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Duke and Duchess of Sussex expecting their first child in spring of 2019

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Duchess of Sussex

Last updated on October 17th, 2018

On Monday, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced they were expecting their first baby. Britain and media’s focus shifted from Brexit to the next royal baby coming, with debates over the royal name and expressions of delight from the queen.

Queen Elizabeth II’s 34-year-old grandson and the 37-year-old US actress are currently in Sydney for a 16-day tour of the Pacific. Kensington Palace said Prince Harry and Meghan would be having their child in the spring.

“The Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019,” their Kensington Palace residence said in a statement.

“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

The queen is said to be quite “delighted” with the news. Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland said she was “very happy about this lovely news”.

Wishes and blessing poured in from around the world.

Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her “warmest congratulations”, and US Ambassador Woody Johnson tweeted “happy news to wake up to on a Monday morning.”

The big announcement came amid the ongoing Brexit clashes, when the whole nation was contemplating the likelihood of Britain crashing out of the European Union without an agreement after the frantic negotiations. The media took a break from Brexit coverage and started debating on the possible names for the royal baby, who will be seventh in line to the British throne in future.

Google said searches for “when is spring?” spiked, when the announcement came out.

Some of the UK media also said that Meghan would draw on her American roots, since she was a popular US actress before coming into the royal family.

However, the most favoured name suggestion was Diana – late princess and mother of both Prince William and Prince Harry.

Although speculations of the next royal baby had begun even before the couple married at Windsor Castle on May 19. Prince Harry set off the rumour by saying, “Hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future,” after their engagement in November.

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Amid Heavy Criticism, Prince Harry Expresses Heartfelt Emotions

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The announcement of the withdrawal of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royal family has received severe criticism from most female members of the family. By leaving Britain’s monarchy, the Sussex couple will no longer be entitled to use their “Royal Highness” titles and would be paying for their own expenses now on.

During a speech for his Sentebale charity yesterday, Prince Harry expressed his “great sadness” about the separation agreement with Queen Elizabeth II and senior members of the royal family. He affirmed that the final outcome of the separation is not what he and Meghan had wanted. Making first remarks on the agreement in the speech, he said, “It brings me great sadness that it has come to this.”

The Duke of Sussex, spoke on the issue just a day after the Buckingham Palace issued a statement about the release. He exclaimed, “Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations without public funding. Sadly, that wasn’t possible.”

Sixth in line to the throne, Prince Harry cleared that the decision to step back had not been taken lightly and had come after months of talks. “As far as this goes, there really was no other option,” he said in his speech at the event.

Speaking on a grounded level at the charity event aimed at helping African children with HIV, he told the audience that he wanted them to hear the truth from him “not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years but with a clearer perspective”.

Further, he said, “I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander-in-chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.”

As stated by the Buckingham Palace, the couple won’t be receiving public money and has to repay the cost of refurbishing their cottage in Windsor worth 2.4 million pounds. The separation news raises questions about the future role of Prince Andrew and his use of the HRH title.

While most people, including Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle are against the decision of Prince Harry and wife, the celebs of The Crown have expressed generous support in this decision. Helena Bonham Carter and Josh O’ Connor have backed the Royal Couple’s decision.

On being questioned about the next move of Prince Harry and Meghan, Josh casually said that they “can probably do anything. I’m sure they are very talented and can go off and do whatever they want.” Joining her co-star, Helena said, ““It will be very interesting to see what they do, but now they’re masters of their own destiny and good luck to them.”

Looking from this perspective, the excessive criticism that the Sussex couple is receiving for deciding to live an independent life, seems to be unrequired. Moreover, the comments from Meghan’s father, which claim that the duo is “destroying” and “cheapening” the family is against the basic rights of freedom, which every human is entitled to.

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Partaking Royal Crisis, Prince Harry Prioritises Mental Health Awareness

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent decision has brought more eyes to the emerging disputes within the royal family. From moving out of the Kensington Palace to their announcement of stepping back as senior royals, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been a part of huge criticism from the royal insiders.

