Why Didn’t Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Name Their Son After Prince Philip?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are settling into parenthood and enjoying their journey as a family. One question some royal watchers have is why their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, isn’t named after Prince Philip. Here’s what we know about the duke and duchess’ baby name choice.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie Harrison Mounbatten Windsor | Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie Harrison Mounbatten Windsor | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son was born on Monday, May 6, 2019, at 5:26 A.M. BST. Prince Harry was understandably excited to share the news of Archie’s birth with the public as soon as possible.  “I am very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy early this morning,” Prince Harry told the press outside of his Windsor Estate residence. “Mother and baby are doing incredibly well… How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension,” he added. As of this writing, Archie is seventh in line for the British throne. He is Queen Elizabeth II’s eighth grandchild.

Many were surprised by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s name choice

Very few people were expecting the name the duke and duchess chose. Some choices people were betting on included Alexander, Arthur and Albert. “I don’t think anyone of us saw either of these names coming,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty royal magazine, told BBC.

The meaning of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s name

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor | Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Archie’s first name is a nickname for Archibald, which was used back in the Middle Ages in Scotland. The name means “genuine” and “bold,” according to Time magazine. Archie’s last name honors Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s family names.

Why Archie Mountbatten-Windsor probably wasn’t named after Prince Philip

Prince Philip | Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Philip | Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry brought a lot of changes to the royal family, so it’s no surprise they made an unexpected choice for their first child’s name. It’s possible they chose not to name Archie after Prince Philip because they want to continue on the path of being modern royals. Cleveland Evans, a former president of the American Name Society and psychology professor at Bellevue University, told Time magazine Archie’s name shows the royal family is becoming more modern because they chose a common British name:

The choice definitely shows their personality, but also to a certain extent, the changes in the royal family as a whole, where things have become — especially since Princess Diana’s death — more open,” Evans says, referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “They probably want to modernize it and want the royal family to be seen as regular people, which is why they’d choose a name like Archie, which at the moment is a regular, everyday British boy’s name.

Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry: Will the Birth of Baby Archie Cool Down Their Relationship?

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