Royal Rules Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Baby Archie Will Have To Follow
As a member of the royal family, his life will be anything but ordinary.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, welcomed their first child — possibly the most hotly anticipated royal baby in history — on May 6, 2019.
Right now, little Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has few concerns beyond when he’ll get his next feed. But as he grows up, he’ll have a few royal rules and traditions by which he’ll have to abide. Time will tell whether Harry and Meghan decide to enforce these rules or do things their own way.
Welcome To The World
View this post on Instagram
We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz. The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.
The happy news that Meghan had given birth was first announced on the couple’s official Instagram account. The baby boy was delivered at 05:26 BST, weighing 7lbs 3oz (3.2kg). The sex was as much of a surprise to the new parents as it was to the rest of the world — Meghan told members of the public during a royal visit to Merseyside, England that they didn’t know what they were having.
No Home Birth
Although rumors were rife that Meghan would have a home birth, the baby was born at Portland Hospital, an American-owned private medical center in London’s upscale Westminster neighborhood. This was confirmed after the birth certificate became public information. The document lists the new mom as “Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex” and lists her occupation as “Princess of the United Kingdom.”
A Different Kind Of Name
View this post on Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first born child: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor This afternoon Their Royal Highnesses introduced Her Majesty The Queen to her eighth great-grandchild at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess’ mother were also present for this special occasion. Photo credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal
The world only had to wait a couple of days to find out the baby name. Again, the parents chose Instagram to announce that their son was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. While there are no hard and fast rules for choosing royal baby names, tradition typically plays a big part. This made Archie (which means “truly brave”) a surprising choice. It wasn’t in the running as a favorite name; nor does it have any British royal connections. Harrison is also a brand new name for the royal family.
Archie’s surname, Mountbatten-Windsor, was first created in 1947 by combining the surnames of the Queen (Windsor) and Prince Philip (Mountbatten) ahead of their wedding in November of that year. This was another surprise — Harry and Meghan were expected to give their child the surname Sussex, following in the footsteps of Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose children have the surname Cambridge on their birth certificates.
No Title For Archie
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) May 8, 2019
Traditionally, only the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (i.e. Prince George) was entitled to the honor of a royal title, following King George V’s decision in 1917 to limit titles within the royal family. However, in 2012, the Queen brought in new rules for Prince William so that all of his children would be princes or princesses. Royal correspondents have reported that baby Archie won’t have a title, unlike his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
A More ‘Normal’ Upbringing?
The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was offered royal titles for her children Peter and Zara, but she turned them down to help make her kids’ lives as normal as possible.
Zara Tindall told The Times, “My parents didn’t give us titles, so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s very difficult to shed it.” It looks like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have taken this into consideration.
Seventh In Line To The Throne
Archie is seventh in line to the throne, just behind his father, Prince Harry. First in line is Charles, Prince of Wales, followed by Prince William, then his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. If Prince William and Kate Middleton have another child, they will automatically go before Prince Harry in order of succession, making Archie eighth in line.
As Meghan is still a U.S. citizen, Archie is, too — any American who has lived in the United States for at least five years automatically passes their citizenship to their child. Because Prince Harry is British, Archie will have dual citizenship. Meghan is expected to apply for UK citizenship, but she’ll have to wait until she’s lived in the United Kingdom for at least five years. She could then renounce her U.S. citizenship, but Archie would have to wait until he was at least 16 to do the same.
We don’t know for sure that Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened, but royal tradition dictates that he will (his great-grandmother, the Queen, is the head of the Church of England, after all). The Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop of the Church of England, has the honor of baptizing the royal baby, which may take place at St. James’s Palace or one of a number of other churches and chapels in England.
If Archie is christened, he’ll likely wear the family christening gown, which is a replica of the lace and satin gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841 and worn until 2008. James Viscount Severn (son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex), Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have all worn the replica gown made of cream Honiton lace.
On Tour With Mom And Dad
Some royal traditions have been dropped over time, as modern royal parents do what they think is best for their kids. When the Queen was a young mother, she famously left Prince Charles and Princess Anne at home while she spent six months touring the Commonwealth. But Princess Diana took Prince Harry overseas just a year after his birth, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took 9-month-old Prince George with them to Australia.
Royal Protocol Can Be Broken
For security reasons, royal protocol dictates that different generations of royals who are heir to the throne don’t travel together in case anything happens to them — similar to what happens in the U.S., where the president and vice president typically don’t travel together. However, the Queen gave Prince William permission to override this protocol in 2014 so that Prince George could fly on the same plane as him for his tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Nanny On Board
It’s not a rule, but it is tradition for a royal couple to employ a nanny to help them raise their child. Prince William and Prince Harry’s nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke was an important figure in their lives and a source of great comfort and support after their mother Princess Diana’s death in 1997. Prince William and Kate Middleton rely on Maria Borrallo to help them take care of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Wardrobe Of Short Pants
View this post on Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to share four new photographs of Prince George to mark his third birthday. Photographer Matt Porteous said: "I really enjoyed the opportunity to take these photographs of Prince George. It was a very relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. I'm honoured that they have decided to share these images with the public to mark his third birthday."
Ever wondered why Prince George always wears shorts? The royal family has to dress according to certain “modesty” standards, and it’s tradition for young boys to wear shorts, only switching to long pants when they’re around 8 years old. Time will tell whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will make the same — very cute — style choice for little Archie.
