0708 – Royalty

Famous friends rally to support Duke and Duchess of Sussex: ‘All they’re trying to do is make the world better’

Prince Harry and Meghan at the premiere of The Lion King

Famous friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rallied to their defence following accusations of hypocrisy over their use of private jets, saying the couple are just “trying to make the world better”. American talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who has recently visited the Duke and Duchess, and pop star Pink both issued statements lamenting the “public form of bullying” endured by the couple, after details of their holidays to Ibiza and Nice emerged. It is the latest of the high-profile support for the Duke and Duchess, whose circle of celebrity friends are increasingly using interviews and social media to act as unofficial spokespeople to protect the couple from what they view as “attacks”. On Monday, Sir Elton John claimed the Duke and Duchess had been subject to “relentless and untrue assassinations” after being photographed with their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor boarding a private jet to his home in the south of France. The images led to accusations of hypocrisy for the Duke, who weeks earlier had flown to Google Camp to deliver a lecture on the environment and published an interview warning of climate change: “We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil”.

He and the Duchess are reported to have undertaken at least four flights by private jet on holidays to Ibiza and Nice this month. Sir Elton said he had arranged the latest trip because the Sussexes needed the “safety and tranquility” offered by his villa on the French Riviera, and had made “an appropriate contribution” to a company that specialises in offsetting carbon emissions. Now, Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and talkshow host who has worked with the Duke on elephant conservation, added to the A-list voices defending the couple. In a post on Instagram, mentioning her wife, she said: “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. “They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people.  “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.” Pink, an American singer whose links to the Royal couple have not been made public, said: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? “Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.” Between them, the three celebrities have a Twitter following of 111 million, with a further 83m people watching on Instagram. DeGeneres’ following alone, of 78.3m on Twitter and 76m on Instagram, dwarfs both the Royal Family’s main official social media accounts – 4m on Twitter – or the SussexRoyal Instagram page at 9.3m. The wisdom of Sir Elton’s intervention has been questioned after it sent the story of the private jet global, elevating it to a spectrum of British newspaper front pages, television and radio. Some were left concerned that the support of multi-millionaire celebrities would not win over the couple’s critics, adding to the confusion over their difficult dual role as global stars and working members of a Royal Family whose activities are funded in part by the taxpayer.

The celebrity PR blitz is understood to have unfolded without the knowledge of staff in the royal household, and is not part of an official communications strategy. It will likely be welcomed by the Duke and Duchess, who have become frustrated at their recent portrayal in the media and the restrictions placed upon them as members of the Royal Family. While the couple have a communications team based at Buckingham Palace, aides are bound to issue factual statements rather than speak on record about the Sussexes more abstract personal attributes or good intentions. Instead, the Duke and Duchess have increasingly forged their own methods of communication, writing lengthy Instagram captions giving away “behind the scenes” information about who they have met and publishing personal photographs.

The Duchess’s recent project to guest edit British Vogue gave her a platform of hundreds of pages to share her world view unencumbered by outside scrutiny. The Sussexes have previously received the support of George Clooney,the actor, who claimed the then-pregnant Duchess had been “pursued and vilified” during her New York baby shower, and said of media coverage: “It seemed to me to be a little unjust since she hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life.” Gayle King, a broadcaster and best friend of Oprah Winfrey who attended the Duchess’ baby shower and visited her at Frogmore, regularly speaks up for her on American television. The BBC’s fact-checking team have calculated that the Duke and Duchess’s two return flights by private jet would have created 37.6 tonnes of CO2: “more than six times an average Briton’s yearly emissions, or 111 times those of a person in Lesotho”.

