London — Keep calm and carry on, royal baby fanatics; Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were still waiting for the big moment on Thursday morning, despite rampant rumors to the contrary. A representative for Buckingham Palace told CBS News just after 5 a.m. ET Thursday that the royal baby “hasn’t been born yet.”
Meghan’s exact due date hasn’t been made public by the royal couple, who have chosen to keep the first expansion of their family as private as possible. All the world knows is that her baby was due around the end of April or beginning of May.
Plans confirmed by the royals on Wednesday, however, for Prince Harry to travel next week to the Netherlands on an official visit, along with claims by a radio DJ, have prompted royal observers and some media outlets to speculate that the couple could already be parents.
“I think I know something,” high-profile U.K. radio personality Chris Evans said on Wednesday, “there might be a new royal baby already.” As evidence, Evans said — without offering evidence — that Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry’s grandmother, had been to visit the couple recently at or near their home in Windsor.
The palace’s confirmation of Harry’s travel plans for next week fueled the rumor, and social media was awash with speculation that Harry and Meghan were keeping a new baby secret.
While Bucking Palace appears to have quashed the rumor, Harry and Meghan have made it abundantly clear that they do want privacy, saying they will only share the news with the world after they’ve had a chance to bond as a new family.
The waiting — and guessing — game has deeply frustrated some U.K. media outlets, particularly the tabloid press which follows every step the royal family takes and has grown accustomed to the public display of new-born royals on a London hospital’s steps.
Private Eye, a U.K. magazine which touts its “unique mix of jokes and investigative journalism,” acknowledged the information vacuum on Wednesday with a tongue-in-cheek tweet:
The Duke and Duchess ditched decades of tradition by not opting not to have their baby at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where both Princess Diana and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to all of their children.
It is expected that Meghan will give birth a lot closer to their home at Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, west of London. The residence is within walking distance of Windsor Castle, the queen’s official residence, where Harry and Meghan were married last year.
The wedding — the union of a prince and an American actress — was watched by more than 1 billion people across the globe. That audience of millions won’t likely get a first glimpse of the seventh in line to the British throne right away, even after he or she is born.
The Sussexes have asked for privacy, and the eagerly-awaited images may first pop up on the couple’s new Instagram account.
Harry and Meghan’s child will be seventh in the line of succession. That makes it very unlikely that he or she will ever actually make it to the throne, as grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William and his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and then dad Harry will all be in line first, in that order.