Meghan Markle hints at starting family with Harry during Belfast visit

Sinead Murphy from Shnuggle baby products demonstrates a baby bath to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinead Murphy from Shnuggle baby products demonstrates a baby bath to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Meghan Markle appears to be making plans to start a family soon after she marries Prince Harry after joking about needing a range of baby products.

The American actress made the light-hearted reference during a whirlwind visit to Belfast with her fiance, who sounded a positive note about Northern Ireland’s future saying: “Over the years religion has divided us but we’re all the same underneath.”

During their first joint visit to Northern Ireland, which saw them tour the Titanic visitor attraction, the couple embraced local culture by sitting down to a lunch of Irish dishes with Meghan even sampling half a pint of Guinness.

But when they met leading entrepreneurs from the city, as they toured a start-up business hub in east Belfast’s regenerated docklands, they were taken with baby products by Adam and Sinead Murphy - the husband and wife team behind Shnuggle baby range.

When the pair behind a non-slip bath told the couple they could have one free of charge, Harry quipped: “How many have you got?”

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

Earlier in Belfast’s most iconic pub the Crown, the royal couple enjoyed traditional fayre after being seduced by the watering hole’s lavish interior.

Andrew Dickinson, pub manager of the Crown, confirmed Ms Markle had the Crown Bar Irish stew, while Harry tucked into sausage and champ, three Gloucester old spot sausages with champ, an Irish dish of mashed potatoes, chopped spring onions, butter, milk and cheese.

The pub manager added: “They’re two of our most popular dishes and on a hectic day it would have kept them going.”

He said they were poured half a Guinness and half a Mourne Gold Pale Ale to sample, but also had soft drinks with their lunch.

Mr Dickinson said “I’m sure they liked them, they’re both great drinks”, but he did not believe it was the first time the American actress had tried the famous Irish drink: “I saw on Twitter she’d poured a Guinness before so maybe not.”

Speaking about the visit to the Crown he said: “It’s a very iconic building in Northern Ireland, most people have come here at some point so it’s great that they wanted to put it on their itinerary as well.”

After the private lunch the couple went on a walkabout in Great Victoria Street, meeting hundreds of well-wishers who waited patiently to meet the pair even when a heavy downpour began halfway through the meet and greet.

The couple were congratulated on their forthcoming wedding by many and Ellen Hawthorne, 38, who married husband Nathan last August, came up with a far-flung location for their honeymoon.

She said: “I suggested New Zealand as a honeymoon destination because I went there last year for a month after my wedding.”

Mrs Hawthorne from Ballyclare, north of Belfast, said: “I told her it was lovely and she said she’d keep it in mind.”

The prince and Ms Markle addressed Northern Ireland’s past when they visited the site of the former Maze paramilitary prison outside Lisburn where around two-and-a-half thousand young people gathered for the Amazing Space celebration.

The concert at the recently-built Eikon Centre saw teenagers from both sides of the region’s divided community share their hopes and dreams of a peaceful and reconciled future.

At one point Harry told some of the young people: “Over the years religion has divided us but we’re all the same underneath.

“The most important thing is that the door is open and you just keep pushing at it. Ten, 15 years ago you would have been up against the tide, but you’re going with it now. Keep it up.”

The couple ended their day at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction that tells the story of the liner, from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through to the construction, launch and subsequent sinking in April 1912.

More than 1,500 lives were lost after the ship struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

They were guided throughout the trip by Judith Owens, chief executive of the centre, who said Ms Markle praised the warmth of the Belfast people during her trip to the Titanic visitor attraction.

Speaking after the visit, Ms Owens said: “Meghan just said that she had really enjoyed today, that the people of Belfast were so friendly and they had really enjoyed the mix of the different places where they had been.

“She said ‘it has been lovely, everybody has been very warm and friendly’.”