0673 – Royalty

Prince Harry invokes memory of his mother’s campaigning as he urges greater efforts to tackle landmines

The Duke of Sussex speaking on landmines

The Duke of Sussex has urged the public not to forget his mother’s words on landmines, as he argues the remnants of war must finally be cleared from Angola to allow wildlife and tourists to return. The Duke, whose mother Diana, Princess of Wales, became the face of the campaign in her lifetime, echoed her words to say landmines “are a humanitarian issue not a political one”, urging countries not to leave the mission “half done”. Saying it was “pretty shocking” to learn that de-mining funding had been cut by nearly 90 per cent in the last decade, he urged the international community to help Angola complete its “long journey, full of heartache and frustration” to safety. In a speech at a Chatham House Africa Programme event, London, he made the case particularly for the wildlife of the Okavango Delta, where animals too have been armed by the “remnants of war” including landmines. “My hope is that through this collaboration, minefields can be cleared, land can be protected,  wildlife can be free to return to where they once roamed, and Angolans can reap the rewards by coexisting with the one constant that will draw people in from all over the world –  the extraordinary setting that they call home,” he said. The Duke is understood to be planning a trip to the country in the autumn, working with the HALO Trust on the issue of landmines. His visit, which will likely see him accompanied in some capacity by the Duchess and his son Archie, will be a major tourism coup for the region, showing potential holidaymakers that the land is safe in echoes of his mother’s  famous walk through the minefield. “This event is the culmination of a great effort by many people to progress the vital mission of de-mining Angola – and putting it back on the map as a tourist destination,” he said of the Chatham House event. He went on to reference the words of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, when she was heavily criticised for her involvement in the issue of landmines and called a “loose cannon” by one British minister. “I’m not a political figure, nor do I want to be one,” she said then. “But I come with my heart, and I want to bring awareness to people in distress, whether it’s in Angola or any part of the world. The fact is I’m a humanitarian figure. Always have been and always will be.” Speaking today, the Duke said: “I first visited Chatham House in June 2017 to take part in a scenario planning exercise – some of you in the room today were here with me. “That exercise showed me the importance of landmine clearance within a humanitarian emergency because, let’s not forget, land mines are a humanitarian issue NOT a political one.” Saying countries must not “leave a job left half done”, he added: “In fact I was told just the other day of the positive transformation in Huambo since my mother walked that minefield all those years ago. “What is less well-known is the impact landmines can have on conservation and wildlife, and therefore the econo-my.” He continued: “Angola is an important example of a country leading the way in clearing the remnants of war to secure a better future for its people and its environment – it has been a long journey, one full of heartache and frustration I’m sure, but now with the optimism and encouragement from your Government Minister, I truly believe that Angola will become a shining example to the rest of the continent.” The event included a major announcement about a new initiative between The HALO Trust and the government of Angola, who are investing $60 million to clear landmines surrounding the Angolan Okavango watershed. Organisers explained that large swathes of south-eastern Angola were ripe for eco-tourism but virtually inaccessible due to landmines, a legacy of the country’s bitter civil war that ended in 2002.

More than one million landmines were planted across the country during the conflict, decimating rural regions and rendering large areas of the country unsafe for both local people and animals including African elephants, lions, cheetahs and hundreds of species of birds. The HALO Trust, which has been working in Angola since 1994, during which time it has destroyed more than 95,000 landmines and cleared 840 minefields, estimates that there is still more than one thousand minefields to be cleared, an area of 121 km2. The new investment, over five years, will fund the clearance of 153 minefields in the south-eastern province of Cuando Cubango inside two national parks, the Mavinga and the Luengue-Luiana. HALO estimates it will need a further $60 million to clear the rest. The 1997 Landmine Treaty, to which it is a signatory, pledges to clear all landmines by 2025. Jane Cooking, chief executive MAG, another international anti-landmine organisation, who took part in the panel discussion, spoke about Diana’s work. She said: “She was very frustrated that what she was doing was being misconstrued as a political issue, not a humanitarian one. “The point was the landmines treaty remains one of the rare pieces of international law where rather than everybody having to get on board, and you just end up with the lowest common denominator, a group of countries led by Canada said ‘scrap this, we are not going anywhere with this. This is not going to work. Those that are up for it, let’s just do it”. “Princess Diana put her weight behind it. So all this diplomatic effort which had been going on for years, she really helped get it over the line.  “We broke the rules and she broke to rules to do that wonderful thing.”

