Secrets behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's pregnancy photo

Secrets behind the Sussex’s pregnancy photo: From the imposing ‘tree of life’, Meghan’s dress to Harry’s nod to Diana and even a Notting Hill reference – how Royal couple needed ‘no direction’ for natural shot

  • Harry and Meghan sit under the ‘tree of life’ in garden ‘ representing fertility’ for pregnancy photograph
  • Nigerian-born Misan Harriman, a friend to Meghan who attended £39,000-a-year UK school, took picture
  • Photograph was taken remotely with iPad in London, likely in garden of Sussexes’ £11million California home 
  • Royal watchers celebrate Meghan and Harry’s ‘rainbow baby’ after miscarriage announced last November

The photograph announcing Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are expecting a second child was taken remotely on an iPad 5,000 miles away under the ‘tree of life’ in a garden ‘representing fertility’, it has emerged.

The picture shows Meghan lying with her head in her husband’s lap, her hand resting on her baby bump, and barefoot Harry cradling her head as the couple relax together under a tree on a sprawling sunlit lawn.

Photographer Misan Harriman took the picture remotely in London, but it is believed to have been shot at their £11million home in Montecito, California, where they now live after stepping down as senior royals last year.

It was released 37 years after Princess Diana was confirmed to be pregnant with her second son – Harry – which was reported in the Press on Valentine’s Day 1984 after an announcement by Buckingham Palace a day earlier.

Royal fans also spotted similarities in the new picture to a scene from the British romantic comedy Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant – where an A-list American actress falls for hopeless-in-love Londoner.

The Sussexes’ baby will become eighth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, William’s three children George, Charlotte and Louis, Harry and his eldest child 21-month-old Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Here, MailOnline looks at the various elements of the black and white picture which was released yesterday: 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released a black and white photograph to announce the news yesterday, which showed them beaming with delight. Among the elements of the picture are: 1) The ‘tree of life’ featuring prominently in the backdrop; 2) Meghan’s visible baby bump; 3) the Duchess’s bespoke flowing dress made by American label Carolina Herrera; 4) Harry’s barefoot look; 5) What is believed to be the couple’s garden at their California home; 6) the similarities to a scene in Notting Hill; and 7) Harry wears his ‘Diana bracelet,’ a bangle he acquired in 1997; and 8) the image was taken remotely on an iPad

COMPOSITION

Harry and Meghan sit under the ‘tree of life’ in garden ‘representing fertility’ 

The red box shows how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cover only less than a third of the surface area of the picture

The black and white image shows the couple sat under a tree in Los Angeles, with Harry resting his hand on Meghan’s head as she lay in his lap cradling her bump.

Unusually, the majority of the picture is taken up by a tree – with the Duke and Duchess themselves covering only less than a third of its surface area.

The importance of the backdrop was highlighted by photographer Misan Harriman, who talked in an interview about the ‘tree of life’ and the ‘garden representing fertility, life and moving forward’. 

The ‘tree of life’ could be a reference to the tree mentioned in the Bible in Genesis, which was located in the Garden of Eden – and is also later referred to in Revelation. Meghan is known to have a Christian faith and was baptised into the Church of England in a secret ceremony with Harry at her side in March 2018. 

Mr Harriman also noted that Meghan and Harry were ‘so comfortable chatting and being in the moment that they were not fully aware that he was shooting a piece of history’, in the words of British Vogue. 

He told the magazine: ‘With the tree of life behind them and the garden representing fertility, life and moving forward, they didn’t need any direction, because they are, and always have been, waltzing through life together as absolute soulmates.’

In the interview, he said he captured the couple’s ‘truth’ and added: ‘When you see people who have the connection that they have, it’s like reading the pages of a book.’ 

PHOTOGRAPHER

Nigerian-born friend to Meghan who attended £39,000-a-year school in Britain

Photographer Misan Harriman in Mayfair on March 9 last year

The picture accompanying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement was shot by their long-time friend and photographer Misan Harriman.

The 55-year-old, who took the image remotely from London using an iPad, was born in Nigeria and attended a British prep school and then Bradfield College, a £39,000-a-year boarding school in Berkshire.    

Mr Harriman met Meghan years ago at a charity event and attended her wedding to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018. 

