Harry and Meghan have set a new standard for royal birth announcements

A beaming Prince Harry speaks at Windsor Castle on May 6, 2019, after his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex gave birth ...
A beaming Prince Harry speaks at Windsor Castle on May 6, 2019, after his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to a baby boy. Photo: STEVE PARSONS / AP

If there was anything more endearing this week than a chuckling, beaming Prince Harry announcing the birth of his baby son, I'm yet to see it.

Royal watchers were treated to the information that Meghan was in labour, followed in very quick succession by a birth announcement that the boy - who is seventh in line to the throne - had been born at 5:26am on May 6 and weighed 3.35 kg.

Without getting into a simplistic comparison match about 'Who did it best' (which is somewhat unavoidable) between the Cambridge pair and Sussex duo, there's something that feels more contemporary about the birth of this baby boy.

With some convinced Meghan had already given birth, the perceptible snark sneaking into talk of the much-anticipated baby was ultimately sour grapes because Meghan, like millions of women before her, was simply overdue.

An unconfirmed overdue baby sure makes some people outraged, as I experienced when someone showed up to my hospital an hour after a traumatic birth, assuming I hadn't told them the baby had been born. I was two weeks overdue and had just been through a 40 hour labour followed by emergency c-section, so you could say I wasn't thrilled by their unannounced arrival.

So too with Meghan and and Harry's baby-to-be, resentment began to surface about the royal family existing on the public purse and how the masses are 'owed' the same details as Kate and William shared about the pregnancies and births of their three children - right down to the medical team's names and immediate appearance of mother and baby.

Meghan and Harry have now put their own stamp on royal birthing. And although I said I'd try to avoid comparison, as a royal baby enthusiast, I was mighty grateful not to have spent the wee hours of the morning watching a live feed of the steps of the Lindo Wing.

Then there was the mercifully short time between labour and birth announcements and a heart warming appearance from Harry.

The radiant prince giggled as he related his delight, his awe and his feeling of great privilege at becoming a father, crediting Meghan with what is truly one of the great wonders of existence, the growing and birthing of a brand new human being.

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There are those who mistake this every day act for something ordinary, but there is no-one on this planet who could convince me that the miracle of life isn't just that; a true wonderment.

There are millions who remember the prince with great sentiment, as a 12-year-old walking behind his mother's coffin. Seeing that boy become a father, and witnessing his genuine, seemingly unrehearsed public reaction to his child's birth makes him human just like us.

Despite his title, his privilege, his wealth and his fame, he's just a first-time dad, standing in front of the world, unabashedly sharing one of the most incredible moments of his life.

Fidgeting, bouncing with excitement and visibly overtaken with the sense that his whole world has shifted on its axis, it's a moment in time that fathers - whatever their background - can identify with. And it's probably the most natural, informal announcement ever given by a royal dad.

I have no doubt in my mind that everything that happens from now - from the first photo to the name announcement, will be done in the couple's own signature style.

This means we could see a photo or video of the baby for the first time on the Sussex's new Instagram account, where it was first revealed the child had been born and his sex. Will Meghan appear? Or will she recover in complete privacy as is her absolute right? With Kate's picture-perfect appearances only hours after birth, it's rumoured that Meghan doesn't wish to perpetuate unrealistic images of women immediately after giving birth. 

It definitely feels a little like a changing of the guard. Bit by bit, Diana's sons and their wives are incrementally doing things differently than previous generations.

Kate speaking openly about parenting issues and personal fears, William relating the devastation of his mother Diana's death, and now Meghan, who is the first bi-racial member of Britain's royal family and a proud feminist, who has navigated this pregnancy and birth with her established values firmly in hand.

The youngest royals have also been given the green light to move forward in a modern world - succession laws were changed when Princess Charlotte was born, making her the first royal female not to be unseated from her position in line to the throne by the birth of a younger brother.

Times sure have changed and Britain's royal family is rolling with it much to the delight of the public, whose sentiment is critical to this monarchy's survival.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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