Meghan hailed for natural new mum look
Meghan Markle has been praised for looking like a normal - if glamorous - new mother in the first official photos of her and Prince Harry with their baby.
The Duchess of Sussex had a visible bump under her white trench dress as she happily posed with her husband and their two-day-old son, who they have named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Social media users said it was gratifying to see the 37-year-old looking natural and glowing, rather than promoting the idea women need to slim down as soon as possible after a birth.
"I'm so pleased Meghan has appeared clearly still with a bump! YES to this!" Kate Beavis posted on Twitter.
Madeline Odent said it was "rare and really cool from a public figure", while another Twitter user praised the new mother as an "absolute icon" who was "helping normalise" how women look after giving birth.
Several women said it seemed she had made a choice to accentuate her figure with a bespoke belted dress by British designer Grace Wales Bonner. They surmised that the decision was a "conscious effort to show how the typical female body reacts after labour" - and applauded her for it.
Say what you will about the royals but the only famous women I've seen proudly and publicly show off their post baby bellies have been Kate and Meghan. Not so long ago I was under the illusion that a pregnancy bump immediately flattened after labour.— Kayleigh Pritchard (@locketmoon) May 8, 2019
LOVE that Meghan has come to her photo call without trying to hide the ‘after birth baby bump’. Absolute icon. This is how 99% of women look after birth and she is helping normalise it. She looks amazing and is absolutely glowing. Power to her and all new mothers! 💗 #babysussex— ☾madeleine (@idgimaddy) May 8, 2019
I know nothing about being pregnant but I enjoy the fact that Meghan Markle is showing off her post-baby bump so prominently with that belted dress.— Elizabeth Sile (@esile1) May 8, 2019
Whether it was deliberate or not, Meghan has endured plenty of commentary on her looks during pregnancy, with some criticising her habit of placing a hand on her stomach. And there is one other woman who will strongly relate.
"Say what you will about the royals but the only famous women I've seen proudly and publicly show off their post baby bellies have been Kate and Meghan," said Kayleigh Pritchard. "Not so long ago I was under the illusion that a pregnancy bump immediately flattened after labour."
When the Duchess of Cambridge appeared on the steps of St Mary's Hospital after the births of her three children, she received some nasty comments about her visible bump. They came despite the fact the 37-year-old was blowdried and made-up to perfection, in heels, within hours of the births.
The comments came as the world reacted with "awws" after the release of the adorable first photos of the royal baby. Perhaps the most British reaction came from the newborn's step-grandmother, Camilla, who saw a picture of the child as she toured Germany with Prince Charles.
"Thank you for showing this to me," said the Duchess of Cornwall as she was shown a photo of the sleeping newborn in Leipzig, Hello! reported.
Meghan and Harry broke with recent royal tradition by waiting two days before appearing together as a family, to the annoyance of some impatient fans.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex looked tired but elegant as they posed for the cameras at Windsor Castle and revealed how in love they were with their new child.
The former Suits actress accessorised her dress with nude Manolo Blahnik stilettos and a simple necklace, while Prince Harry dressed in a pale grey suit and tie.
Some commented admiringly on the choice of a white dress in the early days after the birth.
Baby Archie was swaddled in a knitted blanket made in Nottingham, England, continuing a 70-year royal tradition that began when the Queen first gave birth - to Harry's father Prince Charles.
Family-owned company G.H. Hurt & Son has been producing handmade lace knitted blankets for more than 100 years, and the little boy was wrapped in their $195 soft merino wool Leaves and Flowers Baby Shawl and $120 cashmere hat.
The company's shawls have been used by Princess Diana for Prince William and Prince Harry, and by Kate for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Prince Louis was the most recent child to be wrapped in a blanket produced by G.H. Hurt & Son, in a royal connection that is a major boon for the firm.