Meghan Markle with Prince Harry (File/ creative commons)

London: Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s royal family are said to be delighted at the news that Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are expecting their second baby.

A statement on behalf of the 94-year-old monarch, Harry’s grandmother, as well as his father, Prince Charles, was issued by Buckingham Palace on Monday after the US-based couple had made the announcement that their one-year-old son Archie was to become a big brother later this year.

“Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the entire family are delighted and wish them well,” Buckingham Palace said.

The new addition will be the Queen and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh’s 10th or 11th great-grandchild, depending on whether he or she arrives before or after the baby of Zara Tindall the granddaughter of the Queen, which is also due in 2021.

The child will be entitled to be a Lord or Lady as he or she becomes the eighth in line to the British throne, with the first seven remaining unchanged Prince Charles being followed by son Prince William, followed by his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry and his first-born Archie. Though Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, had stepped back as frontline royals, the line of inheritance still applies to their children. The new baby, however, is likely to be born a citizen of the United States.

On Sunday, the couple released a black and white picture of themselves under a tree, with Harry resting his hand on Meghan’s head as she cradles her very visible baby bump. Connections have been drawn between their Valentine’s Day announcement with Princess Diana’s pregnancy announcement when she was expecting Harry in 1984. He went on to be born in September of that year. Meghan Markle’s due date has not been revealed but is likely to be a similar timing.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 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.”

The news comes after Markle, a former actress, had spoken out publicly about the unbearable grief of suffering a miscarriage in November last year.



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