How Harry and Meghan Markle's pregnancy announcements were different

Two VERY different royal baby announcements: How the Palace told world of Meghan’s first pregnancy in 95-word statement and message from Queen, family and her mother Doria… compared to 18-word note with no mention of William or Kate for her second

  • 18-word Buckingham Palace statement reacted to Harry and Meghan expecting second child on Sunday
  • This was in stark contrast to 95-word statement on first pregnancy by Kensington Palace in October 2018
  • 2018 announcement referred to Sussexes, Queen, Philip, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Doria Ragland
  • This time Harry and Meghan put out their own statement and Buckingham Palace responded 87 minutes later 
  • Sussexes are said to have already told Royal Family they were pregnant, but not that they would announce it

A hastily-prepared 18-word statement from Buckingham Palace reacting to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle saying they were expecting a second child was in stark contrast to their first pregnancy statement three years ago.

The first announcement in October 2018 featured a 95-word statement from Kensington Palace on behalf of the couple, the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

This time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to put out a statement themselves on Sunday night, in keeping with their decision to move away from their traditional roles within the Royal Family after stepping down last year.

The Sussexes are thought to have already told the Royal Family they were pregnant again, but not that they would announce it – which is believed to have caught Buckingham Palace officials off guard with no prepared statement.

A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said at 7.29pm on Sunday: ‘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.’

It then took one hour and 27 minutes for a Buckingham Palace spokesman to respond at 8.56pm, saying: ‘Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the entire family are delighted and wish them well.’

A photograph of Harry and Meghan was released on Sunday as a spokesman for the couple announced: ‘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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex are joined by Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland as they show their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle in a photograph issued on May 8, 2019

The Palace statement appeared to be a hastily prepared response, and only quoted the Queen, Philip and Charles – without any specific reference to Camilla, William or Kate – or, of course, Ms Ragland.

It is understood the Royal Family had been told in advance of the announcement – but it is not clear how much notice they were given, and it was clear that Palace staff had been left in the dark.

Two very different statements announcing Meghan’s pregnancies

OCTOBER 15, 2018 

  • Kensington Palace spokesman: ‘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 Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple. Ms Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.’ 

SUNDAY (FEBRUARY 14, 2021)

  • Spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (7.29pm): ‘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.’
  • Buckingham Palace spokesman (8.56pm): ‘Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the entire family are delighted and wish them well.’

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday whether Harry and Meghan had spoken to the Queen in advance of announcing the news on Valentine’s Day.

Speaking from New York, Ms Arbiter, who is the daughter of the Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, told presenter Kate Garraway: ‘Yes they did. They did let the family know in advance.

‘There has been some speculation that the Palace was caught slightly unawares – it’s a Sunday and they didn’t have a statement ready to go – but of course they rustled something together. Ultimately all that needed to be said was that the family were indeed delighted and wished Harry and Meghan the very best.’

When Meghan’s first pregnancy was announced while she was in Australia with Harry in 2018, it came in a lengthy statement issued by Kensington Palace, which then represented them along with William and Kate.

The Kensington Palace spokesman said at the time: ‘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 Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple. Ms Doria Ragland is very happy about the lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.’ 

Last night, the Daily Mail revealed that Harry and Meghan are set to lose all their remaining royal patronages – following an announcement that the couple have recorded a ‘tell-all’ TV special with Oprah Winfrey. It is understood the Queen is to ask them to relinquish their links with any organisations passed down through the Royal Family.

Her 36-year-old grandson would be stripped of his three remaining honorary military titles and, potentially, his patronages with the Rugby Football Union, Rugby Football League and the London Marathon.

A section of the 95-word statement from Kensington Palace in October 2018 announcing the pregnancy on behalf of the Sussexes, the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kate and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland

The statement from Buckingham Palace on Sunday night made no mention of Prince William, Kate or their children by name. The family are pictured together in their Christmas card picture at Anmer Hall in Norfolk on December 16 last year

Meghan would have to step down as patron of the National Theatre, unless she can negotiate another position with them. When she was handed the role in 2019, it was seen as a major gesture of support and affection because the Queen had been patron of the London institution for 45 years. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Meghan are set to lose all their remaining royal patronages, which are displayed above

One grey area is expected to be the couple’s links with the Commonwealth, but sources suggested that these are likely to go as well.

It was confirmed last night that Meghan, 39, had agreed to a ‘wide-ranging’ interview with Miss Winfrey, who is one of the most powerful women in US showbusiness. 

The two women are friends and near neighbours in California, with Miss Winfrey attending the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in 2018 and plugging a range of vegan lattes that Meghan has helped finance.

One source described the interview as ‘one of the most inevitable and, sadly, predictable consequences’ of the ‘Megxit’ saga. Harry will also feature in the 90-minute show which will air next month on CBS.

Harry and Meghan have recorded a TV special with Oprah Winfrey, pictured at their Windsor Castle wedding on May 19, 2018

The couple will discuss their move to the United States, and it will be the first time the pair have spoken publicly about their bombshell decision to leave Britain and step down from their working roles in the Royal Family. 

The decision to take part in the interview risks angering – and embarrassing – the Royal Family. It could also widen the divisions between Harry and his brother, Prince William, and William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.  

A royal source said that as the couple were no longer working royals, any decisions taken with regard to ‘media commitments are matters for them’. They were ‘under no obligation’ to inform the Royal Household of their plans. 

While there was no angry reaction from the palace, the coldness of the response was evident. The expected decision to strip the couple of their last remaining royal titles is not being done as a reaction to the interview. 

Spokesmen for Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and the Sussexes have been contacted for comment by MailOnline today regarding the pregnancy announcements.

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