Poorly timed New Idea magazine cover hits stands on the same day Duke and Duchess of Sussex announce they are ‘overjoyed’ to be expecting
New Idea magazine’s cover story on 15 February 2021 announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are separating. On the same day the couple announced they are expecting their second child. Photograph: New Idea
The Guardian –Natasha May
Australian women’s magazine New Idea published a front page on Monday implying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had split just hours before the couple themselves announced they were expecting their second child.
The magazine’s cover declared “It’s all over!” alongside a picture of Harry and Meghan on their wedding day in 2018, edited so as to appear torn down the middle.
The poorly timed headline hit newsstands on the same day as an official announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that the Duchess was pregnant.
The couple shared a black-and-white photograph of themselves under a tree, with Meghan’s head on Harry’s lap and her hand resting on her bump.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan, already parents to one-year-old son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, confirmed “Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.”
The couple followed in the footsteps of Princess Dianna, who also used Valentine’s Day to announce she was pregnant with Harry in 1984.
While New Idea’s cover falsely suggested the couple’s separation, the article itself announced “the couple have been caught in a series of slip-ups, missteps and spin that’s left the Queen suffering a firestorm of unprecedented scrutiny, with many demanding the Sussexes be stripped of their titles once and for all”.
Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals on 31 March 2020 and moved to North America.
The couple were allowed to retain their royal titles and Harry remained sixth in line to the throne. New Idea’s suggestion that the couple would be stripped of their title is not confirmed by any other source.
Rather, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said of the Sussexes’ news that the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and the rest of the royal family “are delighted and wish them well”.
Harry and Meghan’s second child will be eighth in line to the throne.
The couple’s announcement comes after Meghan revealed in an article in the New York Times she had suffered a miscarriage last year.
Monday’s magazine cover story wasn’t the first time New Idea has taken a misstep when it came to news about Prince Harry.
In 2008, New Idea reported that Prince Harry was serving with the British army in Afghanistan, which broke a blackout agreement with the media not to reveal this information.
The prince left his posting due to security concerns a month later.
New Idea subsequently apologised for its “serious lapse of judgment” and stated they did not breach the embargo knowingly.
New Idea have yet to make a statement regarding the latest misstep. But they have not published the headline on social media.
New Idea was approached for comment.