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Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor: what's in a name?

Harrison, quite literally, means Harry's son: here we dissect the new royal's not-so-royal name

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on May 8. Getty Images 
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle on May 8. Getty Images 

After weeks of speculation whether it would be Alexander, Arthur or Albert, it was to be another name starting with A that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would call their baby boy. Namely, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in full.

"I don't think any one of us saw either of these names coming," Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told the BBC.

Watch Harry and Meghan introduce baby Archie here:

After showing their two-day-old boy to the world, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle went to introduce baby Archie to his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

After he had met his royal relatives, his name was revealed to the world.

But what is the significance of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor?

The significance of Archie

Traditionally Archie is a Scottish name, the shortened version of Archibald. Not traditionally royal, it is an aristocratic name, which means "genuine", "bold" or "brave". It is a more popular name in Prince Harry's native UK, than Meghan's US; in the UK, Archie is the 18th most popular boy's name and in the US it doesn't make the top 1,000.

epa07555743 The Duchess of Sussex places her hand next to her baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Winsdor, Britain, 08 May 2019. EPA/Domic Lipinski / PA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born Monday, May 6. AFP

Over the pond, Archie is best known for being the name of the famously red-haired comic book character, Archie. The comic also formed the basis of popular teen drama Riverdale, which first hit screens in 2017.

The CW show tweeted their joy at the baby name, with a picture of Archie, played by KJ Apa, writing, "Proud to be Archie".

The significance of Harrison

Harrison, quite literally, means "Harry's son". Does that mean all of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's children will have the same middle name?

Although more traditionally a surname, there are many famous Harrisons out there, most notably Harrison Ford.

Mark Hamill, who played Star Wars' Luke Skywalker, has joked on Twitter that he may have influenced the name, but adds that Harry might have slightly misunderstood.

"Here's me with William and Harry pitching the idea of naming any future royal baby after their favourite Star Wars actor," Hamill wrote. "Happy they chose Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, but regret not being more specific. Should have pitched favourite Star Wars actor who played Luke."

The significance of Mountbatten-Windsor

We may now know them as the Sussexes, but that could evolve as Prince Harry's royal title changes in the future.

Mountbatten-Windsor is the chosen personal surname used by descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. It is a combination of the names of each – the Queen comes from the house of Windsor and the Duke of Edinburgh took the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents in 1947.

epa07555745 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Winsdor, Britain, 08 May 2019. EPA/Domic Lipinski / PA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, Archie, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Winsdor, Britain. EPA

There is no legal requirement for royals to use a surname, but some opt to use Mountbatten-Windsor when required. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have enrolled their children at school with the surname Cambridge "for ease". Technically, their eldest is Prince George of Cambridge.

What about his title?

It seems that Harry and Meghan have opted not to give their son a royal title. The Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry's titles, was speculated, but they have so far referred to him just as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

The choice to not take a royal title could be in a bid to give him as "normal" a life as possible.

Royal author Penny Junor has said that Prince Harry would have "dearly liked to have been a normal boy". Perhaps that is the life he will try to give his son, despite being born seventh in line for the throne.

“The Queen might not like it, but she’s pretty fair about what her family wants to do,” royal expert Marlene Koenig told Time. “She understands that [Harry and Meghan] will want to have a much more normal life.”

Updated: May 9, 2019 10:40 AM

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