Meet Archie: Name choice for Harry, Meghan’s firstborn flouts royal tradition
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM—Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, on Wednesday announced that their new “dream” son’s name is Archie, hours after showing him off to the world for the first time.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first born child: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor,” the couple announced on their Instagram account, ending months of speculation.
The informal choice defied the bookmakers’ predictions and confirmed the couple’s determination not to be bound by tradition.
‘He’s just been a dream’
Archie’s proud parents emerged in front of the cameras inside Windsor Castle earlier Wednesday to show off their son, ahead of introducing him to great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
“He’s just been a dream,” said a smiling Meghan, 37, in her first public comments since giving birth to the 3.26-kilogram baby, who stayed firmly asleep during his public unveiling.
“He has the sweetest temperament. He’s really calm,” added the Duchess of Sussex, as Prince Harry cradled the newborn, wrapped in a white blanket, by her side.
Royal watchers had been desperate for a glimpse of the new baby, who is seventh in line to the British throne, ever since the couple announced his birth to their 6.5 million followers on Instagram with the message “It’s a BOY!”
“Parenting is amazing,” said 34-year-old Harry, the day after brother Prince William—two years his senior and with three children of his own—had jokingly welcomed him to the “sleep deprivation society that is parenting.”
“We’re just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy,” Harry said.
Meghan added: “It’s been a special couple of days.”
The couple revealed that Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had gotten a sneak preview in a chance encounter in the corridors of Windsor Castle.
“We just bumped into the Duke as we were walking by, which was so nice,” Meghan said. “It’ll be a nice moment to introduce the baby to more family.”
Prince Charles, on a visit to Germany on Tuesday, said he was “obviously delighted” and “impatient” to see his fourth grandchild.
The heir to the British throne, speaking in German, said he would see the baby “in the coming days when things are calmer.”
Crowds have been gathering outside Windsor Castle all week to wish them well.
It was a rare piece of good news for a nation consumed by the protracted Brexit drama.
Harry and Meghan did not choose an aristocratic title for their son.
He is not a prince but could have been given the title “Lord” before his first name.
Instead he will be known for now as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.”
The surname, used by some members of the royal family, was created to recognize the lineage of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Unlike many senior royals, Archie only has one middle name.
Prince Harry’s full name is Henry Charles Albert David.
The couple did not disclose why they chose his first and middle names—though the meaning of Harrison, “son of Harry,” is probably a clue.
Many in Britain had expected a more traditional royal name, with bookmakers taking many bets on Alexander, Arthur and James.
Archie, a name of Germanic origin with meanings that include “genuine,” “bold” and “brave,” is an increasingly popular baby name in Britain.
It was among the top 20 most common boy’s names in 2017, according to the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics.
Tourists visiting Windsor Castle, which is nearby the royal residence outside London that Meghan and Harry moved into last month, mulled over the baby’s name.
Surprise seemed to be the most common reaction.
“A mouthful for him,” Elizabeth Berker, an Irish tourist, said, laughing. “But anyway, I guess, if that’s what they wanted, then it’s the name that they like. You know, nobody has to like it.”
In the United States, where Meghan was born and raised, famous Archies, both real and fictional, have included former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp and the red-haired comic book character Archie Andrews.
First Anglo-American royal
The baby is the first Anglo-American member of the royal family, and is eligible for US citizenship should his parents want him to have it.
He has African-American heritage through his biracial mother.
Meghan, the former star of the TV show “Suits,” married Harry, the ex-soldier younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, in May 2018.
An audience of millions around the world watched the spectacular televised wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle, 32 kilometers west of London.
Harry is due to return to royal duties on Thursday, attending an event in The Hague for the Invictus Games sports competition for injured service personnel and veterans. —REPORTS FROM AFP AND AP