0671 – Royalty

Prince Harry: Investing in sport for disadvantaged youth would save ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’

The Duke of Sussex has argued investment in grassroots sports would save “hundreds of millions of pounds” in treating the problems of a lost generation of young people, as he joins Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams in the boxing ring. The Duke, who has previously spoken about how boxing has helped his own mental wellness, said supporting sports projects would not only change lives but save lives. Speaking at the launch of Made By Sport, a charity coalition to raise £40 million to boost sport in disadvantaged communities, he said the country could spend hundreds of millions of pounds on the problems caused by a lack of sport in young people’s lives or “you rip up all those cheques and start at the beginning to prevent it from happening in the first place”. At the event, at the Black Prince Trust’s Community Sports Hub in Kennington, London, the duke stepped into a boxing gym to watch former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua coaching youngsters alongside flyweight fighter and double Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams. He told his audience: “You can always separate the people who have had sport in their lives from a very young age compared to the people that haven’t.” “I don’t have a problem with saying that as set of core values, if you don’t have sport in your life then it will be a very isolated journey. “We have a "Prince in this campaign to ensure places that are being shut down are not being shut down and that people from all walks of society and every corner of this country are actually given the opportunity to shine, to flourish. “This is about community, this is about providing opportunity to young people all over the place to actually be part of something, something they might not be getting at home, within their own community.” The duke said the sport allowed participants to “get out the anger and aggression which everybody has”, and Joshua added: “All you need is a T-shirt and some gloves.” Adams said afterwards:  “Harry has boxed a bit before. He said he had been boxing before. “I’d love to see boxing gets back into schools more.” “There’s a real bond in boxing. A lot of kids who are drawn to it are trying to get away from a troubled life.” “Boxing is a safe environment where they can do that in a safe environment. Boxing has done the world for me, I’ve travelled the world, I’ve been awarded an MBE and an OBE and become double Olympic champion.

“I think Harry really understands the power of what it can do for kids.”

0670 – Royalty

Harry and Meghan to ‘split’ from charity foundation shared with Cambridges

Princes William and Harry and their wives are to work together on ‘one off’ charitable projects, amid mounting specu-lation the Sussexes are to split from the foundation the couples set up together. In a sign of a further distancing between the two royal households Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are set to work on their own separate projects, while occasionally coming together for shared initiatives. It comes after it was announced the two households of the Sussexes and Cambridges are to be run separately, following Prince Harry and Meghan’s move of their family home from Kensington Palace to Windsor. The separation of the two households led to a review of the way the Royal Foundation, launched in 2009, operates, with an announcement expected later this month [June]. But palace sources have indicated that both couples are set to go their own way when pursuing their philanthropic and social activism interests. A source said: “They are all excited about what the future holds for what they can achieve with their charitable activity. “But they are also looking forward to working together on big one off projects such as mental health issues.” When the Royal Foundation charity was set up by Prince William and Prince Harry in 2009 it was heralded as a sign of the close emotional and working relationship between the two brothers. With their two wives coming on board over the following years the foundation became one of the most glamorous organisations in the charitable sector. Last year ‘the Fab Four’, as they were known to their fans, attended a Q&A forum about their work under the slogan Making A Difference Together. During the session Tina Daheley, the host, asked if they ever had disagreements. William replied “Oh yes”. When she Daheley asked how they resolved their last disagreement, the princes responded: “Is it resolved? We don’t know!” Prince Harry added: “It’s really good we’ve got four different personalities and we’ve all got that same passion to want to make a difference. Those different opinions work really well.” But it is now understood that the two royal couples have different ideas about what causes to focus on and how to pursue them, with one source telling The Sun: “Meghan and Harry want to do things differently to William and Kate.” A board meeting on June 19 is expected to confirm that the Royal Foundation members will split. Its work revolves around six main themes of mental health, wildlife conservation, young people and the welfare of the armed forces and their families. A spokesman for the foundation said: “The work to prepare both couples for their future roles will of course have implications for how they manage their charitable and philanthropic activity into the future. “We are not going to prejudge the outcome of the review, but we will be able to announce it publicly once all aspects are concluded.” The spokesman added: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are committed to the work they are carrying out through The Royal Foundation and are proud of what they have achieved together.”

