LONDON: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are expecting their first baby in the first half of next year, Kensington Palace said on Monday.
The 37-year-old former actress who had married 34-year-old Harry, Duke of Sussex, at a Windsor Castle ceremony in May, is due to deliver the couple's first baby in the first half of next year.
"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," the palace said in a statement.
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. pic.twitter.com/Ut9C0RagLk— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 15, 2018
"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," the statement added.
The new baby, as Queen Elizabeth II's great-grandchild, will be seventh in line to the British throne.
The 92-year-old monarch and other senior royals were told about the pregnancy on Friday when members of the royal family had gathered at Windsor Castle once again for a royal wedding that of Princess Eugenie, the Queen's granddaughter.
Kensington Palace said the Queen is "delighted" by the news.
Meghan Markle had attended the wedding last Friday with Prince Harry wearing a long, dark blue Givenchy coat, which sparked some speculation on social media about her possibly hiding a pregnancy bulge.
The speculation further intensified when she was seen clutching two large folders in front of her stomach as she arrived in Sydney for the couple's first royal overseas tour.
The Duke and Duchess are currently on tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in their role as Youth Ambassadors of the Commonwealth.
According to reports, Markle is believed to have crossed the critical 12-week mark of her pregnancy.
In an interview in 2016, Meghan said becoming a mother was on her "bucket list".
"I can't wait to start a family, but in due time," she said.
The topic also cane up in the couple's official engagement interview last year.
"You know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we'll start a family in the near future," Prince Harry said, who has indicated he would love to have children.