As we flipped our calendars over to April, the official countdown to the arrival of the baby of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially began. While we wait for news on Baby Sussex, who is due, any minute, let’s look back on the birth of the father, Prince Harry.
On the 13th of February, 1984, Palace officials released a press statement saying the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Princess of Wales were expecting their second child in mid-September.
United Press International reported that palace officials said, ‘Both Prince Charles and Princess Diana are delighted by the news — as are The Queen, Prince Philip and all the members of both families.’
People magazine reported at the time that Diana suffered daily morning sickness during her first trimester, but other than that the pregnancy was happy and healthy. They also reported that Diana was spotted at Harrods a few times, picking up supplies such as a new crib and baby clothes. She was also spotted buying two sets of towels, a set in blue and another in pink, showing that the Prince and Princess of Wales decided to keep the baby’s sex a surprise.
Diana was admitted to the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London on the 15th of September 1984. The labour lasted for nine hours, and People magazine reported that Diana read a book for the first six hours, with Charles dozing on and off in a nearby chair.
The baby was born third in line to the British throne, following his father and older brother, Prince William and weighed six pounds, 14 ounces.
Prince Charles greeted the crowd of more than 300 well-wishers waiting outside the hospital two hours after Harry’s arrival. Charles described the new baby as “absolutely marvellous”. He brought Prince William to the hospital the next day to meet his younger brother.
The public had their first glimpse of the new royal when Charles and Diana left the hospital two days later with the infant. In a long red coat, Diana cradled her newborn son in a baby blanket while the crowd cheered on the front steps of the hospital. He was then whisked home to Kensington Palace.
Announcement of Name
Charles and Diana gave their son the official name of Prince Henry Charles Albert David, but the palace announced he would be known as Harry to family and friends.
Diana later told Andrew Morton, “I chose William and Harry, but Charles did the rest. He wanted Albert and Arthur, and I said no. Too old!”
Members of the Windsor and Spencer families attended Prince Harry’s christening on the 21st of December 1984 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The christening was filmed, and clips were shown as part of Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas Day speech four days later.
Prince Harry wore the Royal Family’s official christening gown. Dating back to 1841, the gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria for the christening of her first-born child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. It was worn by 62 royal babies including five monarchs. Due to its delicacy, the garment was retired in 2008, and royal babies have since been christened in a replica.