Baby Archie's First Birthday: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Journey From Vulnerability to Hysterics

From struggling behind the scenes to "rolling around in hysterics," we look at how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have found Archie's first year.

The youngster turns one today at home with his parents in Los Angeles and with a new post-royal life ahead of him.

His first year saw seismic change for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they turned their backs on royal life for a new chapter in California.

But it all began when they were living in Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor Castle, on May 6 last year at 5.26 a.m.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born weighing 7 lbs 3 oz, leaving his parents "over the moon," Prince Harry said.

He told journalists gathered at Windsor Castle: "We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."

He added: "As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I'm just over the moon."

And he had special praise for his wife: "It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.

"How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension."

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie, Desmond Tutu
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. Samir Hussein/Getty

Meghan's mother Doria Ragland stayed with them in the early days as they adjusted to their first taste of parenting a newborn.

They shared snaps for Mother's Day and Father's Day before more official pictures were released of Archie following his christening on July 6.

After an intimate service at Windsor Castle held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the duke and duchess told how they were "so happy to share the joy of this day."

And they gave Archie a rollercoaster ride with his first, and now possibly only, royal tour to South Africa in the autumn.

In September they were in Cape Town where they met Desmond Tutu, who gave the youngster a series of bible stories and children's books by him, including Desmond and the Mean Word.

They revealed the visit went down well with Archie in a statement later.

They said on Instagram: "Thank you Archbishop Tutu for your incredibly warm hospitality, Archie loved meeting you!"

However, in October Meghan revealed it had not all been plain sailing as she juggled the challenges faced by all new parents with the searing pressure of life in the royal limelight.

During a documentary interview with their friend, broadcaster Tom Bradby, the prince confirmed a rift with Prince William for the first time.

The duchess also talked about the effect of negative stories in the media on her mental health.

Asked about the pressure, Meghan said: "Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable, so that was made really challenging and then when you have a newborn..."

Meghan appeared emotional as she broke off, before continuing: "Especially as a woman, it's really—it's a lot.

"So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed.

"And also, thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I'm okay.

"But it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, holds back tears while talking about the hardships of her pregnancy & motherhood in a recent interview with Tom Bradby:

“Thank you for asking. Not many people have asked if I'm OK, but it's a very real thing.” 😢

— Pop Alerts (@PopAIertNews) October 20, 2019

Just months later they decided to spend Christmas and New Year in Canada, where they then relocated, announcing their departure from royal life in January.

Since then things seem to be looking up for the couple as Prince Harry gave cheerful insight into how they've been spending lockdown as a family.

During a video chat with parents of critically ill children for his charity WellChild, he confessed he was getting so much time with Archie and Meghan he almost felt guilty.

He told them: "There's a hell of a lot of positives that are happening at the same time and being able to have family time—so much family time—that you almost think, 'Do I feel guilty for having so much family time?'

"You've got to celebrate those moments where you are just on the floor rolling around in hysterics.

"Inevitably, half an hour later, maybe a day later, there's going to be something that you have to deal with and there's no way you can run away from it."

Now, as Archie turns one, they will have little choice about how they spend the day, on account of social distancing rules in California.

However, they will release a new photo of their son and may take the same approach as they did on Queen Elizabeth II's birthday.

The family had a joint video call with the monarch as she turned 94 in isolation with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.

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