Belfast Telegraph

Meghan and Harry visit Northern Ireland: Playful hint at possible royal baby generates huge excitement

 

By Brett Campbell

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sparked feverish speculation about plans for a Royal baby after cooing over an innovative range for newborns during a visit to a tech hub in Belfast.

They showed particular interest in a non-slip bath, to which designer Sinead Murphy said they could have one free of charge. At that Harry quipped: "How many have you got?"

His US fiancee laughed and gestured to all the products on view, saying: "I'm sure at some point we'll need the whole (lot)."

Harry and Meghan met Mrs Murphy and her husband Adam, the team behind Shnuggle baby products, as they toured Catalyst Inc in the regenerated docklands of east Belfast.

When Mrs Murphy showed the prince their "bum bump" device to prevent babies slipping in the bath, Harry joked: "That takes all the fun out of bath time."

Later, the designer said the couple had taken a keen interest: "Probably the one that captured their attention was the baby bath. Its 'bum bump' stops baby slipping, so as soon as Harry saw it he said, 'Oh yeah, it stops them doing that', so I just wonder if he has been involved in bath time with his niece or nephew because he instantly got it."

Afterwards the couple were greeted with loud cheers from an enthusiastic crowd outside Titanic Belfast before they were whisked off for a tour.

Ballymena siblings Lleyton (6) and Rosey (4) Jackson presented the prince with a model of the world famous vessel and gifted a bouquet of flowers to Meghan.

Titanic Belfast crew member Ellen Fitzsimons, who previously welcomed the Queen to the exact site on which the ill-fated was built, described the moment as "very cute".

"Meghan took a flower from the posey and handed it to Rosey - it was just adorable," she said.

During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast.
During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2018 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye During their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle visited the iconic Titanic Belfast. The Couple were guided through the venue’s interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her. During the visit, they also heard about how the regeneration of the Titanic Quarter has provided Belfast with an exciting new urban space. Pictured with Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are children Lleyton (6) and Rosie (4) Jackson from Ballygowan and staff member Ellen Fitzsimmons.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry waves to well wishers as he and Meghan Markle visit Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watch a man wearing vertual reality goggles during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Meghan Markle arrives at Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where she and Prince Harry met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are presented with a posey by Lleyton Jackson 6 and Rosie Jackson 4, during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Meghan Markle with Prince Harry during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Nuala Campbell and Eoin Lambkin from Titanic FX show Prince Harry and Meghan Markle some prosthetic limbs used in the movie industry during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are presented with a model of the ship by Lleyton Jackson 6 and Rosie Jackson 4, during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are presented with a model of the ship by Lleyton Jackson 6 and Rosie Jackson 4, during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle look a prosthetic foot made by the Titanic FX company during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast where they met some of Northern Ireland's brightest young entrepreneurs. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Colleague Jonny Kelso, who was dressed as the ship's designer Thomas Andrews for the occasion, said both Harry and Meghan were "intrigued" as he hosted them for a history lesson in the replica drawing room. "I talked them through the design of the ship and they seemed genuinely interested, they then walked around the galleries and got a bit of a flavour of what is here."

Chief Executive Judith Owens praised level-headed staff who were only informed of the identity of the VVIP guests when they turned up for work yesterday - she also expressed relief following the "easy-going" visit.

Meghan quizzed staff about Isidor Straus, co-founder of Macy's department store, who perished on the liner in the early hours of April 15, 1912, alongside his wife Ida.

"Meghan was quite interested in the American passengers who were on board, including the Macys and the very wealthy Astor family," Judith said.

Excited members of the public who had gathered in the rain outside the visitor attraction voiced no complaints after being denied the opportunity to interact with the couple. They were satisfied with an elegant wave from Ms Markle which was issued in response to one man who shouted "what about ye".

Larne couple Lorraine (55) and Wesley (58) Magill have already made travel plans to be in Windsor for the Royal wedding in May. "We've been to the Queen's 90th birthday and Diamond Jubilee celebrations but we didn't get to William and Kate's wedding - Lorraine has decided we're not missing this one," Wesley explained. Lorraine, who shook hands with Prince Andrew when he visited Bangor in 1999, said she loves following the Royals around.

Meanwhile, US visitors Hannah Hunicke (20) and avid royalist Danielle Bomont (19) had already been on their way to Belfast when they found out that Harry and Meghan would also be in town. "Danielle is obsessed, she has their photo in her room and burst out crying when she found out they were coming - I felt obliged to sprint here with her," Hannah said.

A starstruck Danielle added: "I don't care that they didn't come over, a glimpse is all I needed."

Ulster University international student Yitian Du (20), whose name translates to Diana in English, was in awe of the couple.

"I might never get the chance to see anyone from the Royal family again, it's so exciting," she said. "I'm actually named after Harry's mother so this is quite special."

As the couple were chauffeured away under the shadow of the shipyard cranes, rumours circulated that they might return to see the famous grand staircase on their honeymoon, but Harry's model ship will be posted by courier first thing on Monday morning just in case they don't.

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