Baby Archie: What is the meaning behind Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son’s name?

The baby’s name was announced two days after he was born in Windsor

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 06 May 2020 10:20 BST
Prince Harry and Meghan speak for first time since birth of baby Archie

In May 2019, Buckingham Palace revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

The name was also announced on the royal couple’s official Instagram account, alongside a picture of the new family of three with the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and the duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland.

So, as Archie celebrates his first birthday on 6 May, what is the meaning behind the one-year-old’s moniker?

On Archie’s birth certificate, it does not state that his name is short for Archibald. However, Archie is a derivative of the name.

Archibald is derived from the Germanic elements ercan, meaning “genuine”, and bald, meaning “bold”.

The name became popularised in Scotland during the Middle Ages.

Medieval forms of the name include the Old High German “Erchambold”, and the Anglo-Saxon “Eorcenbald”.

The baby’s middle name, Harrison, is of particular significance for the child’s father, Prince Harry.

As is implied by the structure of the name, it means “son of Harry”.

The name Harrison, predominantly used as a surname, is of English origin, increasing in popularity in the US in recent years.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s choice to use the name as one of the royal baby’s monikers thus highlights the connection the Sussexes have forged between the UK and the US through their partnership.

High-profile individuals with whom the baby shares its middle name include Star Wars actor Harrison Ford, Beatles guitarist George Harrison and the 23rd US president Benjamin Harrison.

No British monarch of Great Britain has ever been named Archie or Harrison.

As for the baby’s surname, the royal family states that some members of the family often do not have one.

However, it was confirmed that the baby’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.

In 1917, the reigning King George V chose Windsor as the surname of the royal family.

During a meeting of the Privy Council on 17 July 1917, the monarch stated that “all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor”.

In 1960, eights years after Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne, she and the Duke of Edinburgh decided that some of their descendants would be distinguished by the double-barrelled surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

The announcement from the Queen stated: “My descendants other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Pince or Princess and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.”

Following his birth, it was revealed that Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will not be granted any courtesy titles by the Queen, in accordance with Prince Harry and Meghan’s wishes.

The first photographs of the baby were released taken at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle.

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