It appears as if a rift has emerged in the British royal family that has threatened the very essence of the household and royal duties. Anti-Meghans believe that her addition in the royal family is the root cause of the rising conflicts between the royals. From Kate Middleton to the Queen, almost every royal female seems to have shared odd relations with Meghan Markle, putting down the harmonious family image.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry, who was in rumours to fly to Canada with his wife and their eight months old baby son Archie, made his first public opinion after the big announcement, on Thursday. Harry hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace, alongside Jason Robinson and Dame Katherine Grainger. He later met with representatives from all 21 nations competing in the event next year.

England was drawn alongside Samoa, France and Greece in the group stage of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and will play Samoa in the opening match of the tournament at St James’ Park, Newcastle on October 23. Likewise, 1995 and 2000 semi-finalists Wales have been drawn alongside Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands. New Zealand team will face Lebanon, Jamaica and Ireland.  

The royal critics found Prince Harry in a cheery mood throughout the event. Likewise, Meghan Markle was also seen working towards fulfilling her future goals. She visited two charities that helped women and girls in Vancouver.

Though the Queen on Monday, submitted to her grandson and his wife’s wishes to step away from the royal life, there is no confirmation as to when the Sussex couple would actually leave for their destinations. It appears as if Prince Harry, for some time now, is staying to discuss his future role in the royal family, after which the Sussex couple will split their time between the UK and Canada to live a financially independent life.

Over the time, Prince Harry, who was also announced as patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016, has equally supported Meghan Markle in her decisions, fulfilling his every role of being a husband. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws were streamed live across the royal family and Rugby League World Cup 2021 Twitter and Facebook channels, where Harry supported the practice of adopting a mental fitness charter for the tournament.

In the same manner, Prince William and Kate Middleton also talked about mental health awareness during their tour to Pakistan, empowering the citizens about the causes and impacts.

“Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community. And one that takes care of its own,’ he said. ‘For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mind-set for everyone involved in the sport. So I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 mental fitness charter,” said Prince Harry.

Harry’s statements on the sport’s strong legacy of mental health awareness was a recollection of the past incidents, where the royal family remained concerned over the mental health of the Sussex couple.

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Kate Hudson Bashed for Endorsing Dubai Tourism Over Human Rights Issues

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American actress Kate Hudson, well known for her work in Almost Famous, recently took to her Instagram and shared a series of photos and short videos to promote Dubai Tourism. The actress, who can be seen trotting alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoe Saldana, seems jolly as she explores Dubai and its attractive sites.

However, what must have sounded as a really amazing idea to Kate Hudson, has poised to become a permanent stain on her life. In her post, promoted using #astorytakesflight and #dubai, the actress was shunned for turning a blind eye to the nation’s poor human rights record.

Commenting on post, one of her fans named agi564 wrote: “It’s still a dictatorship that oppresses women so it is laughable that you try to argue that this is such a great travel destination!!! Shame on you.” While another user said that the nation does not support LGBTQ+ rights, and instead being of third gender is heinously punishable.

One of Hudson’s photos was immensely criticized, where she posed with a falcon on her wrist. In the UAE, falcons are considered as a significant cultural and traditional icons, who are usually found with their owners in deserts, and are used by Emiratis to be trained for hunting. However, some of her fans on Instagram raised concern over the possible animal cruelty.

Hudson’s photos and short videos are a part of an 8-minute commercial ad posted last November by a UAE official tourism YouTube Channel named “Visit Dubai”. The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai has been engaged in promoting its tourism for a very long time.

The nation has invited multiple celebrities and social media influencers to promote tourism as a part of its vision to end reliance on oil. However, more than the vision alone, the Gulf monarchy has been called out for using tactics to divert the attention from graving matters of human rights abuse.

An example of which lies within the Dubai Royal Family, where Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, tried to escape the ruler’s gilded cage, but was caught 30 miles off the coast of India.

Dubai might be a blip in the map, but it has certainly harvested its power via tourism. Yet what remains behind the closed doors is the gruesome reality, conveying how women in the UAE are subjected to persecution and are still fighting for their basic rights.

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Prince Charles Visits Oman to pay respects to Sultan Qaboos

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The condolence ceremony of Oman’s long-reigning Sultan Qaboos was graced with the presence of Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Welcoming political divides from all over the world to the Middle East, Muscat’s Alam Palace saw Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani.

To meet the new Sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, several world leaders including Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Tunisian President Kais Saied, Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi came to Oman. 

