This morning, at 5:26 am London time, Meghan gave birth to a boy. He is now seventh in line to throne of the United Kingdom.
In a statement to the press (delivered casually in front of a bunch of horses, a perfectly upper-crust touch), Prince Harry looked amazed, delighted, and a little stunned, a combination that will likely be familiar to other parents. (When I was presented with my own squalling newborn, I announced to the delivery room, in punch-drunk amazement: “Holy shit, there was a baby in there!”)
“It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever imagine,” he told the assembled reporters.
The couple haven’t released the name yet, and they haven’t announced whether the kid will be granted a royal title—which, for various arcane reasons, isn’t automatic on this particular branch of the family tree. But the arrival was announced on their Instagram, leading credence to the idea that’s where you can expect to see the first image of the infant.
New members of the royal family are born into one of the world’s biggest celebrity franchises, and so they arrive fresh from the womb to an array of expectations, storylines, assumptions, and hopes. This child’s life is likely to be inextricably bound up with Britain’s relationship to race. The New York Times said:
“It’s hopeful for people of my kids’ generation to see a princess of mixed race,” said Lise Ragbir, who is black and has written of her own experience raising a lighter-skinned child.
Repeatedly, beginning when her daughter was 6 months old, she said, strangers have approached her to ask, “Is that your baby?”
“It will be such a recognizable baby that it could shift people’s awareness,” said Ms. Ragbir, 45, a gallery director in Austin, Tex. “When one of the most famous families in the world does not have the same skin tone, people might pause before asking a stranger, ‘Is that your baby?’”
Last chance to get your name guesses logged for posterity!