How Prince Harry and Meghan's baby debut broke tradition from Diana and Kate

Prince Harry and Meghan debuted their newborn in a photo call at Windsor Castle.

May 08, 2019, 1:47 PM

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, debuted their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world Wednesday in a format that stood out in several ways.

Harry and Meghan, who gave birth Monday, skipped the traditional postpartum hospital photo call immediately after the birth. They chose instead to debut Archie a few days after his birth at St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle, the same place they held their wedding reception last May.

Also, Harry walked out holding his son -- a departure from some past royal photo calls, where the mother has typically held the baby.

PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, hold their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, May 8, 2019.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, hold their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, May 8, 2019.
Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

When Harry was born 34 years ago, his mother, the late Princess Diana, posed outside of St. Mary's Hospital in London holding him as Harry's father, Prince Charles, stood next to her.

PHOTO: Prince Charles and Princess Diana pose for photographers with the newborn Prince Harry outside the Lindo Wing in London, Sept. 16, 1984.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana pose for photographers with the newborn Prince Harry outside the Lindo Wing in London, Sept. 16, 1984.
Georges De Keerle/Getty Images, FILE

A few years before, the same type of photo call took place after the birth of Harry's older brother, Prince William, with both Princess Diana and Prince Charles holding their firstborn son.

PHOTO: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, leave St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington with their newborn son, Prince William, June 22, 1982.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, leave St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington with their newborn son, Prince William, June 22, 1982.
Tim Graham/Getty Images, FILE

A few decades after that, in 2013, Prince William walked out of St. Mary's Hospital alongside his wife, Kate, who held their firstborn son, Prince George.

PHOTO: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son George at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son George at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London.
WireImage/Getty Images, FILE

Prince William and Kate did the same after the births of their next two children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Kate and Diana gave birth to each of their children at St. Mary's Hospital's Lindo Wing, a maternity wing rich in royal history.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave birth at Portland Hospital, a private hospital in London, ABC News understands.

She delivered Archie, who weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, at 5:26 a.m. local time, according to Buckingham Palace. Just a few hours after the birth, she was at home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor with Prince Harry and her mom, Doria Ragland, the palace said in a statement Monday.

Each of Kate and Diana's deliveries caused a media circus, with reporters, photographers and fans camped outside the Lindo Wing for days in advance.

PHOTO: Photographers work as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, depart the Lindo Wing with their new born son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London.
Photographers work as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, depart the Lindo Wing with their new born son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, FILE

Instead of Harry and Meghan facing the cameras on Monday after their son's birth, it was just a giddy Harry who stepped out to speak to a small group of reporters near Frogmore Cottage to announce his son's birth.

"I'm so incredibly proud of my wife," said Harry, who described himself as "over the moon" and called his son's birth "amazing" and "absolutely incredible."

On Wednesday, Harry and Meghan were greeted at Windsor Castle by only a small pool of media selected by Buckingham Palace in advance.

"It's magic. It's pretty amazing," Meghan said. "I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy"

In choosing to wait a few days before debuting their son, Harry and Meghan exercised the greater flexibility they have because Archie is seventh in line to the throne.

The couple's decision to first "celebrate privately as a new family" drew ire from some members of the British press when it was first announced last month.

"This is the shattering of a tradition that goes back for decades," one journalist told The New York Times. "There is a price to be paid for that, and that price is mockery."

After just two days of waiting, though, the world on Wednesday got its first glimpse of royal baby Archie.

"He's just been the dream, so it's been a special couple days," said Meghan, later thanking the public for their "well wishes" and "kindness."

"It just means so much," she said.

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