Queen Rules The Dinner Table
Few people know exactly what goes on when the royal family gets together for dinner, but it’s likely that certain longstanding traditions are upheld. One of these is that everyone has to stop eating when the Queen does. So the youngest members of the family — including young Archie — will have to try to clean their plates before their great-grandmother does. This protocol dates back to Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837-1901.
Fluent From A Young Age
Queen Elizabeth is fluent in French, and most members of the royal family speak a few different languages (to enable them to converse during foreign visits). Prince Harry spoke Arabic during a speech in Dubai, and Meghan Markle, who is fluent in Spanish, said recently that she’s working on improving her French. As far as the younger generation of royals goes, Prince George can reportedly count to 10 in Spanish.
Private School Tradition
It’s highly unlikely that Archie will go to public (state) school. This is mainly for security reasons but also because, throughout history, royals have been home-schooled by governesses and private tutors or attended the UK’s most prestigious private schools.
Apart from a short time at a Scottish public school, Prince Charles went to private schools. Prince William and Prince Harry also went to independent private schools, beginning with London’s Jane Mynors Nursery School and the Wetherby Pre-Preparatory School. They then attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire before going to Eton College. In September 2017, Prince George started preparatory school at the $22,000-per-year Thomas’s Battersea.
Room For Grandma Doria
View this post on Instagram
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning. The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news. The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage. Her Royal Highness and the baby are both doing well.
It’s not a rule that royal children don’t have much to do with their non-royal grandparents, but that certainly was the case until fairly recently. But today, Kate Middleton’s family is very involved in the lives of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and Meghan Markle has already ensured that her own mother, Doria Ragland, will play a big role in Archie’s upbringing. Ragland was with Meghan in the lead-up to Archie’s birth. She was also included in an official photograph with the newborn, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and even mentioned on the official birth announcement from Buckingham Palace.
Gifts With A Twist
Harry and Meghan received lots of gifts for their baby before he was even born, and that’s unlikely to change as well-wishers celebrate the new arrival. However, Archie won’t automatically be able to enjoy the gifts he receives. Official royal policy dictates that any gifts received while on official duty aren’t the young royal’s personal property. Instead, they belong to the queen, who makes the final decision on what’s kept and what will be donated to charity.
Bowing To Great-Grandma
Not many people are exempt from bowing or curtsying to the Queen. Not even senior members of the royal family. The youngest generation certainly are expected to follow this rule by around the age of 5, and some start even earlier. Princess Charlotte was showing off her curtseying skills to diplomats at the tender age of 2.
The Royal Wave
Archie will have to perfect the “Windsor wave,” a subtle hand twist that requires a perfectly straight hand, with no flapping. His older cousin Princess Charlotte would be a great teacher. She’s clearly been practicing and likes to wave to the public at every given opportunity, as we all saw at her uncle Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
The Queen Can Break The Rules
If a young royal wants to bend the rules, they simply have to ask their great-grandmother. In 1989, the Queen gave permission for her granddaughter Zara Phillips, who was only 8 years old at the time, to attend Royal Ascot with her mother Princess Anne. Age restrictions have changed since then but, at the time, Royal Ascot had a strict age limit of 18, meaning Zara was the only child to be allowed into the event. Zara won a silver medal for the UK equestrian event team at the London Olympic games in 2012, so it’s perhaps lucky that the Queen bent the rules for her back when she was a child.
Normal Rules Don’t Always Apply
View this post on Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share some new photographs of their family as they visited the RHS Back to Nature Garden at the #ChelseaFlowerShow on Sunday afternoon. The photographs were taken by @mattporteous. The #RHSChelsea Back to Nature Garden, designed by The Duchess and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects, is a woodland setting for families and communities to come together and connect with nature. Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate for the proven benefits the outdoors has on physical and mental health, and the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development in particular. Over the past months, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have helped The Duchess gather moss, leaves and twigs to help decorate @The_RHS Back to Nature Garden. Hazel sticks collected by the family were also used to make the garden’s den. The Duchess told Monty Don in an interview for the BBC: “I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young children. I really hope that this woodland that we have created really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together.”
Being a member of the royal family definitely comes with many perks as well as obligations and rules. During the Chelsea Flower Show 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge got special permission for her three children to attend an exclusive preview of the popular annual event the day before it opened to the public. For non-royals, the normal rules apply as per the RHS website, which states that “under 5s, prams, pushchairs or babes in arms” are not allowed at Chelsea.
Doing It Their Way
Archie may only be a few weeks old, but his parents have already shown that they plan to do things their way. It was reported in the UK press that the couple shunned the royal pram tradition, opting for a Bugaboo Fox for their infant rather than the royal family’s usual choice of pram, a Silver Cross. This suggests that other royal “rules” and traditions will be broken as Archie grows up.
Remembering Loved Ones
Harry and Meghan’s official Instagram account gives them control over what images of Archie make their way into the public domain. On Mother’s Day in the U.S., they posted an adorable photo of his feet, alongside a caption that read, “Paying tribute to all the mothers today — past, present, mothers-to-be, and those lost but forever remembered.” The backdrop of forget-me-nots — one of the late Diana, Princess of Wales’ favorite flowers — could be seen as a touching tribute to Prince Harry’s mother.