8 May 2019

UK: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced today the name of their son, who was born 2 days ago:
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.
Shortly after, at 4.45 p.m. local time, Buckingham Palace confirmed:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to announce that they have named their son Archie Harrison.

The baby will be known as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The choice of names stresses the fact that the baby is so far down in the line of succession (no. 7) that the parents didn't feel any need for a traditional name, but could chose names entirely of their own preference. Archie is usually a shortened form of Archibald, which is Germanic of origin and means «genuine» or «precious» and «bold». Harrison obviously means «son of Harry». Of course most boys with the given name Harrison don't have a father named Harry, but for the ducal son the choice is most fitting, even if Harry is only the Duke's nickname.

According to The Telegraph, Archie was the 18th most popular name for boys in England and Wales in 2017 (see more details at the website of the Office for National Statistics). The Telegraph also writes that «In Scotland, Archie was the 17th most popular name for boys in 2018, according to the National Records of Scotland.»

When searching for the name Archie or Archibald at An Online Gotha, I only get one hit: Hon. Lionel Frederick Archibald Fitzclarence (1857–1863), a great-grandson of King William IV (1765–1837). Maybe one can find the name among the Duke of Sussex's non-royal ancestors, but I think we can safely assume that the Sussexes didn't check Prince Henry's family genealogy in order to find a name they liked.

Yesterday I wrote that «I would be surprised if the baby boy will be not be known as Earl of Dumbarton.» The press statement says, however, if not explicitly, that Prince Henry's subsidiary title Earl of Dumbarton will not be used. He is of course entitled to the courtesy title, and one can of course argue that Archie became Earl of Dumbarton the very second he was born. But «Master» Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor it is, and he will probably continue to be untitled even after his grandfather has succeeded to the throne and even if this will be in conflict with the Letters Patent of 1917. The LP will have to be modified some time anyway.

And of course, some time in the future the young master will become the 2nd Duke of Sussex (second creation, 2018), unless the Letters Patent of 2018 has been changed in the meantime. One can of course wonder why Prince Henry («Harry») accepted the ducal title in the first place, but no ducal title would have meant that Meghan would have been styled HRH Princess Henry of Wales, which for many people doesn't look so good in this day and age.

Archie's surname Mountbatten-Windsor was of course as expected and in accordance with the declaration of 8 February 1960:
[...] Now therefore I declare My Will and Pleasure that, while I and My Children shall continue to be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, My descendants other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
A photo call took place at Windsor Castle earlier in the days. The photos can be viewed in the Telegraph article linked to above or at the website of BBC News.

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