The joy on Prince Harry’s face as he presented Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor to the world this week said it all – I’m a dad and isn’t this little bundle of joy amazing!
Harry and his beautiful wife Meghan will be counting their blessings as they enjoy precious family time together with their firstborn son.
And if anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s Harry.
I saw the prince for the first time 22 years ago when I was covering the funeral of his mum, Princess Diana, in Westminster Abbey.
On that September morning he was a sad, red-haired, 12-year-old with freckles on his chalk-white face.
With his brother William, his father Prince Charles and his grandad Prince Philip he had walked in solemn procession through the flower-filled streets of London behind the coffin carrying his beloved mum.
It was a huge ordeal for a young boy with a broken heart.
In the imposing grandeur of the Gothic church he sat with his head bowed, trying very hard to be brave.
From the press gallery inside the abbey, I watched him bite his lips as he held the Order of Service in his shaking hands.
It was nine days before his 13th birthday and his mum wouldn’t be there to share it with him.
The Abbey was crowded with royalty and dignitaries from around the world.
Outside, thousands gathered to mourn the beautiful young woman whose life had ended so tragically.
When Charles Spencer made a passionate speech about his sister, making it plain he felt she had been badly treated, there was a moment when it seemed that anything could happen.
The speech was relayed to the crowds outside who cheered, and inside the Abbey the tension was palpable. The Queen was stoic, ashen-faced. Prince Charles bowed his head.
But two little boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, were quite simply lost and lonely, missing their mummy.
After Diana’s death, Harry struggled to find his way in life. His beloved mum had been his rock, his safe place and she understood what this little boy needed.
As he grew up he often seemed insecure and in his relationship with various girlfriends. He looked lost after Chelsy Davy ended their affair. Time after time he had to cope with rejection.
That’s hard for any man, but particularly one who lives his life in the scrutiny of the media.
He doesn’t have the confidence of older brother William, so it was good news when he found in Meghan a strong, feisty, young woman who carved out a good career for herself, and who clearly makes him proud, happy and secure.
Both know the pain of watching their parents divorce at a young age, but Harry is clearly a loving husband.
“I’ve got the two best guys in the world,” said Meghan last week, and you could see she meant it.
Like Diana, Harry, now 34, has always been able to express his emotions and to understand how people feel.
There’s not a mum in the world who wouldn’t have appreciated his comments about childbirth. “I don’t know how women can go through all that. They’re amazing.”
Thanks for getting it, Harry.
His baby will grow up to be grounded and emotionally intelligent – because he has parents who have come through difficult times and learned how to be compassionate and emotionally intelligent. Becoming a father is no easy thing for any man. A new dad worries if he’s up to coping with the responsibility.
The love which takes root in our heart when we look into the face of the newborn baby we are holding for the first time lasts a lifetime.
It can wobble. It can know disappointment and regret – but it is a defining love which changes us forever.
Harry will be no different. Fatherhood alters a man more than he sometimes realises.
And what a step forward for the sometimes stuffy Royals, to have a mixed-race mum and baby in the family.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Harry. Was it because I lost my dad at the age of five and have missed him desperately all my life? Perhaps. Then two of my sons married girls of mixed race and I have three very beautiful little dark-skinned granddaughters who have brought great joy into our family.
It’s my hope that baby Archie will help bring Harry’s extended family together.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will enjoy having a new baby cousin to play with.
A new era is beginning. So, Harry, I wish you all the joy in the world as you learn the pleasures of parenthood and sometimes the pitfalls too.
I know in your heart you desperately wish your mum Diana was here to share this experience with you. She would have adored Archie.
But she’ll be watching – and you’d better be the best daddy in the world. She’d expect nothing less.