In Brief

Pregnant Meghan Markle arrives in Australia: what we know

Kensington Palace announces Duchess of Sussex is expecting as royal couple embark on major tour

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Australia this morning for the start of their first major royal tour as Kensington Palace announced that they are expecting their first child.

Just hours after the couple touched down in Sydney, a Palace spokesperson said: “Their Royal Highnesses are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in Spring 2019.

“Their Royal Highnesses very much appreciate all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share their happy news.

“The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple and were able to congratulate them in Friday at the wedding [of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank] in person.”

The Duchess is understood to be “past the 12-week mark”, according to the London Evening Standard, which adds that speculation has already begun over what the couple might call their child.

The Daily Telegraph notes that “tradition is an intrinsic part of the Windsors’ lives” and that the expectant parents may opt for a classic name, “something like Alice, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria for a girl, and Philip, Frederick, Charles, Arthur, Edward or James for a boy”.

“But the pair are also forward-thinking royals,” the newspaper adds.

The Palace spokesperson said that Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who lives in California, was “very happy about this lovely news”. It is not clear whether the Markle’s estranged father has been informed directly.

The baby is not expected to be granted a royal title, according to the Daily Express, which notes that “King George V - Harry’s great great grandfather - limited titles within the Royal Family in 1917”.  “This means the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s firstborn, as a great-grandchild of the sovereign, is too far down the line of succession to be an HRH,” the newspaper continues.

“A first son of Harry’s would become Earl of Dumbarton - one of the subsidiary titles Harry received from the Queen on the morning of his wedding.

“A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor, and any subsequent sons Lord (first name) Mounbatten-Windsor.”

The royal parents-to-be are visiting Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific island states of Fiji and Tonga during their tour, which will last 16 days.

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