A long-awaited event is finally here. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have had their first child together. After waiting a couple of days to spend more time with the baby, they presented the little one to the world. Now it’s time to learn everything as possible about the child, because over the next few years we’re going to watch him grow up!
On May 6, 2019, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor entered the world. A lot of people were eagerly awaiting his birth, and when the news hit, they gathered at Windsor Castle to celebrate. But no one among the crowds was more delighted than the new father. Prince Harry came out to make the birth announcement himself.
Harry spoke directly to reporters outside the stables of Windsor Castle, and he didn’t hide his delight at becoming a father. “Meghan and myself had a baby boy early this morning – a very healthy boy,” he said. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever possibly imagine.”
Harry went on, “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. We’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the lovely support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing so we just wanted to share this with you.” But there was no appearance from Meghan or the baby yet – that was still to come.
Harry implied that the new baby didn’t have a name yet. “That’s the next bit,” he said. “The baby is a little bit overdue, so we’ve had a little bit of time to think about it.” And, he explained, the media and the world would get to see the baby after a few days. “It was amazing, absolutely incredible, and, as I said, I’m so incredibly proud of my wife,” Harry added.
Meghan and Harry had opted in advance not to show the baby on the same day that it was born. Buckingham Palace had released a statement to that effect on April 11. The Duke and Duchess, the announcement read, “have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.”
Buckingham Palace also released a statement announcing the baby’s arrival. It stated the important statistics. “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning,” the Palace said. “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 statement then went on. In fact, according to royal protocol, the Queen should always be the first person informed of a royal birth.
The statement continued, “The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.” Doria is a familiar face to royal family fans. The mother of Meghan was present at the royal wedding, the only member of Meghan’s family to be there.
Meghan’s father Thomas, whom she is reportedly estranged from, wasn’t mentioned in the statement. However, he spoke to The Sun. “I’m delighted to hear that mother and child are doing well. I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honor.”
A golden easel was displayed outside Buckingham Palace to announce the news of the royal birth. This is a long-standing royal tradition. “The Queen and the Royal Family are delighted at the news that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 05.26 a.m. today,” the notice read. “Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”
After the baby arrived, the BBC reported from outside Windsor Castle, where the excitement wouldn’t die down. “There was a group of people just a few minutes ago – on hearing that the baby had been born – erupted in applause. Just a bit further from where we are a lot of people are now gathering,” reporter Helena Wilkinson said.
Many British landmarks were lit up in celebration. The BT Tower displayed the messages “Congratulations Harry and Meghan” and “It’s a baby boy!” The London Eye lit up in red, white and blue, the colors of not just the British flag but the American one too. And even the Niagara Falls joined in with bright blue lights.
And two days after the birth, the world finally got to see Archie for the first time. The proud parents did a photocall in the spectacular setting of Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Hall. The place has special significance for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as it’s the same room they had their wedding reception in.
The photographs were taken by the same man who took the pictures of Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception, Chris Allerton. And the couple posted them on social media for everyone to see. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share their first public moment as a family,” was the message posted on their Instagram.
The pictures showed the Duke and Duchess looking proud and delighted with their new baby. Little Archie was very well behaved, also – he appeared to sleep soundly throughout the whole photoshoot, in fact. And Harry and Meghan were full of nothing but adoration for their tiny newborn.
Both the Duke and Duchess had the sweetest words to say about parenthood and the days they had spent with their baby. “It’s magic; it’s pretty amazing. I mean, I have the two best guys in the world. So I’m really happy,” Meghan said, speaking about both the child in her arms and her beaming husband Harry.
As Archie kept his eyes closed, the Duchess continued to talk about him. “He has the sweetest temperament. He’s really calm.” Then Harry joked, “I wonder who he gets that from.” Meghan offered no suggestion about that, but said lovingly, “He’s just been the dream, so it’s been a special couple days.”
Prince Harry cradled his son as he spoke to the media. Despite the occasion being important, only a very small pool of cameramen were there. “We’re just so thrilled to have our bundle of joy,” Harry told the gathered group. “We’re looking forward to spending some precious time with him as he slowly starts to grow up.”
The new parents were asked which one of them Archie looked most like. “We’re still trying to figure that out,” Meghan said. And Harry added, “Everyone says that babies change so much over two weeks, and we’re basically monitoring how the changing process happens in this next month really. But his looks are changing every single day, so who knows?”
Meghan leaned over her baby in the photos and looked deliriously happy. But there was something else of note about her appearance. She still had her baby bump in the photographs and wasn’t covering it up with loose-fitting clothes. This was something that drew no small amount of praise.
