Ever since Prince Harry met Meghan Markle, a transformation has been underway. The once party-loving, beer-swilling prince of old has been replaced by a clean-living, snappy dresser who, as we learned this week, practises yoga and meditation.
Now as Harry’s dream of becoming a father draws ever nearer, another change is at play: the transformation from husband to parent.
From ditching caffeine to embracing yoga, Beth Hale examines Harry’s Daddy Detox.
During some of his wilder moments (strip billiards anyone?), Harry, 34, might have been wise to pause for a moment’s meditation.
Now it seems he’s embraced a hobby once primarily associated with Buddhist monks.
When Harry adopted it is unclear, but he has been frank about seeking counselling after enduring two years of ‘total chaos’ while still struggling in his late 20s to come to terms with his mother’s death. In turning to meditation, he is following in the footsteps of his wife, who will doubtless be deploying the techniques she has learned to aid her through the later stages of pregnancy and birth.
Writing on her now-defunct website The Tig, the former "Suits" star — a firm believer in a healthy mind and body — explained how meditation had ‘rocked her world’ and made her ‘much happier’.
Harry is also known to have enjoyed exercise sessions at a trendy £575-a-month Chelsea gym, which offers yoga, weight-lifting and boxing, as well as bespoke diet plans.
He continues to wear his £275 titanium Oura ring, a fitness tracker which measures the user’s sleep, activity, resting heart rate and temperature.
Meghan is clearly a very virtuous mummy-to-be, as shown this week when she politely declined the offer of a cup of coffee, cradling her baby bump and saying: ‘I can’t at the moment, sadly, but I can have a mint tea or something.’
Her ability to resist a caffeine kick (expectant mums are advised to keep caffeine consumption down) will doubtless have been aided by the fact that she has a partner who is supporting her.
Apparently, Harry has put his days of over-indulgence behind him and joined his wife in avoiding booze and caffeine in favour of mineral water.
At a formal event on their royal tour in Fiji, observers noted that at a black-tie dinner both Meghan and Harry participated in the toasts with water — a move that drew praise for ‘supportive husband’ Harry.
He had already given up smoking, after some healthy encouragement from Meghan.
He was always the impish prince — the younger brother with a twinkle in his eye. But there has been a change in the demeanour of father-to-be Harry.
Ever solicitous, the prince’s protective gestures whenever he is seen out with Meghan have gone into overdrive.
A hand at the small of her back, constantly gazing her way to check that she is OK, his every gesture seems to be about protecting his wife — and their unborn child.
Body language expert Judi James says: "Harry’s PM (Pre-Meghan) body language was very typical of a younger sibling who had never taken on a different role from that of being a son.
"Harry was always displaying the naughty, mischievous smile from his childhood and using it as a contagious form of rapport-building."
Then Meghan came along and suddenly Harry started to look slightly nervous in public, while she assumed the more confident persona, rubbing his back and touching his arm in reassurance.
Now, all that has changed, and a more serious Harry is emerging.
"The concept of being a father as well as a husband does seem to have changed his body language again,’ says Judi.
Feathering the Nest
With intense scrutiny of his new bride, is it any wonder that the biggest step in Harry’s Daddy Detox was leaving London.
While the couple continue to reside (officially, at least) at Nottingham Cottage, their London home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, ever since they began their journey towards parenthood, they have drawn comfort from the calm of country life.
They intend to make their home in Windsor, but in the meantime a £2.5 million rented farmhouse, set in four acres of land, in Oxfordshire has become the perfect bolthole for the couple to prepare for what lies ahead.
They have spent a lot of time at the property since discovering Meghan was pregnant, and have even adopted a second dog, in addition to Meghan’s ageing rescue beagle, Guy.