Instagram stars of a scripted mini series: JAN MOIR says with Meghan’s encouragement, the birth of Archie has been played out like a made-for-TV drama
There she was, a goddess standing proud in the wilds of Windsor, her regal bearing undiluted by the spring rains. No, it was not the Queen, but a queen of sorts: Sky News presenter Kay Burley on a live TV broadcast, fresh from scaling Mount Snowdon and still wearing her climbing gloves to prove it.
‘Do you want to say hello to the new royal baby?’ she cried to viewers, as if the tot might be tucked inside her anorak, along with a half bottle of gin and a slice of Kendal Mint Cake.
Yes please, we all roared back. Show us the baby!
After all, we have been ever so patient.
The world has been given its first ever glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son today as his beaming parents finally showed off their ‘own little bundle of joy’ to millions of royal fans across the globe
Baby Sussex (pictured) made his very first public appearance at a photocall alongside a thrilled Prince Harry and Meghan in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the new family have been holed up since the historic birth on Monday
Harry was born a prince, but irritatingly he has become a sultan of the smokescreen; the frantic keeper of royal secrets, some important and therefore understandable, but others which seem infinitesimally trivial.
With Meghan’s encouragement, the birth of Archie has been played out like a made-for-TV mini-series, just like her television legal drama Suits.
The public have been fed episodic titbits, complete with cliff-hangers, plot twists, red herrings and the big reveal.
So far we have had: Secret Morning Baby; The ‘In Labour’ Untruth; Where is Mum?; Home Birth Half-Truths; The Baby Is Born; Look at Our Baby, Now Go Away, and finally, The Naming of the Baby.
Yesterday’s penultimate episode featured a two-minute photocall that somehow managed to be utterly joyous yet also a little bland and controlling.
At the couple’s insistence, there were only three media outlets allowed into Windsor Castle for the announcement – one of them being the American network CBS, where Meghan’s dear friend Gayle King is the star anchor.
The news was revealed on the couple’s Instagram account this afternoon, four hours after the beaming couple first showed their child to the world during which Prince Harry described him as a ‘little bundle of joy’
‘Not the big Lindo Wing media opportunity,’ noted Sky royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, marooned with Kay Burley miles away in a sodden field. Indeed.
It was perfectly timed to hit the all-important breakfast bulletins in America, where King, who was a guest at Meghan’s baby shower, could hardly contain herself.
‘Hey baby, hey baby indeed!’ she roared on CBS This Morning as the pictures were beamed live across the Atlantic. ‘I see he has a nose, I see one eye. I want to see his face. I want to know, has he got red hair?’
Come on. Didn’t she meet Harry at the wedding?
Inside the formal grandeur of St George’s Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex beamed with the giddy elation of new parents – a charming sight.
Only one interviewer had been granted permission to ask questions, so long as he didn’t ask any questions about the birth, the location of the birth, the reason for all the mad subterfuge and a million other fascinating topics.
This delicate duty fell to the unseen Alan Jones of the Press Association.
He went for a chilled and friendly vibe, calling the couple ‘you guys’ as if he was delivering their beers poolside.
This seemed a bold approach, but on he charged; pathetically grateful for the 120 seconds of airtime royally bequeathed upon the nation.
The couple appeared to be beside themselves with joy, giggling and looking into each other’s eyes as they spoke, while Harry could not resist sneaking a peek down at his son as he apparently slept
‘Thanks for taking the time out, I know you guys must be really, really busy, but tell us about being a mum and Baby Sussex,’ he began. He also asked if the baby was sleeping well, who he took after, what ‘parenting was like’ and whether they were off to see the Queen soon.
Magic, amazing, happy and yes, were the various responses.
‘We want to spend precious time with him as he slowly starts to grow up,’ said Harry cradling his son in a muffling cocoon of cashmere that the cameras could not penetrate.
‘Can we have a little peek?’ the interviewer asked, desperate for a clearer view of the baby.
Prince Harry lowered the shawl a fraction of an inch, then pushed it back up again.
After all the fuss, Harry and Meghan ultimately found it in themselves to perform all the regal television duties that royal audiences love and expect; the babe in arms, the tired smiles, the graceful acceptance of the new parent platitudes.
