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Royalty

Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in Sydney, are expecting royal baby

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex landed in Australia, carrying some very special news

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 8:47am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 5:19pm

Prince Harry and Meghan touched down in Sydney on Monday, kicking off a bumper Pacific tour that is the British royals’ first major outing abroad as a couple – and carrying a little something special.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their first child, due in the spring of 2019, the couple’s office Kensington Palace announced on Monday.

The baby will be seventh-in-line to the British throne.

British media said Meghan was believed to be about 12 weeks pregnant.

“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 palace said in a statement.

The news emerged shortly after the royal couple arrived in a wet and wintry Australia after a weekend spent celebrating the marriage of their relative Princess Eugenie to a wine merchant.

The wedding was attended by all the senior members of the British royal family. Media said Harry and Meghan broke the news of the pregnancy to other members of the royal family at the wedding.

Their official visit will take in multiple stops in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand – all parts of the Commonwealth of states formerly colonised by Britain.

Queen Elizabeth is technically still the head of state in Australia, although for practical purposes the country is independent and there is significant support for becoming a republic.

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The royals are likely to pet koalas, watch soldiers perform the haka and attend the Invictus Games, a multi-sport tournament for injured military veterans that opens on Saturday 20 October.

The whole visit will be keenly watched by the British media.

Meghan, a photogenic US actress, married the grandson of Queen Elizabeth in May, becoming the new royal of media obsession in Britain and beyond.

The 37-year-old made waves recently by closing her own car door.

The couple will be accompanied by a staff of 10 and a substantially larger swarm of reporters from all the British papers and television stations.

The official visit begins on Tuesday in Sydney, where they will be welcomed by Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne.

The royals will meet two koalas that same afternoon.

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After sailing Sydney Harbour and visiting the famous Bondi Beach, attending functions at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games competitions for wounded soldiers and meeting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, they jet off to Fiji on October 23.

Meghan will get a chance to speak at a UN women’s empowerment in marketplaces event and meet some female vendors in the project in the Fiji capital Suva.

They will meet the local royals in both Fiji and Tonga, which are members of the Commonwealth.

The final leg coincides with the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand – the first country to give women the right to vote.

Meghan is expected to speak at a suffrage anniversary celebration in Wellington on October 28.

The couple will have a chance to watch members of the New Zealand defence force perform the haka – the traditional warrior dance popularised globally by the nation’s rugby team – at a governor’s reception earlier that afternoon.

The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31.

Meghan has previously visited New Zealand as a tourist in 2014. Prince Harry has been to all four countries, but on his own.

The couple’s first trip abroad saw them dash off to Dublin soon after their wedding.