The circumstances surrounding the birth of a child to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was as unorthodox and unexpected as their approach to royal life, writes James Taylor.
When Buckingham Palace announced that the Duchess had gone into labour in the early hours of the morning and more news would be released soon, the child had actually been born around eight to nine hours earlier.
There has been a lot written in the last few weeks about breaks in royal protocol where the couple are concerned.
Because things have changed so much since the 1960s – we expect to hear more quickly and see photographs straight away, it seems though that Prince Harry’s appearance announcing the birth looking so obviously proud and delighted to be a father has disarmed many of his critics.
They will, though, need to strike a balance between maintaining their privacy as a family and allowing loyal supporters of the monarchy the opportunity to share in their happiness – something the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have done successfully with their children.
Now the child has been born, the speculation has moved onto what he will be called.
Apparently, the bookies’ favourites are James and Alexander.
I would also guess that Charles would be a likely pick after his royal grandfather and grand-uncle, Earl Spencer.
But, given the reported relations between the Duchess of Sussex and her paternal relatives, I think Thomas is probably unlikely.
For my part, I think Philip would be a good name – and a tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh – something I am sure the Queen would appreciate.
Although we don’t know his name yet, we think we know what the child will be called.
As a great-grandchild of the monarch and the child of a younger son of the Prince of Wales, he isn’t entitled to the style of His Royal Highness or Prince unless letters patent are issued as they were for Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis granting them the honour.
As things stand, he will be known as Earl of Dumbarton, which is one of Prince Harry’s titles although he will be entitled to be a prince when his grandfather becomes king – although this may not necessarily be the case as the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children are legally entitled to be Princess Louise and Prince James but are instead known as Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn after an agreement when their parents married in 1999 to reduce the number of working members of the Royal Family.
Whatever the future has in store, now is the time for the Duke and Duchess to spend time with their baby and get used to the reality of being a family as all new parents will experience.