A new royal baby is on the way; Meghan Markle is in labor, Buckingham Palace have announced.
The palace said that Meghan “went into labor in the early hours of this morning” and that Harry was by her side.
It was not revealed whether Meghan was having the baby at home or at hospital, or whether she had been induced.
There have been persistent rumors that she has planned a home birth. Harry and Meghan recently moved into a renovated ten-bedroomed house near Windsor Castle, Frogmore Cottage.
A further announcement is due to be made “soon” the palace said, prompting some to speculate that the baby had already been born, including the royal correspondent for the Daily Mail.
Harry and Meghan have been criticized and applauded in equal measure for what they called “a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”
They said that an announcement revealing the baby’s gender will be made a after the child has been safely delivered.
Although home births only account for around 2.3 per cent of births in England, that number was almost zero a decade ago.
Statistically, home birth does increase the risk of serious problems for the child–from five in 1,000 for a hospital birth to nine in 1,000 for a home birth.
Meghan has reportedly opted to sideline the queen’s team of male obstetricians, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, and is thought to have hired a private midwife and doula.
One name linked to this role is a doula named Lauren Mishcon, the wife of Oliver Mishcon, whose grandfather headed up attorneys Mishcon de Reya, the firm that represented Princess Diana during her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
Media and the more enthusiastic members of the public were today gathering in a tent village in Windsor Great Park, alongside the Long Walk, where, just under a year ago, Harry and Meghan made their iconic post-wedding carriage ride.
Speculation that the couple are having a baby girl has intensified after Meghan’s friend Serena Williams appeared to accidentally refer to a ‘she’ when talking about a pregnant close friend’s baby, and bookmakers have made the name Diana the hot favorite.
Harry and Meghan are definitely not expected to make a public appearance with their new baby, however they will pose for photographs in the grounds of Windsor Castle with their child at some point over the next few days.