Details of Meghan Markle’s birth plan have finally been made public as her explosive new biography reveals the Sussexes ditched home birth dream in favour of ‘discreet’ Portland Hospital with its underground entrance.
The controversial new book written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was released yesterday and raised eyebrows for its gushing praise and intimate knowledge of the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39.
And while Meghan and Harry tried to keep the birth location and their medical staff a secret last year, Omid and Carolyn have revealed details of the birth of their son in the new book.
The authors write that Meghan ‘never considered’ giving birth at the Lindo Wing and ‘wanted something more discreet’, explaining: ‘Portland Hospital offered not only state-of-the-art care but also an underground entrance where blacked-out SUVs driving in and out were the norm.’
In the explosive new biography, the authors write: ‘While Meghan was originally interested in home birth, as she entered her final trimister she chose to deliver at hospital.
‘Although there were reports that Meghan was “devastated” to have her dream home birth plans dashed at the last minute, a source said that by the time Meghan went into labour, those plans had long been put to rest.’
A source told the authors: ‘I know there were stories about a home birth and that was certainly something that was discussed early on but Meghan knew it would be a hospital birth for a few months.
‘All she cared about was having the baby in the safest way possible. She was more and more nervous as she approached the due date, so I would say in some ways it was a relief for her to be doing it in a traditional hospital.’
According to Finding Freedom, Meghan ‘never considered’ giving birth at the Lindo Wing where Kate Middleton had delivered all three of her children because she ‘wanted something more discreet.’
Meanwhile the authors write that it was a closely guarded secret where the Duchess would give birth.
They continue: ‘Harry and Meghan, who were never spotted entering or leaving Portland, didn’t tell anyone about their hospital choice, not even their closest aides or friends.
‘The only people who did know were Doria and Meghan’s medical team including her ob-gyn Penelope Law.’
Meanwhile Meghan ‘jokingly called herself “a balloon” to a friend as her due date of April 28 came and went.’
Her engagement ring no longer fit and, Omid and Carolyn explain: ‘As her pregnancy went into the first week of May, she stuck with the modified yoga routine she had done every morning throughout.
‘She also made long walks with their two dogs part of her daily ritual upon moving to Frogmore.’
A source said that Meghan ‘took the advice of doctors, who attended Frogmore Cottage every day in the days leading up to her hospital admission.’
A friend told the authors the period she was overdue was ‘the longest eight days of her life!’
They added: ‘But her patience and calm were amazing during that time – she just said “the baby will come when it comes” and that was that.’
On the evening of Sunday May 5, Prince Harry ‘jumped behind the wheel’ of a Range Rover and drove Meghan, as well as Doria and a protection officer, to the Portland.
According to the authors, Meghan ‘did not deliver by C-section’, adding: ‘At 5.26am on Monday May 7, Archie was born in an uncomplicated birth.’
After texting friends and family the news, Harry went on to tell palace aides to inform, which he did at 9.30am, just as the new family of three were leaving to return to Frogmore Cottage.
The authors write: ‘It was soon after Archie was born, but Dr Penny had given the all clear and Meghan felt up to getting back home, where she could continue to be monitored.’
‘Although Meghan spent just a short time in the hospital after Archie’s birth, when she texted friends with the news back home while the baby slept, she described being elated, if tired and a little overwhelmed.’
Meanwhile ‘when it came to letting the public know, Harry wanted to do so himself.’
Omid and Carolyn detail how a source close to the prince told them: ‘Harry didn’t want his office to give the info to the papers to put out and he didn’t want to lose control of this precious moment.
He wanted people to hear it in his own words, no statement, no formal announcement…just him, off the cuff and candid.’
Meghan and Prince Harry were famously private about their son’s birth last May, with some details only becoming available to the public when his birth certificate was released.
At the time, the duke confessed he had only had a few hours’ sleep, suggesting Meghan had spent much of the night in labour.
The authors of Prince Harry and Meghan’s new biography have confirmed that they spoke with the couple ‘when appropriate’ in an acknowledgement buried at the back of the explosive book.
However the author’s note appears to acknowledge that the writers worked with the couple on the biography, reading: ‘We have spoken with close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organisations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate, the couple themselves.’
Palace insiders have described the book as ‘score settling’ after Harry and Meghan left the Royal Family for a life in Los Angeles – after suddenly announcing their intentions in January in a move that left the Queen ‘hurt’.
The book gives a dramatic account of the events leading up to the Sussexes’ departure from royal life and offers new insights to Harry’s falling out with William.
The fraternal dispute is said to have erupted after the Duke of Cambridge’s referred to Meghan as ‘this girl’ and voiced concerns that his younger brother might be rushing into romance.
The authors say Harry ‘felt people working with his brother had put things out there to make William look good, even if it meant throwing Harry under the bus’.
Among the fresh revelations in the book are: