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The Meaning Behind the Royal Baby's Name

The Duke & Duchess of Sussex welcomed a baby boy on May 6, but many were taken aback when they announced his name two days later. Here’s what Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor actually means.
screenshot of the Sussex Royal instagram page
Updated: February 12, 2020

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, making him the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild and seventh in the line of succession for the British throne. 

The couple announced the joyous news on their Instagram account, with the proud father making an appearance in front of cameras a few hours after his birth. While we waited two days to see the glowing new mother and baby in the halls of Windsor Castle, it was well worth the wait.

More: 50 Unique Baby Names You've Never Heard Of

In 2018, the two new arrivals to the immediate royal family, Meghan Markle and Prince Louis, also meant that those names rose in popularity, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Archie and Harrison will also skyrocket through the end of the year!

While many were taken aback by their unique name choice (Archie didn’t make our top 10 list of name predictions), and even more so with their decision not to formally title him, how uncommon is it really? 


The commonly shortened version of Archibald means bold or brave Prince (according to our baby name meaning tool), but it doesn’t seem that Archie is a nickname — it’s just his first name! This is not too uncommon for his mother, whose given first name is actually Rachel, but chooses to go by Meghan. 

Fans of the popular CW show Riverdale were quick to assume that the baby could be named after the protagonist, and fellow redhead like Harry, Archie Andrews, but it doesn’t seem likely despite their modern twist on things. Though Archie Comics, the originators of the storyline had a kick out of the news, sending out a hilarious tweet:

While it’s not clear exactly who, if anyone, the baby was named after, royal researchers and reporters have traced the name to Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll of Scotland, an ancestor of Princess Diana, though it seems unlikely that he is the origin.


Originating in the Middle Ages, Harrison means ‘Army ruler,’ but it also has a much more literal translation — Harrison is actually a nod to his father. Traditionally, this is also a patronymic name meaning ‘son of Harry.’


For viewers of The Crown on Netflix, you may recall the contention surrounding the use of the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which was desired by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to be the surname for all descendants with his wife Queen Elizabeth. While it was ultimately decided that Windsor would remain the formal name of the Royal House, it was also decided that any male descendants without a royal title would take on the hyphenated surname instead. 

No Title?

Unlike his first cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess appear to have made the decision not to give their son a title. While many royal experts have already begun to speculate that this could later change when his grandfather Prince Charles becomes King, making his full name and title His Royal Highness Prince Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, it’s up in the air for now whether the little one will take on the same title of his cousins. 

The same decision was also made by Zara Phillips, granddaughter of the Queen and Harry’s first cousin, for her two daughters Mia and Lena. For now, Buckingham Palace has confirmed to multiple outlets that the new arrival will not have a formal title for the time being.

None of their more unconventional choices come as a major surprise considering the other shifts to traditional royal paradigms the new parents have already made in their first year of marriage. We can’t wait to see how they continue to shake things up with their little one in tow!

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Jacqueline Weiss

About Jacqueline

Based in Los Angeles, Jacqueline is a freelance writer and social media strategist. She… Read more

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