariest of Mondays in the UK.
Hours after landing in Sydney, Australia for their first , Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they were , five months after their .
With a due date in Spring 2019, we've already started to round up everything we know about the couple's royal baby.
From baby names and place in line to the throne, to family reactions, here's our low-down of Meghan Markle's pregnancy so far:
Remember Meghan Markle's baby shower? It was an extravagant soiree in New York with some of the Duchess' best mates in attendance. But that's all we know, really.
Most details have remained under wraps, until Serena Williams revealed a little more. In a piece, the tennis star briefly spoke about planning the celebration for the first time.
'Planning something like that takes a lot of effort,' she said, speaking just days after holding the party. 'I’m a perfectionist, so I’m like, "Let’s make it perfect,"' she told the outlet. "It’s been a lot the last few days.'
Meghan (who is eight months pregnant) and Prince Harry are reportedly looking to hire an American nanny. The decision would break from the Royal tradition of hiring a nanny, who dresses in brown pinafore dresses and matching brown hat.
The couple have enlisted the help of a recruitment agency to find someone to start in the next three months, reports.
As originally reported in the , 'Meghan was clear in telling recruiters she favours an American over a Brit and wants them to feel part of the family rather than a uniformed member of staff.
'That is important to her, she's never hidden the fact she is fiercely proud of her American roots.'
'They are keen to explore the possibility of a male nanny. The worker will earn up to £70,000 a year, depending on experience.'
The candidate will be interviewed by the parents-to-be and if successful will start their role at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
With just weeks to go, the excitement is mounting for Meghan's imminent arrival - and now we have more details.
The palace has announced in a statement: 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby.
'Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.'
So, what does this mean? The decision is a break from tradition and means Meghan will probably not pose on the hospital steps with her new baby.
Meghan, 37, is likely due at the end of April or beginning of May. The couple are keeping the gender of their firstborn a surprise, but fans seem convinced that Meghan is having a daughter. We'll soon find out!
Who will deliver the royal baby?
Breaking with Royal tradition, Meghan Markle has decided to appoint a female doctor-led delivery team for her upcoming labour.
The 37 year-old, who is set to give birth later this month, apparently (according to the ) would rather not have 'the men in suits' overseeing her and husband Prince Harry's first birth.
The Duchess of Sussex has decided not to go with Kate Middleton's gynaecologists, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who delivered George, Charlotte and Louis.
The Daily Mail reports that one source said: ‘Meghan said she doesn’t want the men in suits. She was adamant that she wanted her own people. It did leave a few of us a little baffled.’
Another said: ‘It is slightly surprising. These people [the Queen’s doctors] are the best of the best and when it comes down to it, their role would actually be very limited in the birth itself, assuming all goes to plan.’
We wonder why this source is so baffled that a woman is taking control of her own birth plan? It certainly makes sense to us.
What is the most likely due date?
When is Meghan due? Kensington Palace have only ever specified that the Duke and Duchess' firstborn will be making its arrival in 'spring 2019'. But back in January, Meghan kindly gave us the heads up when she told crowds in Birkenhead that she was due in 'late April or early May'.
The problem is, that date isn't exactly specific is it? But there is actually a way we can tell when Meghan is most likely to give birth.
Data gathered by the counts the number of babies born on each day of the year between 1995 and 2017. This information is calculated into averages in order to work out which days of the year women are more likely to give birth. And in late April, there's one date that seems to attract more births than any other: April 28.
On that date, an average of 1,833 babies are born in the UK. If the baby is born in April, the next most likely date is joint between April 27 and April 30, both of which have an average of 1,815 deliveries.
As the mother-to-be mentioned, early May is also an option. And the royal baby is technically more likely to arrive one month later. May 8 sees an average of 1,842 babies born, so that's also a likely contender for the baby's birth date.
Plus, the baby could also be up to two weeks late before it's induced, which would bring its date of birth forward even further.
Either way, we can't wait!