He has previously taken photos of other royals, capturing Princess Beatrice’s official engagement photo with her then-fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

He was the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover and the first to shoot its September issue in its 105-year history. The activist-themed cover in 2020 featured England footballer Marcus Rashford and model Adwoa Aboah, with Mr Harriman working with a predominantly black team on set.

A year before, Meghan guest edited the September issue, which is traditionally the fashion bible’s most important of the year. Mr Harriman’s work has also featured in Vanity Fair, GQ, Harpers Bazaar and People.

As well as Meghan, the Nigerian-born photographer has pictured Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Colman, Rihanna, Stormzy and Giorgio Armani.

He is a self-described activist supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as a mental health campaigner with an interest in dyslexia.

The photographer, who runs a media company called ‘What We Seee’, has also recently covered demonstrations against former US President Donald Trump, and protests by Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter in London.

Mr Harriman tweeted: ‘Meg, I was there at your wedding to witness this love story begin, and my friend, I am honoured to capture it grow. Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on this joyous news!’ 

LOCATION 

Photograph was likely taken in garden of Sussexes’ £11million California home 

The tree appears to match the one seen in the garden of Harry and Meghan in this video for Time last September

The picture is believed to have been taken in Montecito, California, where Harry and Meghan now live after deciding to leave Britain and step down as senior royals.

While the exact location has not been confirmed, the tree appears to match the one seen in the background of a video they filmed in their garden of their £11million home there for Time magazine last September. 

However the photograph announcing their second baby was actually taken remotely from London.

The Time interview was the first time they had shared a look inside their garden, which includes a huge lawn lined with borders that are filled with shrubs and plants.

Their gardens which span 7.38 acres and are framed by pine and cypress trees.

The couple also have a tennis court, outdoor swimming pool, and a covered terrace for outdoor dining at their property.

The couple moved into the property last July and it features nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, as well as a guest house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

How the picture was taken more than 5,000 miles away with an iPad in London

This diagram shows the elements of an Apple iPad Pro device

Photographer Misan Harriman observed the couple in California from more than 5,000 miles away through the lens of his iPad remotely from London.

The practice of ‘remote’ photography has become more common since coronavirus restrictions have been in place. It often involves photographers directing someone else to take a picture through a video call.

This was also how a recent New York Times cover picture of actress Zoe Kravitz was taken by Taylor Swift, who was in her bubble, while being directed by photographer Christopher Anderson from Paris.

While the exact model of iPad used for Harry and Meghan’s picture is not known, the iPad Pro is the top version available for £969 with a 12.9 inch screen.

This comes with 12MP (megapixel) wide camera with a ƒ/1.8 aperture, or a 10MP ultra wide camera with a ƒ/2.4 aperture and 125-degree field of view. 

The device displays a 2732 by 2048 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi). It also has a 2x optical zoom out and a digital zoom up to 5x, with a five‑element lens and a panorama mode up to 63MP.

Other features include a sapphire crystal lens cover, backside illumination sensor, hybrid IR filter, exposure control, noise reduction, auto image stabilisation and photo geotagging. The image formats are HEIF and JPEG.

TIMING 

Royal watchers celebrate Meghan and Harry’s ‘rainbow baby’ after miscarriage

The Duchess of Sussex revealed last November that she had suffered a miscarriage in an article for the New York Times

Harry and Meghan’s news comes just three months after the Duchess revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in an article for the New York Times.  

‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,’ she wrote in a November op-ed entitled ‘The Losses We Share’.

‘Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.

‘Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few.’

Justifying the timing of her article, she wrote: ‘This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. So, this Thanksgiving, let us commit to asking others: ‘Are you OK?”

She added: ‘In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.’

The article concluded: ‘Are we OK? We will be.’

Sophie King, a midwife at Tommy’s, the UK’s leading charity on pregnancy loss, told Femail: ‘It’s wonderful news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting again – but as we know they sadly lost a baby last year, this celebration may feel bittersweet, while their pregnancy journey stirs up heart-breaking memories and complex emotions.  



‘Any expectant or new parent may struggle with anxiety, but it can be hard for those who have lost babies to believe that won’t happen again, or they may feel guilty for being excited about a new arrival while grieving a sibling. 

