LONDON – If one of the royal family's chief responsibilities is to produce heirs, then Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are very successful, thank you very much ,
Kensington Palace announced Monday morning that the couple expects their first child in spring 2019.
Five months after their internationally televised Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle, Harry and Meghan still enjoy the honeymoon glow of warm coverage in the notoriously critical British press – where the news of a royal baby was met on the way with shouts Joy and headlines in the tabloid.
The American Markle has taken on her royal duties like an experienced professional. She is balanced, she is correct – and the queen should have loved her.
Red-haired Prince Harry, 34, is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. Markle, 37, is a former actress.
Your child, seventh in succession, will be a great-grandson of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. With Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Harry in succession, it is unlikely – given the modern medicine and longevity of the Windsor home – that the baby will ever be Monarch.
But forget the throne, the arrival of Meghan and Harry's child will be huge news in March or April.
A spokeswoman for Kensington Palace said the Duchess was "in good health"
She added Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, "She is very pleased to receive this nice news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild. "
The reaction to social media was instantaneous – and dizzy. Within minutes of the announcement, #RoyalBaby tended worldwide.
Brix Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: "My heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the good news that they are expecting a baby in the spring and I wish them well."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan agreed Also on: "On behalf of the Londoners, I wholeheartedly congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the joyful news that they are expecting their first child. Congratulations! #RoyalBaby," he tweeted.
Many tweets were congratulations, but some were also curious. Some wondered if the baby would be American or British or both, while others wondered if Brits could get an extra day off – the British still remember that she was in for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Cambridge
In the UK, you can bet on almost everything, and the bookies were quick to propose possible names for the newest Royal.
"Opening quotas in the name of Harry & Meghan's Baby," announced the bookmaker to Ladbrokes, who listed Victoria, Albert, Arthur and Diana as favorite names
The pair landed in Sydney on Monday morning for a 16-day tour, the begins in Australia – her first official Royal Tour. The journey follows the tradition of Harry's parents, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, whose first royal tour was to Australia and New Zealand.
Speculations about a possible pregnancy piled up in the royal couple from her Qantas flight from London. Markle held out several large purple folders – the kind of materials that could otherwise be handled by a helper.
The journey is her first overseas as a married couple and includes the other part of her work – to perform "engagements" and supports good work.
Jennifer Hassan in London contributed to this report.