Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expecting second child: everything you need to know about the pregnancy announcement
From the iPad photoshoot and a Princess Diana tribute to an unexpected Richard Curtis film connection
Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, are expecting a second child, a sibling to their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, 1.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the news via an official representative, who said: "We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child."
Archie will turn 2 in May this year; the new addition to the family will be eighth in line to the British throne.
Tribute to Princess Diana
The announcement was made on Valentine's Day, which has been interpreted by many as a tribute to Prince Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana.
On February 14, 1984, it was announced that she was expecting a second baby, who would be born Harry. Thirty-seven years later, the couple have honoured Harry's parents with a Valentine's Day announcement of their own.
In February 1984, a Telegraph cover reported Queen Elizabeth II as being "delighted".
Yesterday, a Buckingham Palace representative echoed the response and said: "Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the entire family are delighted and wish them well."
The informal Misan Harriman photo
Accompanying the announcement was a black-and-white photo, shot by Misan Harriman, who is a friend of the couple's.
The image shows the couple sat outside with Harry’s hand placed under Meghan's head as she lies on his lap with her hand resting on her bump. They are in the garden of their Montecito home.
However, British photographer Harriman did not fly over to Southern California mid-pandemic.
On his Twitter, Harriman said that it was a remote shoot, which was shot via iPad. Typically, in remote shoots undertaken by professional photographers, the subject sets up their iPad, then the photographer provides lighting and posing direction by video call. The image is then taken using a programme on the photographer's device.
Posting on social media, Harriman captioned it with a message almost as relaxed and informal as the image itself: "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!"
In the photo, Meghan is thought to be wearing a Carolina Herrera dress, which she wore during her pregnancy with Archie.
Comparisons to 'Notting Hill'
The image has been compared to the scene at the end of Notting Hill, which shows Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts' characters sitting outside, with Grant's William Thacker sat up and a pregnant Anna Scott (Roberts) lying down.
The Richard Curtis film is, famously, about a Hollywood actress and normal Englishman who fall in love. Of course, as a royal, Prince Harry is not quite a "normal" Englishman, but the in last year, since stepping down as senior royals, the couple has made clear their pursuit of normality.
The moments leading up the final shot of Anna and William show a young red-headed white boy is chasing a little curly haired black girl in the park. Likely a coincidence, but that too has drawn comparisons to young versions of Harry and Meghan.
When will be baby be born?
After Princess Diana and Prince Charles made their Valentine's Day baby announcement, Prince Harry was born seven months later on September 15, 1984.
It is unlikely Harry and Meghan will have made their pregnancy announcement quite as early. With Archie, they announced their baby news on October 15, 2018, six and a half months before he was born on May 6, 2019.
It is likely that the baby is expected to be born in August this year.
Happiness following sadness of 2020 miscarriage
The announcement comes three months after it Meghan revealed she had a miscarriage months earlier in July.
Writing of her "unbearable grief" in The New York Times, Meghan described how she "felt a short, sharp cramp" on a July morning while she was caring for her son Archie.
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second," she wrote. "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."
It was considered to be an extraordinarily personal disclosure coming from a high-profile British royal.
In 2019, Harry told primatologist Jane Goodall in that the couple only planned to have two children for the sake of the planet.
Goodall said: “Not too many,” and Harry replied: “Two, maximum.”
Updated: February 15, 2021 01:27 PM