0664 – Royalty

An artists impression of the Duchess of Cambridge's Chelsea Flower Show garden

This week, Kensington Palace released previously unseen images of the Duchess of Cambridge putting the finishing touches on her designs for her debut Chelsea Flower Show garden. Over the past few months, Kate has been working with the Royal Horticultural Society and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White to design a woodland wilderness “Back to Nature” garden for families with children. Until now, the details have been kept under wraps – shrouding the most eagerly anticipated attraction of the 2019 show in mystery ahead of its grand unveiling next week. However, we know that the garden is designed to “inspire families to get outside and explore nature together”, and to promote the benefits the natural world brings to mental and physical well-being. And we can now reveal that among the many child-friendly, playful features, the 37-year-old’s magical garden is set to boast both a stream and Enid Blyton-esque, high-platform tree house, clad in stag horn oak and whimsically reminiscent of a bird’s nest. The pictures here show just how hands-on Kate’s creative input has been into the garden, which will also feature a swing seat, a campfire and a rustic den, similar to one used by her own children Prince George (5), Princess Charlotte (4) and Prince Louis (1) in the grounds of Anmer Hall, their beloved countryside home in remote north Norfolk.

When she and Prince William were based there permanently, they planted extra trees, saplings and shrubs to create a natural retreat from the outside world, and in many ways, this is to be a garden shaped by the Duchess’s own first-hand experiences of the joys of playing outside and escaping into nature. Lift the tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow logs we now know that she will present next week for children to play on at Chelsea, and you will likely find not just ants, worms and woodlice, but an insight into the Duchess’s family values and the causes that make her tick. The Duchess of Cambridge is understood to have been a “tomboy” as a child, has always spoken fondly about her childhood, saying she used to love spending time outside with her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James in the village of Bucklebury in Berkshire, where you will find the Bucklebury Farm & Deer Safari Park and the pretty River Pang, a gently tinkling chalk stream. And outdoor playtime is exactly what Kate and Prince William want for their own children, too. “As a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish,” she wrote in an open letter to support Children’s Hospice Week. It’s no coincidence that the day care she chose for Prince George in Norfolk was a modest Montessori nursery, Westacre, where the emphasis was on “free play”, often outdoors, getting stuck in and getting messy.

The Duke and Duchess of CambridgeRecently, the Duchess also got stuck into the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, helping a group of children to plant spring-flowering bulbs, including daffodils and snake’s head fritillaries. According to Kensington Palace, Kate’s ‘Back to Nature’ garden “hopes to trigger memories of time spent in nature” – but it’s not only nostalgia for an idyllic childhood driving Kate’s appreciation of the fun to be had in green spaces, but also her ongoing campaigning for mental health awareness. Kate is seen as the driving force behind Heads Together, an ongoing campaign she fronts with her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry, who opened up to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon last year about his own battles with mental health issues as part of their #oktosay campaign. Fresh air, exercise and natural surroundings contribute to both mental and physical health, which the young royals believe are of equal importance. The benefits are proven, and the effects can be immediate: one recent study even found that birdsong can boost mental well-being for up to four hours.  This week, Prince William launched a new ‘Head’s Up” men’s mental health campaign at Wembley Stadium with the Football Association president. Both Kate and William have worked continuously to end the stigma around mental health and “open up the conversation” as a whole. Kate’s focus has increasingly been on children’s mental health, in particular. In February, she visited a number of school’s for Children’s Mental Health Week. “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives,” she said at the time. “It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.” Earlier this month, she also gave a heartfelt speech at the opening of a new children’s mental health centre, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in King’s Cross.  “We are all here today because we care so much about transforming the mental health of children, young people and their families. I have learnt so much about early childhood development and the importance of support from parents,” she said. In her Chelsea garden, interaction with the natural environment will be encouraged through the garden’s “multi-sensory” green and blue plant scheme to offer serenity away from screens and stress, set within a bosky environment traversed with paths. This in itself is revealing of Kate’s concern over the impact of technology on modern childhoods. Apparently, during early discussions between the landscape designers, it emerged that she had been reading Last Child in the Woods, the 2005 book in which author Richard Louv first coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” (£10.99, Waterstones).