‘Grief, pregnancy and parenting are all very tiring so the combination can be very challenging. Children born after loss are often called ‘rainbow babies’ to symbolise hope and light after a dark time, but it’s important to remember that a rainbow doesn’t erase the storm that came before it.’

Since the news of the new baby was announced, royal watchers have celebrated.

Hello’s royal editor Emily Nash said: ‘This is lovely news for Harry and Meghan, who wrote movingly about suffering a miscarriage last summer. The picture suggests it won’t be long until they welcome their baby!’

US news anchor Judi Gatson added: ‘Well, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to make this sweet announcement, especially after the couple endured a miscarriage last July. Wishing them all love, happiness & joy.’

While the due date has not been revealed, royal commentator Camilla Tominey told Today Extra: ‘Normally you would expect news to come along when she is three months, but we think she is about five months.’ 

NOD TO DIANA 

Second pregnancy announced on Valentine’s Day just like Diana in 1984

The Daily Mail front page on Diana from February 14, 1984 

The announcement, made on Valentine’s Day echoes that of Prince Harry’s own mother Princess Diana. 

The Princess of Wales announced her own pregnancy with her second child on February 13 1984, with newspapers reporting it as front page news the next day, on Valentine’s Day. 

At the time, the front cover of the Daily Mail shared a photograph of a beaming Princess Diana as she arrived at a ballet in Oslo before stating: ‘This is the glowing smile that says it all.’

Palace officials made an announcement 37 years ago which read: ‘Both Prince Charles and Princess Diana are delighted by the news – as are the queen, Prince Philip and all the members of both families.’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who currently live in California, chose a more personal route to make their own announcement with an intimate picture showing them relaxed sitting in the grass. 

Eagle-eyed fans also noticed that Harry was wearing his ‘Diana bracelet,’ a black and brown silver bangle he acquired shortly after his mother passing in 1997 during a tour of Africa, and that he’s been wearing ever since. 

Harry revealed he first visited Africa after his mother died with his father Prince Charles, now 71 and Prince William, now 38. 

‘I first came [to Africa] in 1997, straight after my mum died,’ he told Town and Country magazine in a 2017 interview.  ‘My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags — we were going to Africa to get away from it all.’

Royal fans were touched by this motherly connection, with some noting Harry always tried to include the memory of his mother into his family life. 

‘Diana announced she was pregnant with Harry on Valentine’s Day and now Harry and Meghan announce they are having baby number 2 on Valentine’s Day. They always make sure she’s included and involved with them in some way,’ one fan said on Twitter. Another said: ‘And he’s wearing his mother’s bracelet.’ 

THE DRESS 

How Meghan Markle’s simple flowing linen dress signals a different pregnancy

Contrast: In 2018, Meghan wore a close-fitting Karen Gee dress and a pair of neutral suede heels following the couple’s announcement they were expecting their first child together

The dress chosen by the Duchess of Sussex to announce the couple’s happy news – an elegant, flowing linen gown – is thought to be a bespoke dress made by American label Carolina Herrera for Meghan during her first pregnancy with soon-to-be big brother Archie. 

Although the black-and-white image of the Duke and Duchess makes it difficult to tell exactly what colour the dress is, it appears to be a shade of white or cream and may possibly have been already worn by Meghan while pregnant with Archie, signalling a sweet link back to the couple’s firstborn.  

Meghan’s long-standing friendship with Carolina Herrara’s creative director, Wes Gordon, suggests that the classic dress could be the handiwork of the celebrated US designer too. 

Fashion expert Simon Glazin told MailOnline: ‘The Duchess of Sussex has kept it classic – maybe a little safe? – with this look. 

‘The dress is neutral in shade and looks super comfortable; it’s loose, floaty and almost has a hippy vibe to it – absolutely the opposite of what we might expect from a royal pregnancy announcement.’

Both the dress and the pastoral setting of the photo certainly seem to reflect the dramatic change the couple have made during the last year, with the pregnant Duchess wearing a more formal white dress by Australian designer Karen Gee in October 2018, shortly after the couple announced they were expecting their first child together.

Meghan and Harry were seen striding forth, with Meghan wearing the closely fitted Karen Gee dress and a pair of neutral suede heels, outside Sydney’s Opera House as they prepared for a whirlwind tour. 

