Royal baby: All you need to know about the birth of Harry and Meghan’s child

 
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Harry and MeghanImage copyright AFP

A year on from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, the couple’s first child has been born.

So how much do we know about the newest royal?

When was the baby born?

Prince Harry announced Meghan had given birth to their first child – a boy – on 6 May 2019. It was delivered at 05:26 BST, weighing 7lbs 3oz (3.2kg).

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Media captionPrince Harry says he and Meghan are “absolutely thrilled”

The sex was a surprise for Harry and Meghan – as well as the public – who had chosen not to find out what they are having.

Meghan had told well-wishers during a royal visit to Merseyside in January that they didn’t know the sex of the baby.

Interestingly, two of the baby’s cousins were both born at a similar time of year – Prince Louis (23 April) and Princess Charlotte (2 May).

Image copyright Duchess of Cambridge
Image caption Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte were also spring babies

Where did Meghan give birth?

Remember the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepping outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, central London?

Image copyright Samir Hussein

Well that scene was not recreated, with reports claiming the couple ruled out that option because of the lack of privacy.

While there was no official announcement about where the duchess was giving birth, it is believed it took place in Frogmore House – the couple’s cottage in Windsor, which was renovated for an estimated £3m ahead of their arrival.

After the birth, Harry appeared outside the cottage to speak to TV cameras and reveal the news.

Meghan is not the first royal to give birth at home. The Queen gave birth to all four of her children at home.

Image copyright Graham Prentice/Alamy
Image caption Frogmore Cottage sits in the grounds of Frogmore House, where Harry and Meghan held their wedding reception

Any idea what the baby will be called?

That’s the million dollar question. After the birth, Harry said the couple were still considering different options.

There aren’t any rules for choosing royal baby names, but the decision is often guided by tradition.

Image copyright Martin Keene/PA
Image caption Unsurprisingly, the name Diana is among the bookies’ favourites for Harry’s first child

Arthur and James are the favourites – but they were also frontrunners for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child last year.

Prince William and Catherine sprung something of a surprise by opting for Louis instead.

What about the surname?

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince George’s birth certificate is produced from the birth register entry

One option for Prince Harry and Meghan could be the Royal Family name – Mountbatten-Windsor.

That was created by combining the surnames of the Queen and Prince Philip when they married.

But the couple is much more likely to copy the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by using the title given to them by the Queen – Sussex.

Prince William and Catherine’s three children all have Cambridge on their birth certificates.

Will the baby become a prince or princess?

You’d better ask the Queen, but in short – not automatically, no.

The Queen brought in new rules for Prince William in 2012 so that all his children would become princes or princesses.

Before then, only the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (still with us?) was entitled to the honour – that’s because King George V decided in 1917 to limit titles within the Royal Family.

As it stands, Prince Harry and Meghan’s children will not get those titles unless the Queen steps in.

What about other titles?

If the Queen doesn’t change the rules (see above), this is where it gets a little complicated.

You may remember on the morning of Prince Harry’s wedding he was given some titles from the Queen – Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

And, according to etiquette guide Debrett’s, the eldest son of a duke can use one of his father’s “lesser” titles.

So the child could become Earl of Dumbarton.

Could Harry and Meghan reject a title?

Well it has happened before.

When the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was offered royal titles for her children – Peter and Zara – she turned them down.

She wanted her children to have as normal lives as possible.

Image copyright Mark Cuthbert
Image caption Peter and Zara Phillips grew up without royal titles

Zara Tindall has since told the Times: “My parents didn’t give us titles, so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s very difficult to shed it.”

So Prince Harry and Meghan, who haven’t been afraid to break royal protocol, could choose to go the same route.

Could the baby become King or Queen one day?

Yes, in theory, although there are already six royals ahead in the queue.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s child is seventh in line for the throne – just behind the baby’s father in the order of succession.

The new arrival’s cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are all in front in the pecking order.

Is the baby a US citizen?

Yes. As Meghan is still a US citizen, the royal baby is one as well.

Any American who has lived in the US for five years automatically passes on their citizenship to their offspring.

As her child has been born outside the US, Meghan will have to register the birth with the American embassy in London.

Prince Harry is obviously British, so the new royal would have dual citizenship.

Meghan is expected to apply for UK citizenship, but that process takes time – she needs to live in the UK for at least five years.

Once she is a UK citizen, the duchess could renounce her US citizenship, but her child would have to wait until he or she was at least 16.

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