The new ruler, Haitham is the cousin of Sultan Qaboos. Oman’s standing as a “Switzerland of the Middle East” is only due to Qaboos’ policy of neutrality and non-interference. The country maintains healthy relations with the US along with the regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sultan Qaboos came in power in 1970 and ruled the country for almost half a century. In his younger days, he was a part of Britain’s elite Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, post which he joined a British infantry battalion in Germany.

As per a statement released by the office of Boris Johnson, the UK and Oman have a broad and long-standing bilateral relationship that goes back over 200 years. The statement adds, “Our countries have deep economic ties and shared defence and security interests.” It highlighted how in his ruling days, Qaboos modernised his country and worked to deal with regional and international crisis.

Prince Williams on Jan 11 said that he was “truly honoured” to have met Sultan Qaboos and “it was clear from all those I met that he will be remembered with great affection.” He added, “His majesty was unwavering in his commitment to improve the lives of his people, and in his resolve to work towards regional stability. I am thankful for his majesty’s many years of friendship with my family and the UK.”

According to Arab News, giving support to the University of Oxford’s Islamic Studies centre over several years and graduating from its Foreign Service Programme in 1979, Sultan Haitham is having strong ties with the UK. He was among the people who welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla to the country in 2013 and 2016.

Prince Charles had visited Sultan Qaboos at his palace at Bayt al Baraka on a tour of the Middle East with Camilla on March 2013 and his then wife Diana in 1986.  In December, the Duke of Cambridge met the Sultan at the Palace of Bait al Baraka at the end of a four-day tour of Oman and Kuwait.

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Another Royal Family Conflict: Meghan Markle Gets Centre Stage

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The year 2019, other than some cheerful events, has been a big mess for the royal family members throughout the world with each monarch dealing with a number of conflicts within the family and society.

As known, the 26 monarchies ruling over 43 countries, represent a wide network of kings, queens, sultans, emperors and emirs with the UK being one of them. Because of the country’s marvellous history with other nations, the UK monarch’s high international profile is much known to the world.

Unlike the ruling monarchs, the Windsors don’t have any real and direct political power and thus their conflicts are more or less a result of family disputes. The recent news suggesting that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be withdrawing from their roles as senior members of the UK’s royal family has brought shockwaves amongst their fans and relatives.   

Meghan Markle has become the centre of attention following the announcement of step down, many have become critical of her on social media sites. “Megxit”, referring to Meghan’s exit from the royal family has become a trending hashtag on Twitter, along with people criticising, while some praising the Sussexes through memes.

The supporters of the Sussex couple congratulated them for their decision of wanting to make their own way and earn their own money. Many believe that Meghan, being a former actress, would play herself on a Netflix series, The Crown. It appears that Meghan is the only one coming under scrutiny for the couple’s decision.

In the past, the Sussex couple had established various examples that portrayed their “single-handedly modernized” nature. The supporters believe that since the royal family members failed to provide appropriate recognition or support to the couple, it became a major reason behind their decision.

Well it’s not the first time, that a royal family couple has discarded their duties, splitting way. The royal family has a history of internal feuds. Disputes within family members have led to a series of divorces, bringing in new trends, many of which remain unacceptable to the elder royals.

Princess Diana’s divorcing Prince Charles was one big example, which indicated the Queen’s active role in the process.

Likewise, the ruling monarchs from the UAE, Jordan, Oman, Japan also faced a series of disputes due to internal and external conflicts. Last year, the wife of Dubai Emir Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Princess Haya, succeeded in her second attempt of fleeing the UAE. She is now said to be hiding in London, where several of the British papers made much of Haya’s alleged closeness to a bodyguard.

Similarly, Japan’s Yamato dynasty, mostly referred to as ceremonial or figurehead monarch despite being the oldest continuous in the world, also faced huge debates over expanding the role of royal women, including allowing female emperors about stable Imperial succession.

As the monarchs all over the world welcomed the new year with cheerfulness, the Queen is pretty upset about her grandson’s decision. The start of the new year with Harry and Meghan’s announcement to go freelance has brought a huge blow to the royal family.

“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” Buckingham Palace responded over the couple’s decision.

But considering the past instances, where Meghan was targeted for her divorce and racial heritage by the British tabloid press, like Princess Diana, it appears that the Duchess of Sussex now wants to live her life on her own rules, away from the royal family criticisms and her husband Harry is pretty much backing her decision.

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