Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have shared the happy news the Duchess of Sussex is pregnant with their first child.
It has been a whirlwind romance for the pair, who married in May – just two years after they started dating.
They have made no secret of their hopes to become parents , and Meghan’s age when they met would have focused their minds a little too.
Having celebrated her 37th birthday in August, Meghan is not exactly old to be a first time mum – but she is older than the average.
While 54% of mums in England and Wales are now aged 30 and over according to 2016 statistics, the average age of women welcoming their first child was 28.8 years, with 30.4 the average age for all mums.
And a report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the best age for childbearing is 20 to 35, also highlighting there are greater health risks associated with later pregnancy .
But when you don’t meet your handsome prince until your mid thirties, whether you are royal or not, what’s a girl to do?
Meghan lives a healthy lifestyle, with regular yoga and trips to the gym – and has been credited with getting Harry in shape and getting him to give up smoking. And she is sure to have the best medical attention available to her.
Prince Harry turned 34 last month, making him far closer to the average age – which comes in at 33.3 years for dads.
So who are the oldest royal first time mums?
Meghan will not be going to the top of the list – even if she is a more prominent member of the royal family.
Princess Alice , the Queen’s aunt by marriage, became a first time mum a week before her 40th birthday when she gave birth to Prince William of Gloucester on 18 December 1941. She went on to have a second son Richard, now the Duke of Gloucester, in August 1944 at the age of 42.
Prince Edward’s wife Sophie was also older than Meghan when she had her first child. The Countess of Wessex had had emergency surgery for an ectopic pregancy two years before, when she was taken to hospital by air ambulance. The pregnancy was in its early stages and had not been officially announced. But she went on to become a mum for the first time when Lady Louise Windsor was born prematurely on 8 November 2003, when Sophie was 38. A sudden placental abruption meant the birth was by emergency caesarean. Her son James, Viscount Severn, was born four years later when Sophie was 42.
And Lady Nicholas Windsor , previously the incredibly named Princess Paola Doimi de Lupis de Frankopan Šubić Zrinski, also became a mum for the first time aged 38 and went on to have two more children – the last at the age of 45. Her children are the grandchildren of the Duke of Kent – a cousin of the Queen – but are not in the line of succession as Lord Nicholas converted to Catholicism.
How old were other royals when they had their first child?
- Duchess of Cambridge: 31 when Prince George was born
- Zara Tindall: 32 when Mia was born
- Autumn Phillips: 32 when Savannah was born
- Sophie Wessex: 38 when Lady Louise was born
- Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York: 27 when Princess Beatrice was born
- Princess Diana: 20 when Prince William was born
- Princess Anne: 27 when Peter was born
- The Queen: 22 when Charles was born
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