Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant with her first child and will give birth in the British spring next year.
The confirmation ends days of speculation about whether the 37-year-old and Prince Harry, 34, were about to become parents.
In a statement, Kensington Palace said: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.
“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated 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 this happy news with the public.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”1bOXRmvINvN4IkeuTbfQ8PWCRnFmWt3n”]Spring in the UK will begin on March 20 and will run through until June 21. The new baby will be seventh in line for the throne – with royals behind the child in the line of succession all be bumped down the line, including Prince Andrew and his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The announcement came just as the eyes of the world were on the royal couple as they touched down in Sydney to begin their first overseas tour together.
It also comes nearly five months to the day that they were married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. British media are reporting the Queen and other royals learned about the pregnancy on Friday, when the family were all gathered for Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Royal watchers began speculating Meghan was pregnant when she appeared at the wedding in a long, loose fitting coat. The rumours ramped up earlier today when the duchess emerged from her long flight from the UK to Sydney holding large purple folders in front of her stomach as she walked hand-in-hand with Prince Harry.
There had been a suggestion Meghan wouldn’t travel as intended to Tonga and Fiji, where there is Zika virus present, but a palace spokesmna told Britain’s Daily Mirror she would travel there as planned after seeking “medical advice about the risk of the Zika virus on the islands of Fiji and Tonga”.
Pregnant women are recommended not travel to areas affected by the Zika epidemic unless absolutely essential.
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they were “delighted” for the couple in a joint statement.
Prince Charles, who will have four grandchildren when baby Sussex is born next year.