Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have welcomed their first child, a boy, the royal family confirmed on Monday. The new baby is Queen Elizabeth's eighth great-grandchild and the seventh in line to the British throne.
Kensington Palace said in a statement that Meghan went into labor early Monday morning. Harry was by Meghan's side, the statement said.
The boy was born at 5:26 a.m. weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces, the palace said. "It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined," Harry later told reporters. "How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."
Harry said the couple was still thinking about names. "That's the next bit," he said.
Prince Harry says son is "absolutely to die for"
Harry joked with reporters that he hadn't "been at many births" and that his son's was "definitely my first birth." On a more serious note, Harry said he was "so incredibly proud" of Meghan.
"As every father and parent would 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," Harry said.
A private affair
Former Hollywood star Meghan's baby bump was one of the most photographed in history, but for all the attention received in the womb, this royal birth was a private affair. The Duke and Duchess ditched decades of tradition by not having their baby at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
That's where both Princess Diana and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to all of their children, and where they famously posed for the world's press on the steps outside with their newborns. The palace said Monday Meghan and the baby were both doing well at the couple's home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, west of London; Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was with the couple.
The couple recently moved to the cottage, opting for a far more private birth. Roya Nikkhah, the royal correspondent for The Sunday Times in Britain, said the decision reflects just how fiercely protective Harry and Meghan wanted to keep things.
They've wanted to let on as little as possible to the media. By contrast, the union last May between the army veteran prince and the mixed-race, divorced American actress was watched by more than 1 billion people.
When will the royal baby make its first appearance?
The first public glimpse of the seventh in line to the throne won't come right away. "I think we'll be seeing you guys in probably two days' time," Harry told reporters Monday.
The couple has asked for privacy, drawing scorn from the British tabloids that are unhappy with the break in royal baby photo-op protocol. But Meghan and Harry don't seem too bothered, and it is expected that images of the little one will be shared on the couple's brand-new Instagram account soon.
The new baby is seventh in the line of succession. That makes it very unlikely that he will ever make it to the throne, as grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William and his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and then dad Harry are all in line first, in that order.
Now bumped to No. 8 in line to the crown: The newborn's grand-uncle Prince Andrew, who is the Duke of York and the second son of the queen. He's also known as the former husband of Sarah Ferguson.