Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex expecting child in spring
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Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex expecting child in spring

Baby will be 7th in line to throne; announcement comes as Harry and the former Meghan Markle arrive in Sydney at the start of 16-day trip to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand

In this image made from video, Britain's Prince Harry, center right, and his wife Meghan Markle, left, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, approach a car at an airport in Sydney, October 15, 2018 (Australian Pool via AP)
In this image made from video, Britain's Prince Harry, center right, and his wife Meghan Markle, left, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, approach a car at an airport in Sydney, October 15, 2018 (Australian Pool via AP)

Kensington Palace announced Monday that Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a child in the spring.

The palace said the couple has “appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

The baby will be seventh in line to the throne.

The announcement came as Harry and the former Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney at the start of a 16-day visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

A beaming Markle looked remarkably unfatigued by a 22-hour flight as she walked out of Sydney’s airport with Prince Harry on Monday for a rest day before they officially start a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, (L) leave Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 19, 2018, in an E-Type Jaguar after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / Steve Parsons)

Holding hands and casually dressed, the prince and the former American actress walked out an airport rear entrance and into a car. Meghan, wearing skinny black pants and a black, burgundy trimmed coat, was smiling and clutching folders, while Harry gave a thumbs up to bystanders.

Days after watching Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie tie the knot in a lavish ceremony in Windsor, the couple touched down in Sydney on an overcast morning after a regular Qantas Airways flight from London with a brief stopover in Singapore.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the royal visit would have flow-on benefits for the state.

“I hope the weather holds up because it will be a wonderful experience for everybody, and what better place to be able to welcome them,” Berejiklian told Network Nine television.

US actress and fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry Meghan Markle (L) arrives with her mother Doria Ragland at Cliveden House hotel in the village of Taplow near Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of her wedding to Britain’s Prince Harry. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEVE PARSONS)

Sydney’s weather is expected to be drizzly and cool on Tuesday, with showers forecast for most of the week.

It won’t be the first time Harry has had to brave the rain in Sydney. Last year, he made a whirlwind visit to cast his eye over the Invictus Games preparations, where he charmed his fans during torrential rain.

The couple’s current tour coincides with the games, which start in Sydney on Saturday. The sporting event, founded by Harry in 2014, gives sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.

Harry and Meghan will attend the games’ opening and closing ceremonies. In all, they have 76 engagements scheduled over 16 days in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

In Australia, they will pet a koala in a Sydney zoo, visit the drought-stricken Outback town of Dubbo and meet indigenous leaders on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, in northeastern Queensland state.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wait for the bridal procession at the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, England, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)

The royal couple were driven from the airport to Admiralty House, the official Sydney residence of Governor General Peter Cosgrove, who represents Australia’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother. The couple had no official functions on Monday following the 17,140-kilometer (10,650-mile) flight that Qantas says takes 22 hours and 20 minutes.

Hundreds of well-wishers gathered with umbrellas outside the airport and Admiralty House in the hope of catching a glimpse of Harry and Meghan. The crowd cheered as the waving couple was driven through the gates of the harbor-side mansion.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who plans to climb with Harry to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during the visit, told Parliament on Monday that he commended the prince for coming to Sydney for the Invictus Games and welcomed the couple.

“I want to … commend Prince Harry for his tremendous initiative in lifting the spirits of every single service man and woman all around the globe,” Morrison said.

Harry and Meghan said during a television interview in November that they wanted to promote humanitarian causes close to their hearts across Commonwealth-member countries, including Australia.

The visit comes six months after Harry’s father, Prince Charles, made his 16th official visit to Australia, primarily to open the 21st Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast city in Queensland.

Meghan, 37, made her name in acting as savvy paralegal Rachel Zane in the US television legal drama “Suits.”

In this file photo taken on October 03, 2018 Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) meet with young people on a visit to Joff Youth Centre in Peacehaven in East Sussex, southern England, on October 3, 2018 (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

In her first solo charity project since the wedding, she launched a cookbook in September in support of families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London.

The duchess wrote the foreword to the recipe collection entitled “Together: Our Community Cookbook,”produced by women who suffered from the fatal blaze.

The June 2017 fire in a 24-story residential block killed 71 people and left many more living in temporary accommodation.

Meghan’s every smile, step and wave has been scrutinized by royalty watchers curious to see how the mixed-race American actress will perform in her new role.

She is adored by the public and shadowed at every appearance by the press.

British media last month commented on her closing her own car door at her first solo engagement — the opening of an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

The gesture was interpreted as a sign that Meghan remained a down-to-earth woman without pretenses, despite being married to the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.

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