The Duchess also donned butterfly earrings and a bracelet that Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, had previously worn – while the photograph released by the couple yesterday showed Meghan wearing no jewellery.

FILM REFERENCE

Royal fans notice similarities to scene from British romantic comedy Notting Hill – where an A-list American actress falls for hopeless-in-love Londoner

Royal fans are likening Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy announcement snap to a scene from British romantic-comedy Notting Hill. 

The image shows Harry resting his hand on Meghan’s head as she lays in his lap and cradles her baby bump while underneath a tree. 

Followers of the couple have noticed the similarities between the snap and the final moments of the 1999 Richard Curtis film, which depicts the romance between a famous American actress, played by Julia Roberts, and a hopeless-in-love Londoner, played by Hugh Grant.  

Notting Hill followed the story of William and A-lister Anna, who met when she stumbled upon his book shop before throwing themselves into an affair.

Their contrasting existences and the difficulties it caused their romance is then at the heart of the beloved film, set in the west London suburb.

In the final scene of the 1999 Richard Curtis film Notting Hill,  hopeless-in-love Londoner Will, played by Hugh Grant, is seen reclining in a garden with his American actress wife Anna, played by Julia Roberts, as she cradles her baby bump 

In the final scene of the movie, William and a pregnant Anna are shown reclining together in a private garden in Notting Hill.

Anna rests her head on William’s lap, with her hand gently placed on her pregnant stomach.

Meanwhile book shop owner Will gazes down at her, with her fingers intertwined in hers.  

Royal fans said the Duke and Duchess’ pregnancy announcement snap immediately reminded them of the scene from the romantic comedy.

Sharing a side-by-side comparison online, Instagram user @Harry_Meghan_Daily commented: ‘I love this connection with the romcom Notting Hill.’

Another fan wrote: ‘When I first saw this pic of Harry and Meghan this movie came into my mind. So awesome congrats to you, Meghan and Harry I am so so happy for you guys.’ 

‘Omg I thought of same movie scene when I saw their new picture,’ a third commented.

Another wrote: ‘I thought about that lovely scene as well, when I saw the photo!’ 

One added: ‘I loved this association with Notting Hill. The film is beautiful and romantic. And the love between Harry and Meghan is even more beautiful. Congratulations to the couple. A lot of health for Archie’s brother.’ 

The romcom grossed $370million worldwide and is still Hugh Grant’s most successful film. 

NEW LIFESTYLE 

Barefoot Harry shows off his very casual Cali style in linen shirt and jeans

The look was unusually casual for a royal announcement and in stark contrast to the couple’s official engagement photos at Kensingon Palace in November 2017 where Harry wore a smart navy suit, crisp white shirt and navy tie

Prince Harry showed off his very casual style in a nod to his new ‘Cali lifestyle’ in the couple’s pregnancy announcement photograph.

A bare-foot Harry, looked relaxed and laid-back in a buttoned linen shirt and jeans as he sat in the grass in the sweet picture.

The look was unusually casual for a royal announcement and in stark contrast to the couple’s official engagement photos where Harry wore a smart navy suit, crisp white shirt and navy tie.  

Harry also chose to go bare foot for the picture, adding to his less formal look as he lounged in the grass with Meghan, who opted for a long white summer dress. 

Stylist Rochelle White told MailOnline: ‘I love Harry’s look in the pregnancy announcement photo. I feel this is how Harry is in his new life. 

‘He is relaxed, comfortable and happy. He has a shirt that is free flowing and not as structured as what some might expect, bare feet and relaxed trouser is a smart casual look that many might not reflect a royal. 

‘This is Harry in his happy place and living that Cali lifestyle. ‘ 

Many took to social media yesterday to comment on the barefoot look, with one  Twitter user @KellyannBabes writing: ‘Congratulations Harry and Meghan.. but serious is there any need for Harry’s bare feet.’ 

@Matriarch4 added: ‘Someone needs to buy Harry shoes. Ewwww, feet.’  

The look broke tradition with most royal baby announcements, the most recent being Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank’s news. 

In pictures shared on Eugenie’s Instagram account, Jack looked smart in a navy suit alongside his wife in a green dress as they shared that they were expecting a baby in early 2021. 