Who will be the Royal baby's godparents?
Meghan Markle is just weeks away from her due date, which means a new royal baby will soon bless us with his or her adorable presence.
But who will make Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's godparent list, you ask? Surprisingly, not Prince William. But why? It all comes down to tradition, you see.
In the UK, it's pretty common to pick a beloved sibling to be the godparent to your kid. Not so much in the royal family.
Harry isn't a godparent to any of Prince William and Kate Middleton's kids. So the chances that the Duke of Sussex does his brother a solid despite three rounds of rejection are, in a word, slim.
When Prince George was being christened, royal correspondent Robert Jobson Harry's rejection, saying he 'will have a role in [the baby's] life anyway.' So we can expect the same vice versa!
Who was at Meghan's baby shower?
Meghan Markle is reportedly due to welcome her first child in less than two months. Today, however, she is hosting her baby shower in New York City. It's apparently a small gathering of 15 friends, with actress Abigail Spencer, Markle's former costar on Suits, one of the first guests to be spotted.
Spencer toted a gift in one hand with blue tissue paper, leading some to speculate if that means Meghan is having a boy. She and Harry haven't publicly disclosed the sex of their child yet.
Designer Misha Nonoo, another one of Meghan's good friends, was seen arriving. Hello! photographed Nonoo stepping into The Mark Hotel with a black coat, red scarf, tights, and boots.
The Duchess of Sussex's BFF Jessica Mulroney (and stylist) is also expected to be attend. The Toronto native has been in town since the weekend; they reportedly had macarons and tea at the famed French bakery Ladurée in SoHo on Saturday.
Hollywood star Priyanka Chopra Jonas is also expected to fly in for Meghan's baby shower, royal correspondent Omid Scobie told . However, there's no sign of her in the Big Apple so far.
Tennis queen Serena Williams was also seen out grabbing dinner with Meghan at Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in Manhattan. It’s unclear, however, if she was actually at the baby shower this afternoon.
Like Williams, Meghan’s longtime friend Markus Anderson made his first appearance with the duchess today in the evening following the baby shower.
After , the Duchess of Sussex is taking a well-earned break. And what better place to relax than in your hometown, of course.
The Duchess of Sussex is reportedly in New York City right now on a five-day girls’ trip.
She flew from London to New York on Friday for five nights of rest, shopping, and good food with some of her closest pals — her first time in NYC since getting married.
The trip was planned months ago, a source close to Meghan told .
'The trip is a lovely chance to catch up with friends and spend time in a city she loves,' said the source. 'This will be the last time a lot of them will see Meg until after the baby is born so it’s nice to share precious moments.'
Meghan is staying at a five-star hotel and was spotted on Saturday at Ladurée in Soho with her friends. According to Us Weekly, Meghan was also seen shopping at , a high-end children’s clothing store nearby.
The visit has reportedly been 'relaxing. Nothing beats face time with your friends."
Meghan will return to London later this week before traveling to for an official royal visit with Prince Harry (read more about that .
What school will the royal baby attend?
We still don't know whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are having a royal boy or girl. But we do have more info on their plans for education.
Kensington Palace hasn't release an official comment on the matter, but a report from suggests that the couple's future child will attend a school in Britain with an American curriculum.
Per the outlet's source, the couple is 'thought to want a more diverse education for their child,' and apparently Meghan is 'keen for her child to be fully aware of his or her American heritage.'
A report from even speculates the specific school. Designer Misha Nonoo is thought to have introduced Harry to Meghan, and she attended the sister school of ACS Egham International in Surrey.
The school is close enough to the home where the two plan to raise their child——so it's a safe guess.
As far as other schools where American curriculums are offered, there's also the American School in Manchester which would put their child close to the royal happenings at Kensington Palace should Harry and Meghan ever choose to move back there (their new home is in Windsor).
When is the royal baby due?
Whilst out on her and Harry's first joint outing of 2019 in Birkenhead, the mother-to-be revealed exactly when she is giving birth.