USA Today published an article about the baby bump. “At a time when women are constantly criticized for how their bodies look, Markle is showing us a little slice of postpartum reality,” it read. “While some new moms are able to ‘snap back’ to their pre-baby bodies shortly after giving birth, others take longer, or their bodies may never fully revert back.”
Meghan’s choice of outfit for the photocall also drew attention. She wore a white dress designed by Grace Wales Bonner, a new but very successful British fashion designer. Just like Meghan and Archie, Bonner is biracial. Meghan was very possibly giving a nod to her heritage by choosing that particular dress.
Fashionistas also focused on what baby Archie was wrapped in. This was a white shawl created by the firm G.H.Hurt & Son. The company’s blankets, which don’t come cheap, reportedly take three days and eight people to make. Archie was also wearing a matching cashmere hat from the brand.
Those items could be a nod to royal tradition. For a long time the royal family have been customers of G.H.Hurt & Son. The Queen bought a blanket from them after Prince Charles was born, and the royals have stuck with it ever since. All of Prince William’s children were presented to the world wearing a G.H.Hurt & Son shawl.
The director of G.H.Hurt & Son, Richard Taylor, told Peoplehow happy the company were. “The staff here are over the moon,” he said. “We thought Harry and Meghan might do something slightly different because their modus operandi has been to do new things so I think it’s really nice that they are also keeping some family traditions as well.”
And speaking of family, Harry and Meghan also told the media in St. George’s Hall that they had already run into Prince Philip on the way to the photoshoot room. “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, and my mom’s with us as well, so it’s been really great.”
The Queen, Prince Philip and Doria Ragland shortly afterwards joined Harry and Meghan for a photo. This was put on social media along with the name announcement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first born child: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor,” it read.
“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,” the post concluded. In less than 24 hours, the post had racked up over two million likes.
The media focused a lot on Archie’s name and why Harry and Meghan had chosen that one specifically. It hadn’t been one of the frontrunners – the male names most popular among bookmakers had been Edward, Arthur or Philip, the last one being after Prince Philip of course. “Archie Harrison” had come as a big surprise.
Journalists speculated about the choice. “Instead of a traditional royal name, they chose a name they loved,” Max Foster, royal correspondent for CNN, said on the broadcaster’s website. “What they are very much doing is reflecting their generation. They are not looking to history; they are looking to now.”
No royal of Britain has ever before been named Archie, as far as anyone knows. But the name means “bold” or “brave,” ideal for a young royal. Once upon a time it was the shortened form of the name Archibald, but these days the short version tends to get chosen. And in 2017 it was among the top 20 most popular boy’s names in England and Wales.
As for the name Harrison, it quite literally and very appropriately means “son of Harry.” Just like Archie’s first name, it has no precedent in the royal family. “It may well be it’s a name that Meghan is familiar with,” said Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, in an interview with the BBC.
Little continued, “Archie has a British feel to it, whereas Harrison is more of an American name. The first Harrison that springs to mind is Harrison Ford. They have wanted to do something a little bit different, and they have done.” And the baby’s middle name did actually lead to some Ford-related jokes on Twitter.
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill and co-star of Ford posted a picture on Twitter of himself meeting Prince Harry on the Star Wars set. “Here’s me with William and Harry pitching the idea of naming any future royal baby after their favorite #StarWars actor. Happy they chose Archie HARRISON Mountbatten-Windsor, but regret not being more specific,” he joked.
Archie is not only the first member of the British royal family to ever bear his name, he’s also the first ever multiracial British royal. His grandmother Doria is African-American, Meghan is biracial, and all Harry’s family are white. Archie’s birth therefore marks a significant turning point in the history of the United Kingdom.
Archie also most likely has dual nationality seeing as his mother is American. If Meghan retained her citizenship of the U.S., it will pass to Archie too. He could renounce his citizenship once he turns 18, if he wants to. However, reportedly Harry and Meghan have said they want their child to be a “global citizen.”
Archie’s royal title is another matter. Harry and Meghan had the option to grant their baby one. Among Harry’s “lesser” titles is that of Earl of Dumbarton, and baby Archie could have inherited it. The name “Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor” was also an option. But the palace confirmed that Archie wouldn’t have a title.
His parents had decided not to raise him with one. “As we expected, Harry and Meghan [have] forgone a courtesy title for their child,” royal journalist Omid Scobie wrote on Twitter. “All part of giving him as normal a life as possible.” However, there’s a chance Archie could become a prince when Prince Charles becomes king.
But no matter what happens in the future, at the moment Archie is spending his first days alive with his devoted parents by his side. Although we’ll undoubtedly see more of him in the years to come, his parents are clearly going to be working hard to maintain his privacy and give him a fairly normal life. Welcome to the world, Archie!