News & Opinion | May 6, 2019 11:28 am

Meghan Markle Has Given Birth to the Royal Family’s First Interracial Baby in Recent History

"For many, the new baby’s importance will be indelibly linked with race"

royal babty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have welcomed their new baby
(Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their firstborn child this morning, and with it, a historic change to the British monarchy.

The child, a boy, is the first interracial baby in the royal family’s recent history, the New York Times reported.

Born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this morning, the newborn is seventh in line to the British throne, behind new father Prince Harry.

“This little thing is absolutely to die for, so I’m just over the moon,” Harry told reporters this morning outside Frogmore Cottage. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It’s been the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine.”

Born to a mixed-raced mother, the baby’s legacy will likely be “indelibly linked with race,” the Times noted, adding that Markle’s marriage into the royal family last year “resonated deeply with many people of African descent.”

While the new child is the first interracial baby born into the British monarchy in recent history, scholars have reportedly debated whether either the baby or his mother can be called the first interracial royal. Some historians have argued that the distinction belongs to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whose rumored African ancestry would have been passed down to her own descendant, Queen Victoria.

It is unclear at this time whether the new child will receive a royal title, like those carried by the three children of Prince William, the Times reported. Meanwhile, the baby’s name has also yet to be revealed. According to Town & Country, it may be a few days before the name is announced.

“The reasoning is perhaps two fold,” royal commentator Victoria Arbiter told the magazine. “On one hand there’s a desire to inform the families before a public declaration is made and any new parent appreciates having a little private time to get to know their new addition before the onslaught of announcements,” she explained, adding that royals “also have to consider the great responsibility in naming a new member of the family and I expect they want to be a hundred percent certain of their choice before announcing the name and sealing the baby’s place in history.”

The couple announced the baby’s birth via Instagram this morning. “Their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to announce the birth of their child,” reads the post. “The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.”