In the picture, Harry also touchingly wore his ‘Diana bracelet,’ which he got shortly after her death in 1997 on a trip to Africa


In the picture, Harry also touchingly wore his ‘Diana bracelet,’ which he got shortly after her death in 1997 on a trip to Africa.

He has been pictured wearing the jewellery for two decades, including on his exam results day and at his wedding to Meghan in 2018. 

In the pregnancy announcement photo, Harry wore the bracelet, which has a black and brown silver design, on his right hand, which was visible in the photo as he held Meghan’s head.  

In a past interview, Harry revealed he first visited Africa after his mother died. It is believed he bought the bracelet during this trip.

‘I first came [to Africa] in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags — we were going to Africa to get away from it all.’

BODY LANGUAGE 

Prince Harry’s bare feet hint at a ‘desire for freedom’ while Meghan Markle’s idyllic posing paired with the monochrome photograph style creates a sense of ‘dazzling celebrity,’ body language expert claims 

Analysing their behaviour for Femail, body language expert Judi James (above) explained Prince Harry’s lack of shoes is a far cry away from any sense of royal protocol or formality

Analysing the couple for Femail, body language expert Judi James explained Prince Harry’s lack of shoes is a far cry away from any sense of royal protocol or formality.

‘The way his bare soles are pointed at the camera pitches him a long distance away from any sense of royal formality or protocol and into the world of spontaneity and openly emotional displays,’ she explains. ‘It seems very indicative of Harry’s desire for freedom and the ability to do things ‘his way.”

She adds: ‘It manages to show a natural, casual look but with the fashionable monochrome and idyllic posing creating a sense of dazzling celebrity. It is appropriately idealistic, with Harry’s bare feet suggesting he might have been so blissfully happy he has been wandering barefoot in the garden to celebrate.’

The expert also says that the tree in the background could have significant meaning behind it.  

‘The way the photo has been cropped to feature the tree in the background signals a desire to project stability, relationship continuity and strength and the dramatic branches even hint at the idea of creating their own family history,’ Ms James explains. 

‘It would have been a slightly uncomfortable pose for Harry to hold for long without his back resting on the tree but of course it works in terms of showing a couple deliriously happy about their news.’

She also goes on to say that Meghan lying on her back with the bump in silhouette suggests ‘devotion and trust.’

She continues: ‘The way Harry looks down into her face while cradling her head tenderly seems to move him firmly into the role of protective and nurturing husband and father of what will be two small children. 

Body language expert Judi James claimed that Prince Harry’s bare feet hint at a ‘desire for freedom’ while Meghan Markle’s idyllic posing paired with the monochrome photograph style creates a sense of ‘dazzling celebrity’

‘Their ecstatic smiles appear perfectly twinned here and this mirroring suggests even stronger emotional bonds between an already very tightly-bonded couple.’

Ms James suggests that the choreography and style of the pose suggests a familiar theme for the Duke and Duchess – and one that has been seen before on their big announcement moments and their Christmas cards. 

‘In contrast with royal tradition, where the eyes of the subjects will be aimed directly at the camera to send a more personal message to the public that suggests a sharing of the happiness and the moment, Harry and Meghan gaze only at one another,’ she points out.

‘It looks like an ‘intimate’ moment of joy that is shared between the two of them and which seems aimed at making them look oblivious of the camera itself. We are invited to watch or peek at their obvious bliss from a respectful distance, suggesting a more ‘private’ approach to a public announcement.’ 

The expert went on to say how many of Harry’s recent solo online appearances and messages have suggested a return to the more hard-hitting, military version of the Prince.

‘This move away from the more submissive-sounding ‘Hi, I’m Harry’ podcast/guru version might well have been prompted by this very strong desire to step up and protect his wife and his family in light of their baby news,’ she explained. 

‘There is none of the subtly bashful body language signals of suppressed delight you normally get with a royal announcement photo, meaning Harry is determined to break with his past and sit smiling down at his wife with a very open expression of excitement and nurturing affection.’ 

BLACK AND WHITE 

Royals’ love affair with black-and-white photographs shows no signs of ending 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have once again opted for a black-and-white photograph to announce their latest happy news – sparing those in lockdown (and freezing conditions) on the British side of the Pond the sight of a Californian blue sky. 

