Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Son Archie
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured presenting their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, during a photocall in St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 in Windsor, England. Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool/Getty Images


  • Prince Harry allegedly breached an "unwritten" contract between the royal family and the public by keeping Archie's birth private, a book claims
  • The couple did not participate in the long-standing royal tradition of posing for a picture with the new royal baby outside the hospital
  • Author Katie Nicholl claims their decision "damaged" the Crown's relationship with the press and the public, who "felt duped by the experience"

Prince Harry reportedly did not want to share the details of his and wife Meghan Markle's son's birth with the public when they welcomed their first child three years ago.

The claim comes from royal expert and Vanity Fair royal correspondent Katie Nicholl's new book, "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown," which claimed that one unnamed source "described Harry as being 'almost morbidly obsessed' with keeping Archie's birth as secret as possible," Page Six reported. International Business Times could not independently verify this claim.

The newly released royal book claimed that Prince Harry's quest for secrecy allegedly breached an "unwritten" contract between the royal family and the public, who were eager and expecting to hear all the details about now-3-year-old Archie's birth as soon as the couple welcomed him on May 6, 2019.

Rebecca English, royal editor of the Daily Mail, claimed that royal staffers were "reduced to tears of frustration and despair" over the decision, according to the book.

The usual protocol following a royal birth is for the father, the mother and the newborn to pose on the steps of the hospital, surrounded by well-wishers and photographers. The new mom and dad will usually answer some questions before driving away.

However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not want to do that, according to Nicholl. When Archie was born, the couple was able to hide it from the press.

"Harry had always enjoyed outfoxing the media," Nicholl claimed in her book. "He and Meghan were thrilled to be safely delivered of their son in London's private Portland hospital even before the palace press office had confirmed the duchess was in labor."

Prince Harry and Markle silently went home with their firstborn without posing for a picture with the baby outside the hospital. Two days later, they participated in a brief photo opportunity with a single reporter to ask questions about the birth.

"But it all felt stage-managed, with pre-approved questions, one journalist, and one photographer," Nicholl claimed. "It demonstrated the growing gulf between public expectations of Harry and what he felt obliged to give."

Page Six noted that Markle looked tired and uncomfortable at the time. Prince William's wife Kate Middleton also confessed that post-natal photoshoots were difficult for her, with Nicholl writing that the Princess of Wales "acquiesced because she will one day be queen and the mother of a king, so there was a legitimate public interest."

The "Harry: Life, Loss, and Love" author also claimed that with their move, Prince Harry and Markle damaged the royal family's relationship with "the press, the broadcasters, and by extension the public, who felt duped by the experience – whether that was a fair expectation or not."

A month before Archie's birth, Markle and Prince Harry released a statement saying they made a "personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private" and share the news with the public "once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."

The New York Post claimed to have learned from one friend of Markle's, who was not named, that the duchess "felt sorry " for her sister-in-law, Middleton, having to pose for photos for the press in a dress, heels and makeup just hours after giving birth.

Middleton had a quick recovery for all three of her and Prince William's children — Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — and was already out of the hospital just hours after giving birth.

During her interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Markle explained the reason why she did not follow the long-standing royal tradition of taking photos standing on the steps outside the hospital after she gave birth to Archie.

The duchess, who claimed earlier in the interview that it was the royals' decision not to give Archie a title, which also meant he wouldn't have security, told Winfrey, "We weren't asked to take a picture. That's also part of the spin that was really damaging. I thought, 'Can you just tell them the truth? Can you say to the world you're not giving him a title, and we want to keep him safe, and that if he's not a prince then it's not part of the tradition? Just tell people and then they'll understand'... But they wouldn't do that," according to Cosmopolitan.

Markle added that she was afraid for her baby's safety rather than trying to send the message that she was going to do things her way by not posing for photos right after giving birth.

"I think what was really hard... so picture, now that you know what was going on behind the scenes, there was a lot of fear surrounding it. I was very scared of having to offer up our baby knowing that they weren't going to be kept safe," she told the TV mogul.

Prince Harry and Markle stepped back from royal duties and moved to California in 2020. They welcomed their second child, now-1-year-old daughter Lilibet, in June 2021 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.

At the time, the couple did not release a photo with their then-newborn daughter but issued a statement to People, which read in part: "The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images