Meghan Markle is pregnant and will be having a baby in the spring, Buckingham Palace announced today, hours after the couple touched down in Australia for their first extended foreign royal tour.
The couple have 76 public engagements over the next 16 days.
There was intense speculation that Meghan was pregnant this weekend after she arrived at the wedding of Princess Eugenie on Friday wearing an oversize blue coat, and the suspicion was heightened when she disembarked from a plane in Sydney last night holding two plastic folders in front of her stomach.
Later this week, Meghan is due to visit Fiji and Tonga, despite health organizations warning that the Zika virus is present and active there.
The palace said that Meghan had received “medical advice” and the trip was going ahead as planned.
The palace 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 palace also revealed that the news was circulated among senior family members ahead of Princess Eugenie’s wedding Friday.
“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 on Friday at the wedding in person,” said the statement.
The revelation that family members were told at or before the wedding is unlikely to please the Yorks, who wanted the focus to be exclusively on Eugenie.
This morning, Sarah Ferguson, Eugenie's mother, sent out a volley of tweets recapping the events of the wedding without offering a congratulatory message to Meghan and Harry.
It also made sense of a rare sight: the queen's famously abrupt daughter Princess Anne smiling broadly as she talked animatedly to a grinning Meghan before the service started.
Meghan’s mother was mentioned in the official statement but there was no reference to her father, whom Meghan has cut out of her life since he betrayed the royal couple by giving a series of aggressive and highly critical interviews to global media after the wedding.
“Ms. Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild,” the palace said.
Harry is 34 and Meghan turned 37 this summer.
At the time of his engagement, Harry said he and Meghan planned to start a family “in the near future” and he has made no secret of his desire to have kids over the years.
Meghan’s pregnancy appears to have been trouble-free so far, in contrast to Kate Middleton, who suffered with extreme morning sickness, and given that the palace said the baby is due in the spring, it seems reasonable to assume that Meghan is safely past the 12-week point.
So a new royal baby in April seems the likeliest bet now.