In the book, Louv attributes such ills as the rises in childhood obesity, attention disorders, and depression to this deficit – but also offers practical solutions, many of which can be found just beyond the doorstep. Since its first publication, Louv has launched a growing “Leave No Child Inside” movement, and has published updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. According to the palace, the Back to Nature garden “seeks to recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations.” Like Anmer Hall, her garden will offer rural respite from urban living as well as an antidote to increasingly sedentary, indoor lifestyles. “The challenge we all have is to make it feel like visitors are in the middle of a woodland,” said Adam White of the design, which the Duchess suggested should incorporate elements of forest bathing, the Japanese practise of immersing yourself among trees for wellbeing, otherwise known as shinrin-yoku.

In many ways, Kate is following in the footsteps of her father-in-law Prince Charles in this respect. A passionate gardener who has long campaigned for environmental causes, Charles has also previously exhibited at Chelsea, designing two gardens in 2001 and 2002, and winning silver both times. Notably, he worked with garden designer Jinny Bloom to create a “Healing Garden”, which featured 125 varieties of medicinal herbs, shrubs and kitchen plants to help with everything from bruises to stress. While cynics may see the Duchess’s debut as a cleverly plotted marketing exercise executed by the Firm, surely anything that aims to get us away from computer screens and paddling in streams or climbing trees again for a dose of “nature medicine” can be no bad thing.

0662 – Royalty

Prince Harry says fatherhood has given him ‘new focus and goal in life’ as he speaks of loss of his mother

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of how his three-day-old son Archie has “given him a new focus and goal”, teaching him the “miracle” of new life after the challenges he faced following the loss of his mother. The Duke, who was in The Hague for the launch of the one year countdown to the Invictus Games, told of his pleasure in knowing his baby had made “a lot of people happy”, saying he was still “very quiet” at just a few days old. Having left Archie at home in Windsor with the Duchess to return for one day of work, he spoke of the joy his baby son has brought but advised a fellow father-to-be to learn his lessons and not plan too much after the baby’s arrival.

During a bike ride around the Zuiderpark, the Duke had a candid conversation with former soldier Dennis van der Stroom, 31, about mental health and parenting, speaking poignantly of the loss of Diana, Princess of Wales. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Monday morning, with the Duke appearing to abandon the idea of paternity leave with one engagement today another already announced for Tuesday.

“Above all, he said he was just The Duke of Sussex (R) makes a bike ride with Dutch athlete Dennis Van Der Stroom (L)  by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy,” said Mr Van der Stroon. “He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.“ But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives. The Invictus athlete, who served in the army from 2006 until 2011, described his conversation with the Duke as “amazing and emotional”. “At a certain moment, we just got connected on this level,” he said. “We talked about how my wife, Mireille, is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl, and he told me how special it was that his son has just been born. “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.”

