While the news and rumors continue to swirl around Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s abrupt decision to step back from their royal duties — a scandal the British press promptly dubbed “Megxit” — it seems there was one great big clue that should have been staring us in the face for, oh, about the last 8 months… a clue named Archie.
In fact, the decision for Meghan and Harry to take time away form the public eye dates back to before Archie was even born, as Meghan, unlike her royal sister-in-law Kate, was treated pretty harshly by the press throughout her pregnancy. What’s more, she cites the stress and strain of having to give birth inside the royal fishbowl as one of the reasons that may have lead to her and her husband’s shocking decision to abandon their royal roles as she became disenchanted with her life as a duchess.
But speaking of royal titles — that’s the main clue we’ve been missing all along. Has anyone, once, heard Archie referred to by his hereditary title, which is the Earl of Dumbarton? Nope, not once, because his parents have chosen not to have their son use it, nor will he go by the courtesy title HRH (His Royal Highness) until his grandpa Charles ascends the throne (via Vanity Fair).
A not-so-royal name
Even the name Archie is itself not terribly royal sounding. His full name, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is impressive only at the end part, with the double-barreled royal surname. It would have undoubtedly been out of the question (not to mention ridiculously unwieldy) to have him be Markle-Mountbatten-Windsor, but that would have been pretty unique.
That first name, though… there’s just something so blue-collar, Joe Sixpack about Archie, at least for us Yanks. The immediate associations are Archie Bunker from the 70s sitcom All in the Family and Archie from the comic books of the same name (and, more recently, of the TV drama Riverdale).
BBC News reports that the name is a bit more popular in Britain, having ranked consistently in the top 50 boys’ names for most of the 21st century, but it’s still pretty telling that there has never been a King Archie or even Archibald. The closest the UK has come to this has been with Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, described by Undiscovered Scotland as the (strongly disliked) stepfather of the young King James V of Scotland. Since baby Archie is just 7th in line to the throne, it’s not likely there will be a King Archie any time soon, anyway.
Will Archie's parents be giving up their titles, too?
Archie isn’t the only one who may be going title-less. While his mom and dad haven’t announced any intent to renounce their own, and their official website, Sussex Royal, is still that of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, royal watchers are reading much into the queen’s most recent statement to the press (via The Daily Express). Throughout her statement, she refers to the couple as “Harry and Meghan,” rather than once using their titles. Some commentators are seeing this as foreshadowing those titles being stripped altogether.
Well, it’s early days yet, but one thing’s for sure: we couldn’t ask for a more entertaining spectacle to help us get through the dull post-holiday winter. Grab a scone, pour a cup of tea, and settle in to enjoy the royal family soap opera as it continues to unfold.
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