Harry and Meghan have gone to lengths to give their children, son Archie and daughter Lilibet, a calm environment in which to grow up.
Archie lived the first years of his life in the UK, while Lilibet was born in Santa Barbara, not far from the Sussexes’ home in Montecito.
Lilibet’s birth was uncharacteristically private for a royal baby – royal fans back in England were given hardly any details to sate their curiosity. It was quite the contrast to her brother Archie’s birth, years before.
Harry & Meghan’s children
Usually, when a royal baby is born, the parents pose before the media in front of the hospital. After photographs are taken, the proud mother and father usually answer a few questions before retreating to privacy once more.
Harry and Meghan, however, wanted to approach their son’s birth differently, according to Katie Nicholl. So instead of facing the media openly, they tricked reporters and photographers.
Prince William, Harry, and William’s children were all born at St Mary’s Hospital; thus, the traditional first baby photos were taken there. However, Meghan’s doctor worked at Portland Hospital. Therefore, it made sense to give birth there. The Sussexes were also told that the place would make a frenzy of photos impossible due to safety considerations around the entrance.
“There was already the pressure of the picture on the steps. … But I had been really worried going into that labor because I’m older, I didn’t know if I’d have to have a c-section, and I had a very longstanding relationship with my doctor, and that’s who I trusted with my pregnancy,” Meghan Markle explained.
Two days after Archie’s birth, Harry and Meghan decided to participate in a brief photo session, where one reporter got to ask questions.
“I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy this morning, a very healthy baby boy,” Harry said, appearing outside of Windsor.
“I haven’t been at many births. This is definitely my first birth – it was amazing, absolutely incredible.”
“I’m so incredibly proud of my wife. And as every father and parent would say, your baby is absolutely amazing.”
“It’s been the most amazing experience”
Harry added: “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we’re both absolutely thrilled. We’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody.”
He added: “But this little thing is absolutely to die for, so I’m absolutely over the moon It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.”
It didn’t take long before Harry and Meghan left the UK following their withdrawal from royal life. The couple settled in Canada before buying their big house in Montecito, California. The town, known for its celebrity population, is about 90 minutes from Los Angeles and provides somerthing of a safe haven for celebrities who wish not be pursued by paparazzi day after day.
At the time the couple moved into their new home, interviews and allegations about the royals began to surface, and never more so than after Harry and Meghan sat down with Oprah Winfrey to perform a tell-all interview. It rocked everyone in the royal sphere, and today, the rift between the Sussexes and the Palace is notoriously sour.
Though Harry and Meghan obviously had a very tough time living in the UK, things would take a different turn when the couple welcomed a new family member.
On June 4, 2021, the Sussexes announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet, at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Emergency.
In comparison to Archie’s birth, this time, Harry and Meghan decided to keep as much as possible private surrounding Lilibet’s birth. They released a short statement sharing the happy news after her entrance into the world.
“Lili was born on Friday, June 4, at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well and settling in at home,” the statement read.
“Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour 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.”
It wasn’t until the Netflix documentary in December that fans got to see more of Archie and Lilibet. And in his new book, Harry shared more details about the day their beloved daughter was born.
In Spare, Harry revealed that the couple paced around their room at the hospital, eating burgers and fajitas during the first hours of labor.
When the doctor told them their daughter was just a few minutes from coming into the world, Harry got to work and, with assistance from a medical professional, delivered Lilibet himself. He claimed he wanted to be the first face the tiny infant saw as she entered the world.
“I cradled her just a moment, trying to smile at her, to see her, but honestly I couldn’t see anything,” Harry wrote in Spare, adding that he wondered if she was frightened.