The Duchess of Sussex’s pregnancy marks the next phase in Meghan and the Duke of Sussex’s life in the US.
It was no secret they dreamed of welcoming a new addition – a baby brother or sister for their 21-month-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry told activist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall in 2019 that he would only have two children for the sake of the planet.
When Dr Goodall said: “Not too many,” the duke replied: “Two, maximum.”
But in November 2020, it emerged Meghan had suffered a miscarriage.
She wrote in an article for the New York Times of how she sat “in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine”.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she said.
The duchess was widely praised by charities for sending a powerful message to others who have lived through the same trauma by speaking about the issue.
Harry and Meghan quit as senior working royals in March 2020 to be able to earn their own money in the US and be free of royal constraints.
Home for the Sussex family is now an £11 million forever house in Montecito, California, and the couple have secured multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify.
The duke and duchess’s first child Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6 2019, and the duke described his birth as “the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined”.
Introducing the two-day-old to the world at Windsor Castle, Meghan said: “It’s magic, it’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world so I’m really happy.”
She added: “He has the sweetest temperament, he’s really calm.”
The duke and duchess are protective over Archie’s privacy, and will be perhaps even more so with their new baby, after stepping down from royal duties.
It is thought unlikely the couple will introduce the new member of their family in the same way.
When Archie was born, they declined to confirm where this took place, although his birth certificate later revealed he arrived at the private Portland Hospital in London.
Archie’s christening was also a private affair, like most royal baptisms, but Harry and Meghan did not release the names of his godparents.
Archie’s first few months were spent in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ bolthole in Windsor Home Park in Berkshire, close to the Queen’s residence Windsor Castle.
The Grade II listed property, which has four bedrooms and a nursery, is set close to the winding lakes, wooded mounds, glades, walks and bridges of the gardens at Frogmore.
Its renovation cost £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money, but Harry and Meghan have since paid an undisclosed sum upfront for the rental and refurbishment of the period property.
Harry and American former actress Meghan both had long held ambitions to become parents.
The duchess once described motherhood as being on her “bucket list”, while Harry often told how he would love to have children, particularly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their own.
It came as no surprise when Kensington Palace made the announcement in October 2018, just five months after Harry wed the ex-Suits star and as they began a busy tour to Australia and New Zealand, that the duchess was expecting.
The topic had even cropped up in the couple’s engagement interview.
“You know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future,” Harry said.
In the run-up to the wedding, Meghan also hinted at starting her own brood.
On a trip to Belfast less than two months before their big day, Meghan joked when she was shown an innovative range for newborns: “I’m sure at some point we’ll need the whole (lot).”
It was in an interview in 2016, that she said becoming a mother was on her “bucket list”.
“I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time,” she said.
During Meghan’s pregnancy, a delighted Harry called the baby “our little bump” and the duchess became known for repeatedly cradling her stomach.
When she was seven months’ pregnant, Meghan enjoyed a baby shower with friends in New York, travelling to the US on a private jet reportedly paid for by tennis star Serena Williams.
Amal Clooney and Jessica Mulroney were among the guests who made an appearance at the lavish five-star Mark Hotel.
They gathered in the most expensive hotel room in the US, the Penthouse Suite, which costs a reported 75,000 dollars (£57,000) per night.
The women spent their time together learning flower arranging, with their efforts sent to Repeat Roses, an organisation which gives unwanted blooms to good causes such as hospices.
With Archie’s arrival, Harry and Meghan appeared to take to parenthood with ease.
On a trip to the Hague soon after the birth, the duke described his newborn as being “very quiet”.
Four months after Archie was born, Meghan was back at work, launching a capsule clothing collection in aid of the Smart Works charity.
She joked as she left the launch event: “I’ve got to get back to the baby – it’s feeding time.”
Meghan had a successful birthing experience at the plush Portland Hospital, but is expected to welcome her second child overseas.
He or she will be the most senior royal in the current line of succession to have been born abroad.
During lockdown, both the Sussexes told of how they treasured the time they were spending with Archie.
Following Meghan’s victory in her privacy battle against Associated Newspapers Limited this week, she thanked Harry, her mother Doria Ragland and her legal team for their “unrelenting support” that followed “two long years of pursuing litigation”.
The announcement of her pregnancy will be seen by some as Meghan moving forward and putting the legal case behind her.