The couple have got form when it comes to choosing stylized monochrome over colour imagery, with many of the photos they’ve released during their relationship appearing without a colour version.  


At the beginnning: Alexi Lubomirski took this photo of Meghan and Harry in the grounds of Frogmore Cottage, their former Windsor home, one of two official engagement photos released in December, 2017. Right: An official wedding photograph released by Kensington Palace following their nuptials in May 2018, showed the couple on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle

Their now defunct @SussexRoyal Instagram account was peppered with black-and-white photographs of the couple carrying out both public duties and documenting more personal moments in their life.  

The trend was set early on; Alexi Lubomirski photographed Meghan and Harry in the grounds of Frogmore Cottage, their former Windsor home, back in December 2017 following the announcement of their engagement. 

Roll on six months and an official wedding photograph released by Kensington Palace, after their nuptials in May 2018, showed the couple on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle.   

A Christmas card released in December 2018 saw the couple eschew festive colours for a black-and-white photo captured on their wedding night 

And sepia creeps in too…little Archie was captured holding his father’s hand on Prince Harry’s first father’s day in June 2019

And when the couple first introduced their son, Archie, to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland also in attendance, photographer Chris Allerton’s image was published without colour.

Sepia has crept in too from time to time, with little Archie captured holding his father’s hand on Prince Harry’s first father’s day as a dad in June 2019.

The love of black-and-white imagery has very much continued as the couple have moved Stateside, giving up their royal duties but continuing their charity work, suggesting it’s a personal preference. 

In October last year, LA-based photographer Matt Sayles snapped the couple looking suited and booted for a shoot at their home in Montecito, California.

The latest image, released yesterday to reflect the couple’s delight at welcoming a second child this summer, was shot in the beautiful grounds of the couple’s California home.

With trees swaying above them and a lawn stretching beyond them, the absence of colour ensures the image maintains a timeless, classic feel – and that Harry and Meghan are the main focus of the portrait.  

CITIZENSHIP  

Couple’s second child will get automatic US citizenship if born across the pond  

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have moved to California, where they have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s second child will be entitled to American citizenship as an automatic right if born in the US, it has been revealed.

The Duke and Duchess will also be able to apply for dual citizenship, with the baby automatically becoming a British citizen through Harry’s nationality.

Harry, Meghan and Archie left Britain for Canada in November 2019, meaning their first child Archie, who now speaks with a North American twang, has not seen any of his British relatives since he was six months old.

The family have since moved to California, where they have bought an £11million mansion in Montecito and signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify.

The Duke is expected to return to the UK this summer to see his family for the first time since the couple decided to leave Britain and step down from their roles in the Royal Family in what was dubbed ‘Megxit’.

Meghan was already said to be unlikely to join him for ‘personal and practical’ reasons, sources said, so it remains unclear when the new baby will meet his grandfather Charles or his great-grandmother the Queen.

The new Sussex baby will become eighth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, William’s three children George, Charlotte and Louis, Prince Harry and his eldest child 21-month-old Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Harry retained his place in the line of succession despite his decision to quit royal life.

NAME

Alfie and Alexandra are the favourites for the name of the new Sussex baby

Ladbrokes betting odds on royal baby name

  • Alfie – 4/1
  • Alexandra – 4/1
  • Charles/Charlie – 5/1
  • Florence – 5/1
  • Arabella – 6/1
  • Diana – 6/1
  • Frederick/Freddie – 6/1
  • Grace/Gracie – 6/1
  • Elizabeth – 6/1
  • Alice – 6/1
  • Philip – 6/1
  • Albert – 8/1
  • Alexander – 8/1
  • Victoria – 7/1
  • James – 8/1
  • Emily – 10/1
  • Frances – 10/1
  • Spencer – 12/1
  • Doria – 12/1
  • Marina – 12/1
  • Jack – 12/1
  • Amelia – 12/1
  • Rose – 12/1
  • Sebastian – 12/1
  • Willow – 14/1
  • Violet – 14/1
  • Isabella – 14/1
  • Nathaniel – 14/1
  • Phoebe – 16/1

The names Alfie and Alexandra are the favourites with one bookmaker to be picked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their baby.

Harry and Meghan already have a young son called Archie, and the announcement they are expecting their second child has prompted royal fans to pick other names starting with the letter A.

