The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a daughter, named Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor after the Queen and her late grandmother.
The baby was born at 11.40am on Friday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, weighing 7lbs 11oz, the couple announced on Sunday evening.
She will be known as Lili, Her Majesty’s eleventh great-grandchild and the first to be born abroad.
As the Duke and Duchess revealed their happy news, they said their daughter was "more than we could have ever imagined".
Two days after the birth, which had taken place "in the trusted care of the doctors" and hospital staff some seven miles from the family home in Montecito, the couple’s spokeswoman issued a press notice containing the all-important details whilst noting that there would be no photograph for now.
"Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet," it said.
"Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.
"The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family."
A few minutes later, the couple’s Archewell website was updated with a statement from Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39.
"On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili," they said.
"She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe.
A spokeswoman for the Queen said the family was 'delighted with the news'
Credit: Samir Hussein /WireImage
"Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family."
Buckingham Palace aides appeared to have been caught on the hop by the announcement and had not been given advanced notice.
The couple asked that in lieu of gifts well-wishers offer support or learn more about four organisations working for women and girls with which they have developed professional connections; Girls Inc, Harvest Home, CAMFED and the Myna Mahila Foundation.
Around 90 minutes later, at 6.30pm, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman welcomed the happy news.
"The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex," she said.
All three royal households later posted photographs of the Sussexes on their social media channels alongside congratulatory messages.
Carefully coordinated announcement
The Sussexes’ carefully coordinated announcement was in stark contrast to the confusion surrounding the birth of their son Archie in May 2019.
His arrival came at a time when the couple were already considering stepping back from their lives as working members of the Royal family.
They considered his birth private and had no intention of posing on the steps of the hospital, as the Duchess of Cambridge had gamely done three times over in the interests of royal tradition and to the great delight of the public.
But the Sussexes did not want to reveal where their son was born, or initially when.
The announcement consequently proved somewhat chaotic, with their spokeswoman informing the media that the Duchess was in labour when in fact, she had already given birth.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posing for photos following the birth of their first child Archie at Windsor Castle in 2019
Credit: Dominic Lipinski /AP
The public had to wait until his birth certificate became a public document through the registrar to find out that he had been born at the private Portland Hospital in London, while his godparents have never been named.
Eschewing standard royal channels, the couple chose to reveal his name two days later on their now defunct Instagram site Sussex Royal.
This time the Sussexes were free to announce their daughter’s birth however they chose and in their own time, unencumbered from the perceived shackles that come with royal life and public expectation.
Two days later, with the new family of four safely ensconced at home, the delighted couple revealed their news.
Their choice of names will come as little surprise to fans who listened to the Sussexes’ recent television and podcast interviews, in which they were effusive in their praise for the Queen, whom they insisted they had never "blindsided" over their "Megxit" announcement.
They also ensured that Princess Diana was at the heart of their Oprah Winfrey interview as they compared their predicament to the public scrutiny she endured, while the Duchess sported her bracelet.
The new arrival will be eighth in line to the throne, nudging the Duke of York down to ninth place. She will not have a title, but will be known simply as Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
The issue of titles has proved a thorny one after the Duchess complained in her interview with Winfrey that she and Harry had been denied the option of one for their son.
Megan insisted she did not care for titles but said that by depriving Archie of one his safety had been put at risk, believing that as a result he was not entitled to protection.
She said there had been "no explanation" for the decision and suggested that her son’s mixed heritage might even have been a contributing factor.
Details about godparents and christening likely to remain private
Like her brother, Lili will be raised in California, far from the confines of palace life, and will have dual British and American citizenship.
Her godparents are not expected to be revealed and a christening is likely to take place behind closed doors.
The Duchess will take a short period of maternity leave following a hectic year which has seen her win a lengthy legal battle with the Mail on Sunday, whilst the couple have also launched their charitable foundation, Archewell, and secured their financial futures with a string of business deals from Spotify and Netflix to private investments.
The birth is the third this year for the Royal family and will come as welcome news following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in April.
However, those first cuddles might have to wait. The family has not seen Archie since the Sussexes left the UK for Canada in autumn 2019. It is not known when the family might return to the UK to visit their royal relatives.
Meghan and Harry told Oprah Winfrey that they do not plan to have any more children
Credit: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/REUTERS
While the Duke is expected to join his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, in London for the unveiling of a statue of their mother on July 1 to mark what would have been her 60th birthday, the Duchess will remain in California with the children.
The couple confirmed during their Oprah Winfrey interview in March that they were expecting a girl.
A delighted Prince Harry indicated that they planned no further children, saying: "A girl, you know, what more can you ask for?
"But now we’ve got our family. We’ve got the four of us and our two dogs and it’s great."
He said they would be "done" with two children and the Duchess agreed, adding: "Two is it."