THEY are not married yet but Meghan Markle made it clear yesterday that she and Prince Harry are already thinking about babies. On a visit to a science park during their fist joint trip to Northern Ireland, the royal bride-to-be gestured at an array of baby equipment and said: “I am sure at one point we will need the whole thing.”
The couple, who are due to be married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19 were eager to find out about the latest products for new parents and their infants when they were shown items produced by Shnuggle, which makes innovative baby products. They included a baby bath which allows the baby to sit up, a changing mat and Moses basket.
“It’s very sweet,” said Meghan. Sinead Murphy, who founded the company with her husband Adam, said: “They seemed very engaged with the products. Harry was particularly interested in the bath. I wonder if he has witnessed bath time with his nephew or niece.
“As soon as he saw the bum bump (which stops the baby slipping down) he understood immediately. He said, ‘Oh, non-slip.’”
Asked to interpret Meghan’s baby hint, she said: “With an upcoming marriage it’s likely there is going to be an announcement in the next few years.”
In November Harry dropped a big hint that babies will be on the horizon soon during a television interview the couple did to mark their engagement. When the interviewer asked, “Children?” Harry replied drily: “Not currently no,” and then added: “One step at a time and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.”
The baby talk came yesterday when they were shown round innovative companies at Catalyst Inc, a hub for tech entrepreneurs. Among the other products they saw was Shnuggle’s BumGo.
Mrs Murphy recounted: “Harry said, ‘What’s a BumGo?’ It’s a changing wrap you can attach to your pram.”
The visit to the science park was one of four they undertook in the Belfast area yesterday. They were given a rock-star welcome from 2,000 schoolchildren at an event at the Eikon Exhibition Centre on part of the site of the former Maze Prison.
Meghan looked stunning in a cream Mackage coat, the Victoria Beckham jumper she wore for her engagement photos, a green Greta Constantine skirt and Jimmy Choo velvet heels. At the Crown Liquor Saloon, one of the oldest bars in Belfast, Harry ordered sausage and champ while his fiancee tucked into the pub’s signature Irish stew.
They ordered half a pint of Guinness and half of the local Mourne Mountain Brewery gold ale to taste along with their soft drinks, after asking for a chance to sample the local beer. Pub manager Andrew Dickinson told how Meghan showed no signs that stout was an acquired taste and had taken the beer in her stride.
“I saw on Twitter she’d poured a Guinness before,” he said.
The couple were also promised an early wedding present: bespoke spades made by Colin Dawson of the National Trust’s Patterson spade mill, the man who has provided personal spades for the Queen and Prince Charles.
Outside the pub, they met around 500 wellwishers on a royal walkabout. Meghan fl shed her diamond engagement ring for fans and told one, Grace Simpson, 21, a student at Trinity College Dublin who is from Holywood, Co Down, about the moment Harry proposed.
“It was the loveliest moment. He is the sweetest guy,” she said gazing across at her fiance. Asked if he had been on his stag do yet, Harry smiled and said: “No comment.”
The couple finished off their day by touring the £97million Titanic Belfast museum, which tells the story of the ill-fated liner that sank on its maiden voyage between Southampton and New York on April 15, 1912.
Harry and Meghan were given a tour showing how the ship was built. They then signed the visitors’ book and thanked the people of Northern Ireland for their hospitality during the day.