Ladbrokes has Alfie and Alexandra as frontrunners, both with odds of 4-1, and the betting on the baby’s sex has seen both a boy and girl priced at 10-11.

Alex Apati, of Ladbrokes, said: ‘Huge congratulations to Harry and Meghan on the news of their pregnancy – of course all attention will now turn to the name game, and as things stand it’s Alfie and Alexandra leading the way in the betting.’

He added: ‘Archie was a modern twist on a traditional name, so it’s no surprise Charles/Charlie are up there as things stand at 5-1 apiece.’

Other names favoured by punters include Elizabeth and Philip – the names of Harry’s grandparents the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh – with odds of 6-1, while Diana, the name of the duke’s mother, is priced at 10-1.

Diana is the joint favourite with bookmaker Coral with odds of 10-1 alongside Thomas, the moniker of Meghan’s father Thomas Markle.

The firm has priced Spencer at 12-1 and Albert, Philip and Elizabeth, all 16-1, are the other names near the top of Coral’s market.

‘Baby number two is on the way for Harry and Meghan, and it’s the names of both of their parents that are the favourites in the betting for the name of the new arrival,’ said Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead.

He added: ‘Spencer, Albert and Philip are all in the mix, whilst Alice and Emma are two outside picks for girls’ names.’

Oliver and Diana are the joint 8-1 favourites with Betfair for the new baby, with an outside bet the 25-1 name Doria – the moniker of Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

Betfair spokesman Sam Rosbottom said: ‘Having picked Archie – a name that wasn’t even on our list, for their first child – the odds suggest Meghan and Prince Harry could opt for a more traditional name for their second with Oliver and Diana the joint 8/1 favourites with Betfair.

‘Other names with royal connections are also towards the top of the betting including Arthur and Grace, both at 10-1, and Philip, Albert, George and Isabella all at 12-1.’

SUCCESSION 

Where will Harry and Meghan’s baby fall in the line of succession? 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s new baby will be eighth in line to the throne.

The first seven places will remain unchanged – the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Harry, and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Harry retained his place in the line of succession despite quitting royal life, and dropping his HRH style.

When Harry and Meghan’s new addition arrives, the Duke of York, who was born second in line in 1960, will move down to ninth place.

Andrew stopped carrying out royal duties in 2019 following his controversial Newsnight interview over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The baby boy or girl will enter the line of succession behind older brother Archie.

Andrew’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, will move to 10th in line.

His youngest, Princess Eugenie, will fall out of the top 10 to become 11th in line, and her newborn son will move to 12th place.

Baby Sussex will either be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 10th or 11th great-grandchild, depending on whether he or she is born before or after Zara Tindall’s baby.

The monarch and Philip’s great-grandchildren so far are: Savannah and Isla Phillips; George, Charlotte and Louis; Mia and Lena Tindall; Archie, and Princess Eugenie’s baby boy.

The new baby will not be entitled to be an HRH nor be a prince or a princess due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by George V.

He or she is allowed to be a Lord or a Lady, but, in keeping with Harry and Meghan’s wishes, will be a plain Master, like Archie, or Miss (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor instead.

As the first-born son of a duke, Archie could have become Earl of Dumbarton – one of Harry’s subsidiary titles – or been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

But the duke and duchess broke with royal convention by making a personal decision not to use a title, thought to be inspired by Harry’s wish to have been a normal child, rather than a prince, as he grew up.

The baby will, however, like Archie, be entitled to be an HRH and a prince or princess when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne – although it is thought unlikely that Harry and Meghan will opt for such a change.

The new baby will not require the monarch’s permission to marry.

For hundreds of years, the Royal Marriages Act 1772 meant descendants of George II had to seek the sovereign’s consent before they wed, otherwise their marriages were deemed invalid.

But this law was repealed through the Succession to the Crown Act.

It restricted the consent to just the first six people in the line of succession, so, as the new baby is eighth in line, they will not at present need to seek a monarch’s approval to wed.

They may have to do so in the future though, when the Duke of Cambridge eventually becomes king and if there have been no further additions ahead of them in the succession line.

King George III, George II’s grandson, had ordered the now repealed 1772 Act after his younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, secretly married Lady Anne Horton, deemed to be a highly disreputable widow of a commoner.

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