Van der Stroon was a Corporal First Class and served on operations in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In 2014 his mother, Marion, died aged 58 from chronic lung disease, and in 2015 he was diagnosed with PTSD, triggering what he described as a “domino effect” of mental health issues. “I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mum,” he said. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is presented with an Invictus Games baby grow by Princess Margriet of The Netherlands during the launch of the Invictus GamesThe Duke, who had pretended to prop his eyes open with tiredness as he arrived at a sports stadium in The Hague, will travel home with a new soft rattle toy, a stuffed bird, some newborn socks with “I love Daddy” written on them, and a special Invictus Games babygrow for Archie. His branded jacket was embroidered with the word “Daddy”. Chatting to a friend in the arena, he discussed how fatherhood was the “best thing he will ever do”.

JJ Chalmers, a former Invictus star and broadcaster who has become a friend of the Prince, disclosed: “He said it’s amazing but it’s hard work. He said that Archie slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do… and then he woke up.”

0661 – Royalty

Prince Harry leaves royal baby Archie just three days after birth to head to the Netherlands

The Duke of Sussex will travel to the Netherlands today, just three days after the birth of his son Archie. Harry will visit The Hague to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020, after introducing Archie to the world alongside Meghan in an eagerly anticipated photocall on Wednesday. Leading parenting expert Suzie Hayman said Harry is likely to find leaving his baby son so soon after his birth “agonising”, and said he would feel a “pang” to be leaving his wife and child. But Meghan is likely to still have the company of her mother Doria Ragland at their Frogmore Cottage home while Harry is away on the short trip.

Ernstig gewonde oorlogsveteranen kunnen niet meer vechten in het leger, maar nog wel strijden voor een medaille tijdens de Invictus Games.

0660 – Royalty

Baby Archie Harrison: Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce royal baby boy’s name – but no title

After months of speculation about the royal baby’s name – we finally have the answer. The Duke and Duchess’ boy is called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. But the newborn will not be given a courtesy title after his parents decided they would like him to be known simply as Archie. The baby will have the title “master” for formal correspondence while a child, instead of being an earl or a lord. The Sussexes could have chosen to give him the title of Earl of Dumbarton, one of the Duke’s subsidiary titles available to his firstborn boy. They could also have opted for Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor to ensure gender equality with any future sister. But he will be known as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex take their first steps toward giving the seventh-in-line to the throne the most normal upbringing they can muster.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is introduced to the world for the first timeA spokesman for Buckingham Palace said that, while there were titles that Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could apply to their son, “they have chosen not to give him a courtesy title at this time”. This could be revisited when the Prince of Wales one day becomes king, under a 1917 convention allowing the grandchildren of the monarch to be known as HRH Prince or Princess. He will also be entitled to succeed Prince Harry as the Duke of Sussex. The Duke and Duchess’s decision is understood to be their own, with the Queen happy to allow them free choice over their children’s names. The Duke has previously spoken frankly about the difficulties he experienced while growing up as a member of the Royal family, with the title carrying responsibility as well as rights.

In 2015, he disclosed he had once felt so disillusioned he “wanted out”, considering giving up his title before conceding he could use it for good. Being in the Army as Captain Wales or simply “Harry”, he has said, was the “best escape I’ve ever had”. He has since appeared to embrace the benefits of his royal platform, using his position to further an array of charitable causes on the world stage. The Sussexes’ decision also reflects the choice made by Prince Harry’s aunt, the Princess Royal, whose children were known from birth as Peter and Zara Phillips. Zara, now Mrs Tindall, has embraced the freedom, which has required her and her brother to forge their own professional paths and enabled her to earn a living via sponsorship as a sportswoman. “I’ve been very lucky,” she has said in an interview. “My parents didn’t give us titles so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. “As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s difficult to shed it. My brother and I have been very lucky like that, being able to find our own way.”

As Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Baby Sussex is free to do the same, joining his parents on the global platform they have cultivated. By actively announcing the decision to eschew all titles, the Duke and Duchess have also neatly avoided the inevitable comparisons with the Cambridge children, who were all named HRH Prince or Princess at birth. Some had feared the Earl of Dumbarton title would prove confusing for fans of the Sussexes around the world, who could perceive it as a snub owing to the disparity in rank. While unlikely to have been a primary consideration for the couple, the lack of a traditional British title will also serve to simplify matters for the American media which already persists in referring to “Duchess Meghan” and may have used “Earl Archie” for ease. The Duke of Edinburgh, who met Archie at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, may have been pleased to learn that he is taking the surname Mountbatten-Windsor after he famously insisted his descendants bear the family name. He joins Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, in the style. Penny Junor, a royal biographer, said: “It’s exactly what I would have expected from Harry. He would have dearly liked to have been a normal boy growing up and found his title very difficult.”

0659 – Royalty

Royal baby Sussex: Harry’s reaction was unbuttoned, excited and gloriously himself. I know he will make a wonderful father

It was just after 2pm when the “It’s a Boy” announcement came on Instagram, swiftly followed by a beaming Prince Harry speaking to cameras outside some stables near Windsor Castle. It was classic Harry: unbuttoned, excited, gloriously himself. No formalities here. He was almost boyish himself in his enthusiasm, and here was a reminder of why the public love him so much, why we feel so invested in his story. “I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy earlier this morning, a very healthy boy.” His happiness almost radiated through the TV. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.” And then came the moment that cemented his position as prince of all our hearts – the recognition of the awesomeness and amazingness of childbirth. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension,” he almost gasped. “But we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody… “As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I’m just over the moon.” The television and radio talk shows had frothed themselves into a rage in the last week, caterwauling about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s insistence on having a private birth, as if this might mean we wouldn’t get news of the new baby until it set off for university at 18.

0655 – Royalty

Welcome to Frogmore Cottage, Meghan: a locals’ guide to fitting in with the Thames Valley Toffs

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are just days away from welcoming their first child and they have now moved into their new home, Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of the Windsor Estate. Here we look at what life will be like for Harry and Meghan as they start their new life in Berkshire with royal baby Sussex. So, the Sussexes have made the Big Move out of London. Whether this is a result of the rumoured froideur with the Cambridges, or simply that they want more space, it is only natural for the newlyweds to want to do their own thing – this is, after all, exactly what Wills and Kate did when they shot off to Amner Hall, their Queen Anne country house in Norfolk, following the birth of Prince George. The Sussexes have made a very different lifestyle choice, however, by opting to settle in the Stockbroker Belt, only an hour from Kensington Palace, where both are keeping offices.

The move to the Thames Valley is perhaps more forward thinking than fleeing to the provinces: Meghan and Harry could make Frogmore Cottage their forever home, commuting to their day jobs and never needing to uproot again. Not only is the area blissfully accessible but they also have connections to it – Harry boarded at Ludgrove in nearby Wokingham from the age of eight and then at Eton, just across the river. And of course, the pair had their engagement photos taken in Frogmore’s grounds, returning there for their wedding reception, after the ceremony at Windsor Castle. Sue Barnes of Lavender Green Flowers, a Windsor local who regularly does the flowers at events at the Royal palaces, believes the area is the perfect fit for the Sussexes. “Windsor is the most homely of all the Royal palaces, and people here feel hugely protective over the family,” she says. “They will be well looked after.” Plus, this part of Berkshire offers the best of everything, she adds. “When you’ve spent a day in the Big Smoke, it really feels like coming home – you can pull up the drawbridge and enjoy being together.” Which is, presumably, precisely what the Duke and Duchess are planning to do.