Wearing Markle reportedly told well-wishers that she is six months pregnant, confirming with another fan that she is due in April.
It is worth noting that Kate Middleton also gave birth in April, with Prince Louis, meaning Louis and his new cousin-to-be could be b-day buddies. How cute?
After taking in Christmas day service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene with her fellow royals (the first since the announcement that she is pregnant), Meghan Markle let slip a major clue about the baby's due date.
Posing for photos on a walk dressed in an outfit by her friend Victoria Beckham, the Duchess of Sussex told photographer Karen Anvil that 'she's nearly there'.
Anvil later tweeted more details from her exchange with the new royal saying, 'Meghan said she was excited, there wasn’t long left to go. She cradled her bump. She was so sweet!'
With the official statement from Kensington Palace placing the due date as Spring 2019, could we be seeing a new royal baby sooner than expected?
Information from Kensington Palace has revealed that Meghan and Harry's first child is due in Spring 2019. As yet, we don't have a specific date, however, rumours are swirling that Meghan's latest choice of jewellery hinted at her due date.
Attending the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge in Sydney last week, the Duchess of Sussex wore an Altuzarra blazer and Invictus Games polo shirt, but most notably sported a trio of Ecksand rings - one with a blue sapphire, another with an emerald and the last boasting a dainty diamond - all set in 18k recycled gold.
Where will the royal baby be born?
Although previous reports suggested that the Duchess of Sussex would be giving birth to her first child in Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, where Prince Harry’s aunt, the Countess of Wessex, had her two children, this might not be the case.
Meghan and Harry are yet to release official details, however, The Telegraph is reporting that staff at the Lindo Wing (where Kate Middleton gave birth to all three of her children) are being told not to take leave in April.
With a royal baby due that month, it's not too much of a stretch to make the link that Meghan may be giving birth there after all.
A source is said to have told the newspaper: '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.'
The three images of Kate Middleton, different babes in arm outside the , are seared into our collective consciousness (and have been the subject of ).
However, we may not be getting the same front page fodder from currently pregnant royal Meghan Markle. Well, not quite the same anyway.
The Duchess of Sussex, instead of giving birth at Kate’s usual Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, will probably be opting for Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, where Prince Harry’s aunt, the Countess of Wessex, had her two children.
This is because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, set to give birth in spring, may well have moved into their new home of Frogmore Cottage, that is currently being refurbished.
A source told the : If their Royal Highnesses have moved to Frogmore Cottage before the birth, as planned, Frimley Park may be a more easily accessible option than St Mary’s.’
The Countess of Wessex is a big fan of the staff and the neonatal unit, where she gave birth to Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, and this may be the kind of image we’ll be expecting from Meghan and Harry come spring:
Are the couple expecting twins?
Since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they were expecting their first child in Spring 2019, we haven't really heard that much more about the couple's impending parenthood.
However, it's now widely rumoured the pair might be expecting not one but two children.
The reports betting website received so many bets that the royal couple are having twins on Friday, they've stopped allowing anymore to be placed.
As a result, it's thought a source with inside knowledge of the Duchess of Sussex's pregnancy may have been the first to place money on the couple having twins.
In fact, so many bets were placed on Friday night, it's reported the odds were slashed from 5/1 to odds-on.
A spokesman for the Irish betting company reportedly said: 'We had to suspend betting. We saw an almost identical pattern of betting before the announcements of the couple's engagement and pregnancy.
'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.'
Tongues were set wagging once more during the , when Meghan Markle - taking to the stage to present Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller with the British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award - was spotted cradling her baby bump.
Now nearing the end of her second trimester, people are again speculating that her bump might be a little on the larger side:
The last time twins were born into the Royal family was in October 1430, when Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland, gave birth to twin boys Alexander and James. Alexander died the same year he was born, while James ended up going on to be King.
