LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan gave the world the first glimpse of their “dream” newborn boy on Wednesday — but kept people guessing on what his name will be.
Harry, 34, and 37-year-old Meghan emerged in front of the cameras inside Windsor Castle to show off their son born on Monday, ahead of introducing him to great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
“He’s just been a dream,“ said a smiling Meghan, in her first public comments since giving birth to the seven-pound, three-ounce (3.26kg) baby, who stayed firmly asleep during his public unveiling.
“He has the sweetest temperament. He’s really calm,“ added the Duchess of Sussex, as Prince Harry cradled the newborn, wrapped in a white blanket, by her side.
Royal watchers have been desperate for a glimpse of the new baby, who is seventh in the line to the British throne, ever since the couple announced his birth to their 6.5 million followers on Instagram with the message “It’s a BOY!”
But they disappointed those keen to know what they will call him, with neither new parent mentioning a name on Wednesday.
Instead, Harry focused his comments on life as a proud dad.
“Parenting is amazing,“ he said, the day after brother Prince William — two years his senior and with three children of his own — had jokingly welcomed him to the “sleep deprivation society that is parenting”.
“We’re just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy.”
Meghan added: “It’s been a special couple of days.”
The couple revealed Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had got a sneak preview in a chance encounter in the corridors of Windsor Castle.
“We just bumped into the Duke as we were walking by, which was so nice,“ said Meghan.
“It’ll be a nice moment to introduce the baby to more family.”
Prince Charles, on a visit to Germany on Tuesday, said he was “obviously delighted” and “impatient” to see his fourth grandchild.
The heir to the British throne, speaking in German, said he would see the baby “in the coming days when things are calmer”.
Crowds have gathering outside Windsor Castle, west of London, all week to wish them well.
It was a rare piece of good news for a nation consumed by the protracted Brexit drama.
And it has given people a chance to celebrate royal traditions — this time with a young American twist.
Former US TV star Meghan has created a fresh buzz around the century-old House of Windsor. Some fans have also been intrigued by her heritage.
“I want to see how he’ll look. As Meghan is mixed race, I’m curious”, said Zahra Kibue, 34, who lived in Kenya before moving to England a few years ago.
Meghan has also made waves with her modernising ways.
She raised eyebrows by closing her own car door — a task usually performed by aides — and has ignored tradition by keeping the birth private and well away from the prying media’s eyes.
‘Crazy’ name speculation
Most UK media assumed that Meghan had opted for a home birth, but The Daily Mail reported that those plans were “dashed as she was secretly whisked to a London hospital on Sunday by Harry and his Scotland Yard security team”.
The Sun, a competing tabloid, said Meghan ended up being secretly rushed to a £15,000-a-night (US$20,000, €17,500) London hospital before giving birth “at exactly sunrise”.
British bookmakers will be pleased that the suspense remains around what the new arrival will be called, after a busy few months of betting on the name.
“It’s been crazy,“ Amy Jones, a spokeswoman for Paddy Power bookmakers, told AFP.
“Now that the baby has arrived, everyone is backing the name Alexander.”
UK royal names are normally chosen from a relatively restricted pool of those used by past kings and queens.
But Meghan and Harry are anything but normal royals.
“Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to choose UNUSUAL name for baby that UNIFIES the US and UK,“ The Daily Express wrote, sparking a wild guessing game on Twitter filled with puns and jokes.
Perhaps only half in jest, bookies were offering 250-1 odds on the boy being named Donald, in honour of US President Trump.
Although the couple received congratulations from former US first lady Michelle Obama, the White House remained silent. — AFP
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