Footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson bring out the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace to formally announce the birth of a baby boy to Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Picture: AP

London - Meghan’s hopes of a home birth were dashed when she was taken to hospital on Sunday by Harry and their Scotland Yard security team.

The Mail understands that the Duchess of Sussex – who was a week overdue – was whisked off amid such secrecy that even senior royals weren’t told.

It is understood she was taken to a London hospital – most likely the Portland – where even a "basic" delivery costs upwards of £15 000 (about R285 000). Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were delivered there.

It is not known whether Meghan, 37, was induced but sources say she remained there overnight before her baby was born at 5.26am on Monday morning, with an elated Prince Harry at her side.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment but sources confirmed to the Mail that a hospital delivery had taken place.

In a break with tradition, the Sussexes announced last month that they wanted to keep details surrounding the birth of their first child private.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, by contrast, had faced a mass photocall at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington hours after all three of their children were born.

Meghan is said to have considered the idea of posing for pictures and well-wishers straight after the birth as archaic.

In a statement at the time, Buckingham Palace said: "Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."

The Mail also revealed last month how Meghan planned to have a home birth, although sources acknowledged that she was willing to go hospital if that was what was best for the baby.

Both she and Harry had studied hypnobirthing techniques and were hopeful of having an all-female midwife-led delivery in the privacy of their own home at Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate. But as the week dragged on, it began to look increasingly unlikely it would be possible.

And that is indeed what happened on Sunday afternoon when Meghan was secretly driven out of Frogmore with Harry and, it is believed, her mother Doria, who has been studying in the US with a doula and birthing expert.

Full details should be included on the baby’s birth certificate, which is likely to be completed by the Sussexes in the next few days.

Daily Mail