What’s in a (royal baby) name?
A whole lot, especially if the name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, aka the name chosen for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new baby. The royal baby, who is seventh in line for the throne, was shown to the world for the first time ever on Wednesday morning, just two days after his birth on May 6. The beaming parents said he’s “been a dream” and has “the sweetest temperament.”
So what does the name mean, and how does it relate to baby Sussex’s mother and father? Let’s take a closer look.
The name Archie may be short for Archibald, though there’s no official word from Buckingham Palace that this is the case. For now, Megs and Harry, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have just stated his name is “Archie,” and haven’t revealed whether it’s a nickname. While it’s unclear whether Megs and Harry are huge Riverdale fans (kidding), Archie has Germanic origins and means “master,” “genuine” and “precious,” while the full name Archibald means “bold” or “brave,” according to BehindtheName.com.
The name Archibald is significant for Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. One of her great ancestors from her Scottish side was Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll. The name was often associated with the aristocracy in Scotland in the middle ages and early modern ages, during the 14th to 17th centuries.
The name Archie has been very popular in the U.K., and ranked 18th for the most popular British baby names in 2017. (Fun fact: Archibald was actor Cary Grant’s birth-given name, and Archie is the name of Amy Poehler and Will Arnett’s 10-year-old son.)
Archie also comes from the Greek word “archos,” meaning “master,” according to the website Oh Baby! Names. Since little Archie is the firstborn son of a duke, royal tradition dictates that he would inherit his father’s title of Earl of Dumbarton. However, the royal parents reportedly decided to break with tradition and declined to give their baby any titles (a very modern move and probably Meghan-approved). Therefore, the royal baby will just be called “Master Archie.” Since Archie means master, he’s basically a double-master, and we wonder if this was brought up at all during the naming discussions...
In a sweet nod to the baby’s father, Harrison is traditionally used as a surname and literally translates to “son of Harry” (aww).
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Charles all carry the last name Mountbatten-Windsor (a combination of Elizabeth and Philip’s last names). For any non Crown fans in the room, that name is passed on to all the male-line descendants of the queen and Duke of Edinburgh, except for those with royal titles and styles. Markle and Harry have decided to not use their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as their son’s surname. This may be because the “Sussex” title is a substantive title, meaning it’s passed down through the royal family to other members (it was previously used by Prince Augustus Frederick in 1801), but the baby will always be a Mountbatten-Windsor.
So, what’s in a name, you ask? A lot of history, and little bit of pop culture... (No pressure, little Archie.)