Published 4:35 PM EDT Oct 15, 2018
Royalty is proving fruitful these days: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's news Monday that they expect a baby in the spring means another new cousin will join Queen Elizabeth II's growing gaggle of great-grandchildren.
Soon, there will be eight little royals to delight the 92-year-old monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, 97.
The news was announced by Kensington Palace just as Harry and Meghan were arriving to start their Down Under tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
What do we know so far?
Who are the baby's royal cousins?
The baby will be first cousin to Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and baby Prince Louis of Cambridge, 6 months, the children of uncle Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge.
The baby's four second cousins include: Mia Tindall, 4, and Lena Tindall, who was born just last month to Harry's cousin, Zara Phillips Tindall, the queen's eldest granddaughter, and her husband Mike Tindall.
Also: Savannah Phillips, 7, and Isla Phillips, 6, the daughters of Zara's brother, Peter Phillips, also Harry's cousin and the queen's eldest grandson. Both Zara and Peter are the children of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.
And Princess Eugenie of York, 28, the queen's granddaughter and Harry's cousin who married Jack Brooksbank on Friday, might be expected to produce royal great-grandchild Number 9 in the near future, too. That baby also would be a second cousin to Harry and Meghan's baby.
No morning sickness for Meghan?
She just turned 37, but Meghan has not only taken a long overseas flight, she's prepared to undertake a grueling two weeks of traveling to public engagements in the Southern Hemisphere where high temperatures can be expected.
So it appears she is not suffering from the acute morning sickness syndrome that felled her sister-in-law, Duchess Kate, during the early months of her three pregnancies.
But like Kate, Meghan is slim and she doesn't show much of a baby bump in early stages. On Oct. 3, she wore a dark green leather skirt during an engagement; there wasn't even a hint of a pregnancy.
That didn't stop Twitter from speculating on Meghan's outfit at Eugenie's wedding: a loose-fitting, navy Givenchy coat, which could have hidden a baby bump.
Will the new baby be called a prince or princess? Something else?
Betting on whether the new little royal will be a boy or girl commenced immediately in Britain, where they bet on anything having to do with royals. More interesting is the question of whether the baby will be officially titled a prince or princess.
The simple answer is it's up to the queen. It also depends on how far the child is to the throne. This baby will be 7th in line, just behind Harry who is 6th in line, so he or she is unlikely to ever be crowned.
More: Royal baby: Where does the new prince fit in the line for the throne?
The rules on titles and "style" were last established by the queen's grandfather, King George V, in 1917: They dictate that an HRH and title of prince or princess would be confined to children of the sovereign and the children of sons of the sovereign.
"The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes," the rules say.
So Prince George, as eldest son of the elder son of Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, and thus third in line to the throne, got the prince title. But the queen also bestowed it on Princess Charlotte, 4th in line, and baby Prince Louis, 5th in line.
If the queen decides the first Sussex baby will not be styled prince or princess, the baby, if a boy, would likely take one of Harry's lesser titles, such as Earl of Dumbarton, that he received from the queen on the morning of his wedding along with royal Duke of Sussex.
Who comes after Harry and Meghan's baby? See more of the line of succession
The baby will have an unprecedented ancestry for the royal family:
The baby will be one-quarter African American, thanks to Meghan, whose father is white and whose mother is African American. There's never been an acknowledged part-African baby born into the royal family – or even an American baby.
Meghan is believed to be the first royal bride with African-American ancestry to join the family, although some scholars insist that 18th-century King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, had African ancestry many generations back before she was born in 1744 in Germany.
Nevertheless, it would be a first in the modern era, and would likely boost the family's popularity with its growing minority populations in the U.K. and in the Commonwealth, where Harry and Meghan will play an important role.
Will the baby be a British citizen, an American citizen or both?
The baby will likely be born in London at St. Mary's Hospital so for sure he or she will be a citizen of the United Kingdom, especially as a member of the British royal family.
But Meghan, as an American awaiting U.K. citizenship, could also pass on her U.S. citizenship to her baby – unless she renounces her citizenship for tax purposes before the baby is born.
If not, Meghan could ensure the baby has dual citizenship by applying for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad before the child’s 18th birthday. The State Department recommends parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth.
Will the baby have red hair like Prince Harry's?
The gene for red hair in humans is recessive, meaning you can have red hair only by getting two red-hair genes from each of your parents. A brown gene combined with a red gene produces brown hair, because brown is always the dominant gene.
Red hair runs in Harry's family: The Earls of Spencer, the family of his mother, Princess Diana, had lots of "gingers," as they call it in Britain: Diana's father and one of her sisters had or have hair like Harry's.
It's possible that somewhere in Meghan's genetic makeup there might be a gene for red hair from one of her ancestors, but the likelihood of it turning up in Meghan and then combining with Harry's gene to produce another ginger prince is small.
What will the baby's name be?
Again, let's go to the bookies. BetVictor, a leading European online betting company, put the name Diana as the 6-to-1 favorite if it's a girl, said spokesman Charlie McCann.
Diana, for Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, is also one of the middle names of Princess Charlotte, Harry's niece.
"We make Diana our 6/1 favorite with Charles and Elizabeth next best at 12/1," McCann said. “We have seen a bit of interest in both Alexander and Alexandra since this morning, although it will not be until the New Year before the market hots up as speculation intensifies over the name and gender of the baby."
More: Duchess Meghan, Prince Harry are expecting their first child in the spring
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