The house

Frogmore Cottage sounds decidedly modest – which it is, compared to Amner Hall, which has a swimming pool, tennis court and 10 bedrooms. Yet Harry and Meghan’s new digs – originally a gardener’s cottage and then used to house Queen Charlotte’s unmarried daughters – are a considerable notch up from Nottingham Cottage, where they’ve been housed at KP. Set in complete privacy in the undulating landscape of Frogmore Park, itself part of the Norman hunting forest of Windsor Great Park, Harry and Meghan will be able to enjoy more privacy than they have ever had in London. The cottage is white-painted and gabled, with an understated “private” sign on the gate; and now that the Sussexes have souped it up, it is a modern family home with at least five bedrooms and all the usual Home Counties creature comforts, such as open plan living spaces, a wine cellar and gym – and, of course, a nursery large enough to house all Baby Sussex’s official gifts (Prince George received 774). The couple is also rumoured to be creating a granny annexe for Meghan’s mother, Doria, who is expected to make regular visits from America once her grandchild arrives.

The locale

Outside the Arcadian tranquility of the Frogmore Estate, the Windsor area is awash with fancy hotels, golf courses and polo clubs – perfect for Harry, who is no longer allowed to participate in field sports. This corner of Berkshire is not dissimilar, according to Barnes, from the Cattle graze on the Queen's Windsor estate outside the New York, a highly accessible playground for those who enjoy the high life. While some (Kate perhaps?) might argue that this is not real countryside compared to Norfolk or Anglesey, where the Cambridges lived as newlyweds, Barnes insists that the area is perfectly rural. “You do get a bit of plane noise but you get used to it. It’s smart country – but proper country.” Indeed the Queen’s 3000-acre farm has 200 pedigree Jersey milking cows, a pedigree Sussex beef herd, 140 breeding sows and 1500 Lohmann Brown hens. “Wherever you look there are farms and Pony Clubs and landed families that have lived here for generations,” Barnes says. “That’s why it’s always been so popular.” And, presumably, why it has become so expensive – those aspiring to join the Thames Valley Toffs will be disappointed to discover that £2 million (the price of a Georgian rectory and 100 acres in Norfolk) buys nothing more than a four-bedroom mock Tudor, here.

The locals

There will be no stilted dinner parties in freezing ancestral piles for the Sussexes. The Home Countries set is altogether flashier than the Turnip Toffs of Norfolk – as Kate knows this only too well, having grown up 15 miles away at Bucklebury. (In fact, the Cambridges were tempted to move out west themselves, in 2011 reportedly looking round Kingston Lisle Park, which used to belong to Prince Harry’s godmother, Laura Lonsdale.)  Meghan can look forward to film screenings in the private cinema (complete with popcorn machine) at George and Amal Clooney’s £20 million pile near Sonning, and lavish parties chez Elton John, who has a house in Old Windsor and holds Gatsby-esque balls with Oligrachs and sports stars on the Wentworth Estate. The area is surrounded by landed families: there are the Oppenheimers at Waltham Place near Maidenhead, which they run as a biodynamic and organic farm, and the Benyons at Englefield on the other side of Reading, where Pippa Middleton married James Matthews. And then there are the Phillimores and Schwarzenbachs at Henley, who host enviable garden parties. The area is increasingly attracting young guns from the Gloucestershire set, who are now embracing a Staines postcode. “It suits young parents,” says a source, “they can make big bucks in the City, yet still be back home for bath time.”

Sentebale Polo CupThe lifestyle

Much of the local social scene revolves around polo, with regular play-offs at Guards Polo Club and the Royal Berkshire Polo Ground, where in June, Meghan cheered Harry on in the Sentebale Polo Cup. Golf is another big feature; Harry can work on his handicap at Sunningdale and Wentworth, while Meghan, like every other local golf widow in Henley-shire, heads to one of the area’s five star spas – Clivedon, perhaps, or Coworth Park, where she stayed before her wedding, and which is more opulent than the Hurlingham Club in London where Kate has her tennis lessons. There is no Bond Street equivalent in Windsor – no bother when Knightsbridge is near enough – but as a keen chef Meghan will enjoy having the Windsor Farm shop down the road, which sells fresh produce from the Royal farm.