why is archie not a prince
Source: Getty Images

Archie Could've Been a Prince, but Harry and Meghan Said "No"


May. 6 2020, Published 2:24 p.m. ET

Today, May 6, marks Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s first birthday, which his parents — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — celebrated by releasing a new video of the tot being read the book "Duck! Rabbit!" by his mother. 

This is the first time fans are seeing Archie since September, when the then 4-month-old joined the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their royal tour of South Africa. Unlike his dad, "Arch" (as he’s affectionately called by Harry and Meghan) doesn’t bear the title of "prince." What’s up with that?

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Why is Archie not a prince?

Due to his place in the line of succession to the British throne, Archie was not automatically born a prince. Queen Elizabeth could have granted him the title, but Harry and Meghan have made it clear that they want their son to grow up as a private citizen. 

The pair also chose to forgo the courtesy title Earl of Dumbarton in favor of the more pedestrian-sounding Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. 

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archie meghan markle
Source: Instagram

Harry isn’t the first Windsor to turn down a royal title for his child. Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, declined her mother’s offer to bestow the HRH distinction on son Peter Phillips and daughter Zara Tindall. 

The children of Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, also do not hold prince and princess titles. Instead, their monikers follow that of an earldom, meaning they’re formerly referred to as James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor, respectively.

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Archie's name carries special meaning for Harry and Meghan.

Following their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family, the couple revealed plans for their future foundation, Archewell. "Before SussexRoyal came the idea of 'arche' — the Greek word meaning 'source of action,'" the duo explained in a statement last month. 

"We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters," they shared. 

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archie mountbatten windsor name
Source: Getty Images

"Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon," the pair added. "We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right."

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In an April 12 video chat with a nurse, two British parents of children with serious illnesses, and the CEO of the U.K. charity WellChild, Harry gave a quick update on the trio as they remain quarantined in L.A. amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When asked how he, Meghan, and Archie are doing, the 35-year-old responded, "Not too bad. I think it’s certainly strange times — everyone is experiencing the same thing in a very unique way. But the longer this goes on for, I imagine the harder it is for each and every one of you."

The Invictus Games founder reasoned, "It’s all about morale. If morale is up, if you wake up in the morning and go, 'Right, new day, got my whole family here, what are we going to do?'… Keep busy, keep being creative, dare yourself to try new hobbies."

Our new hobby? Looking at photos of baby Archie.

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