The warmth and cheers from the massed public crowds were missing, but as Sky’s Rhiannon Mills explained, they are a couple who have become an ‘enormous international phenomenon’ who want to do things their own, private and discreet way. Also, via Instagram.
Meanwhile, on CBS, Gayle King was boasting about a ‘royal special I filmed in Windsor last week’ in which she must have had pretty good access. ‘Harry calls the Queen Granny. I’ve heard him call her Granny,’ she chummily informed her 3.2million viewers.
To be continued.
How they showed off Baby Sussex their way
by Rebecca English
They have been determined to do it their way from the start.
And yesterday, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex proudly introduced their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world, it was no different.
Eschewing normal palace channels, the couple chose to reveal the two-day-old’s name on their Instagram site @SussexRoyal.
They accompanied the announcement with a stunning black and white photograph of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh meeting their new great-grandson for the first time, along with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland – taken by their engagement photographer, Chris Allerton.
Sneak peak: Baby Sussex was wrapped in a white blanket and appeared in a white bonnet, keeping whether he has any hair and what colour it is a mystery
Minutes later, the Queen’s Instagram feed posted the same shot in colour.
On another historic day for the couple and the Royal Family:
– Harry and Meghan posed with their son in the historic St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle, with the duchess declaring: ‘It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy’;
– The Duke of Edinburgh was the first member of the Royal Family to meet Archie, when the couple ‘bumped’ into him as they arrived for their photo-call;
– The couple, accompanied by Miss Ragland who is staying with them at Frogmore Cottage, visited the Queen in her private apartments at the castle to introduce the monarch to her eighth great-grandchild, the Royal Family’s first mixed-race baby;
– As predicted by the Mail, the duke and duchess have opted not to give their son a courtesy title and say he will be known simply as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor;
– Aides said the seventh in line to the throne could become a prince when his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes King, but sources indicated this would be unlikely as the couple are determined that Archie enjoys more of a private life than his royal cousins.
The loved-up couple waved to the camera before walking off as they prepare to introduce the infant to his great-grandmother, the Queen, later today
A source told the Mail last night that the couple chose the name Archie because they both love it, but also because it derives from archon – or leader – in Greek. ‘They were taken with the symbolism,’ the source said.
Harrison was similarly chosen because it was favoured by the couple but also because it means ‘son of Harry’.
Aides told the Mail that the couple had been firm that their son would not take any of the courtesy titles to which he was entitled, most notably the Earl of Dumbarton, which is one of the lesser honours given to Harry by the Queen on his wedding day.
It is another example – started by the Sussexes when they announced several weeks ago that they intended to keep details around their child’s birth ‘secret’ – of how they don’t want to be bound by convention or history.
Palace aides still refuse to confirm where Archie was born, three days after he was delivered, although the Mail has revealed that Meghan’s plans for a home birth were dashed and she had to go to hospital, most likely London’s Portland.
Some of the couple’s best-laid plans went slightly awry, however. While their posting on Instagram of the baby’s name at 4.40pm was wildly popular – gathering almost 2 million likes by last night – Buckingham Palace’s hurried attempts to erect a page on its official website were marred by an awkward blunder when it referred to Archie as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – who are, of course, his uncle and aunt.
The nose that says he’s a Markle
In A 2016 post on her now defunct website, The Tig, Meghan Markle posted an effusive tribute to her father, Thomas.
In the Father’s Day missive, Meghan thanked her dad for ‘my work ethic, my love of Busby Berkeley films and club sandwiches, for teaching me the importance of handwritten thank you notes, and for giving me that signature Markle nose. I love you xo – Bean’.
And while Thomas Markle may never get to meet little Archie in person, it seems they have at least one thing in common – the adorable nose Meghan is so proud of.
Thomas Markle’s nose appears remarkably similar to baby Archie’s in profile
The duchess and her father have long had a difficult relationship but spectacularly fell out after he colluded with a paparazzi photographer in the run-up to her wedding and conducted a series of interviews in the aftermath of the scandal.
Friends of Meghan have indicated that the duchess has no plans to try to repair the relationship in the short term.
Pictures of Meghan gazing adoringly at her baby yesterday also bear a marked likeness to grainy snaps which capture Doria Ragland gazing tenderly at Rachael Meghan, as she was named at birth, in her arms more than 37 years ago.
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