Of course, Kensington Palace hasn't addressed the rumours of whether the royal couple are expecting twins, but the original pregnancy statement read the pair were expecting just one baby.
The official announcement about Meghan Markle's pregnancy said the couple were 'very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.'
Who knew of the pregnancy?
While it's presumed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kept the pregnancy a secret in the early days of the Duchess of Sussex's first trimester, it sounds like as to the mother-to-be's exciting news, long before their first official tour 'Down Under'.
Don O’Neill, creative director of Theia who designed Meghan's stunning white bridal look for her tour of Tonga, explained the design process in a press release.
According to him, the dress creation took two days and was made to accommodate the royal's growing bump.
'When her stylist reached out to inquire if I could make a dress for her Australian press tour, I stopped everything we were doing (my bridal show was just a week away) and immediately went to work on Her Royal Highness’ gown,' he said.
However after the company sent the dress to the duchess, it need to be remade. the dress to her, it needed to be remade.
'We needed to remake it with extra seam allowance,' O’Neill said. 'We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but mum’s the word, and with less than one week to my bridal show, all hands were on deck once more.'
It has been widely speculated that the sapphire is representative of Prince Harry's birth month (September) while the green stone is associated with August which just so happens to be Meghan's birthday month.
Interestingly, the diamond signifies April which has left fans wondering if it's the possible birth month of the royal baby.
After the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince Louis in April earlier this year, it seems the Spring month is popular for the arrival of royal babies.
Watch this space.
Who will be the baby's godparents?
According to royal tradition, , meaning Prince William and Kate Middleton will not be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s child’s godparents. Though, with up to six positions to fill, this means the Duke and Duchess of Sussex need to look to their friends.
We collated a list of names of those me thinks are in the running, due to their close ties with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex:
- Jessica and Ben Mulroney
- Misha Nonoo
- Zoe and Jake Warren
- Serena Williams
- Lara and Tom Inskip
- Amal and George Clooney
- Markus Anderson
- Sarah Rafferty
- Patrick J. Adams
- Priyanka Chopra
- Daisy Jenks and Charlie Van Straubenzee
What title will the baby have?
According to , the down-to-earth parents want their first child to have a ‘relatively normal life’ and believe a royal suffix made impede this. A source close to the couple reportedly explained, ‘That word "normal" looms very large for Harry and Meghan when it comes to their child’s future.’
If Meghan gives birth to a baby boy come spring 2019, he is set to inherit the title Earl of Dumbarton. If Meghan gives birth to a girl (as ) she could be named Lady Mountbatten-Windsor, with her future sons (Harry and Megan’s grandchildren), being Lord Mountbatten-Windsor
However, the couple are said to be eschewing a royal title for their firstborn.
Do they want a girl or a boy?
During an event at , a spectator called out to Harry: 'Congratulations! I hope it's a girl.' As Harry was quickly walking past, he asked, 'Sorry?' before the crowd member repeated, 'I hope it's a girl.' After hearing what she said, the Prince responded: 'So do I!'.
He also was heard commenting earlier in the Royal Tour that , the female version of his own name, getting tongues wagging.
Will the baby be a British or American citizen?
According to Dr Devyani Prabhat of the University of Bristol Law School the baby will be automatically entitled to both citizenships, but their parents will need to apply for a US passport, much like they will need to apply for a British one.
She explained to the : 'The royal baby will be entitled to both British and American citizenship as both countries provide for transmission of citizenship through bloodlinks at least for two generations. Both countries permit dual nationality holding by their citizens.'
What will they call the baby?
Although bets are already being placed for what name Meghan and Harry's royal baby might have, it turns out the Duke of Sussex has his own ideas.
The proud father-to-be revealed his for his growing family in a speech at Abel Tasman National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.
Whilst addressing local students, the Prince referred to the baby as 'our little bump' saying, ‘From my wife, myself and our little bump, it’s a blessing to be here.' SO cute.
