Life

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome baby boy, the couple's first child

Rachel Elbaum, Janelle Griffith
Britain's Prince Harry poses with Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, London, Britain, November 27, 2017.
Toby Melville | Reuters

The former Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday — her first child with Prince Harry.

The duchess went into labor early Monday morning with Harry at her side, the palace announced on Monday afternoon local time.

Harry was with his wife when she gave birth at 5:26 a.m. local time. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is with the couple at their home, Frogmore Cottage, the palace said in the birth announcement.

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"It was amazing," said a beaming Harry in an impromptu press conference. "As every father and parent will ever say your baby is absolutely amazing... I'm just over the moon."

The child will be seventh in line to the throne, following Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Harry.

The baby is Queen Elizabeth II's eighth great-grandchild.

They are still deciding on a name for the newborn, Harry said, adding that they would introduce the baby to the world in two days.

"I'm so incredibly proud of my wife," he said.

Prior to the birth, few details of the couple's plans were released. Last month, Kensington Palace said that the birth would be revealed only once Harry and Meghan had the opportunity to celebrate privately. Unlike Harry's brother, Prince William, they didn't share where the baby would be born.

Harry and the former "Suits" actress married last year in a chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 20 miles west of central London. The celebration saw movie stars mingling with royalty.

Prior to Meghan's pregnancy, Harry made no secret of wanting to start a family. In an interview with the BBC in November 2017, Harry was asked if he and Meghan had talked about having children.

"Of course, one step at a time and hopefully we'll start a family in the near future," he responded.

The palace announced Meghan's pregnancy in October at the start of a 16-day tour of the South Pacific and Australia.

The duchess has attended royal engagements throughout her pregnancy, including a trip to Morocco where she and Harry visited a program promoting education for girls as well as programs for young people with mental health challenges.

In early March, the palace announced that Harry and Meghan would create their own household, complete with their own communications staff based at Buckingham Palace. The move means that their operations would be separate from those they had shared with Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Since joining the royal family, Meghan has been an outspoken advocate for women's rights and education. On International Women's Day on March 8, she talked about her husband's feminism and said she hoped her child would be too.

"Boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case," she said.

In keeping with royal tradition, the baby's exact due date remained a secret, with both the palace and the royal couple saying only that Meghan was due in the spring.

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