More officially, according to , a super luxe private bookmakers, Alice is the most popular choice if the baby is a girl with odds of 5/2. Equally classic royal names Victoria, Mary and Isabella follow with odds of 4/1 and 6/1 respectively. Less likely but still in the running are Eleanor, Augusta, Rachel and Diana after Prince Harry's mother.
Fitzdares are placing their bets on Alexander if the , with odds of 2/1.
Other popular choices include Arthur (3/1), Philip (6/1) and Albert (6/1). Unsurprisingly most of the predicted names follow in the traditional names used through royal history, with Nicholas, Alfred, James and Thomas all coming in as strong options for Meghan and Harry's first born.
What place will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal baby hold in line to the throne?
As with any new addition to the royal family, the is one everyone is keen to answer.
So where will Meghan and Harry's baby sit in the British line of succession? The answer is seventh, bumping Prince Andrew (the Queen's second oldest son) down to eighth place, with his daughters Princess Beatrice and the newly married Princess Eugenie moving down to ninth and tenth.
Kate Middleton and Prince William's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will all remain ahead of their soon-to-be new cousin. Why? Simply because Prince William is older than Prince Harry, and that's how royal succession works.
However, thanks to the Duchess Of Cambridge, the rules about who succeeds the throne have changed in recent years. In 2013, an unprecedented act was passed, declaring in a groundbreaking move, that a baby boy will no longer take precedence over a baby girl, based simply on gender.
This means that Princess Charlotte will remain ahead of Prince Louis in the line of succession for the first time ever. For Meghan and Harry, it means that if they have a baby girl, then she too could wear the crown herself one day.
How the line of succession will look after Meghan and Harry's royal baby is born:
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby
James Viscount Sever
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour be affected by their pregnancy news?
The couple's 16-day tour 'Down Under' will include visits to the Kingdom of Tonga and Fiji, two countries which UK health authorities have classified as having 'a risk of Zika virus transmission'.
According to the , Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes and, for most people, it is a very mild infection that isn't harmful. However, it can be more serious for pregnant women, as there's evidence it causes birth defects – in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly).
It is recommended women avoid becoming pregnant while travelling to an area with high or moderate risk of Zika virus transmission, and for eight weeks after they return home.
But, the couple's family planning decisions are obviously deeply private, as is their decision to continue with their tour in view of the risk, and therefore it's not appropriate that it be dissected in the public domain.
A that Meghan did receive medical advice before deciding to continue with travel to Fiji and Tonga.
'As with any overseas visit, medical issues are of course taken into consideration but we wouldn't comment on specifics,' the representative said in a statement. 'There are no changes to the programme.'
How did their family and friends react?
A statement released by Kensington Palace revealed that Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is 'very happy' about her daughter's pregnancy news.
'Ms Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild,' a spokesperson said (via ).
Other members of the royal family also shared their best wishes for the couple, who attended Princess Eugenie's wedding in Windsor on Friday.
'The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple and were able to congratulated them in Friday at the wedding in person,' the spokesperson added.
The Twitter account for Suits, the drama series in which Meghan starred in for seven years, sent their best wishes to the expectant mum on Monday.
'On behalf of the entire #Suits family, we are sending love and congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on their pregnancy,' the tweet read.
Meanwhile, during Prince Charles' visit to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery in the Scottish Highlands today, a reporter asked the royal if he'd 'toasted news of the royal baby'. With a cheeky grin, the Prince of Wales replied, 'Oh yes, absolutely,' before adding, 'Several times, at the moment!' with a hearty laugh.
When did they announce the news?
On Monday 15 October, Kensington Palace announced the news that the couple are expecting their first child with an exciting statement via Twitter that read: 'Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are 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 pair landed in , and are expected to go ahead with their planned engagements.
The news comes days after the rumour mill went into overdrive with suggestions that Markle was showing signs of a small baby bump at Princess Eugenie and James Brooksbank's royal wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor on Friday.
Wearing a , the Duchess notably only fastened the top two buttons of the garment.