Decoding Archie Harrison: The Meaning Behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby Name - NBC4 Washington

Decoding Archie Harrison: The Meaning Behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby Name

The couple revealed their son's name to the queen before announcing it to the world

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    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry went with an unusual, non-traditional name for their first child, Archie.

    The 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex gave birth on Monday, May 6 to their baby boy and she and her husband, 34, debuted him to the world and to Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, after which they revealed the child's name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

    Let's decode the name.

    Archie: According to nameberry.com: "Archie is a boy's name of German origin meaning 'truly brave." It is popular in the U.K. and also may have a special meaning for the royal family. Note that despite speculation, the couple has not confirmed whether the name is a formal name or a nickname of Archibald.

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    "This is a most unusual choice [of name], but I am not surprised because I have said that they would go out of the box," royal historian Marlene Koenig told E! News. "There are no Archies or Archibalds in the family. I have said a few times that the parents of non-royals seem to have more leeway, more freedom."

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    Harrison: This one's literal. According to nameberry.com: "The name Harrison is a boy's name of English, Aboriginal origin meaning 'son of Harry.'"

    Mountbatten-Windsor: This has been the last name of the queen's male-line descendants who do not have royal styles and titles, and is a combination of her surname and and husband Prince Philip's adopted surname of Mountbatten. William has used the name, as have his and Harry's uncle Prince Andrew, Duke of York and and aunt Anne, Princess Royal.

    The Mountbatten family is a branch of the German house of Battenberg. The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the U.K. and the rest of the Commonwealth.

    The couple revealed their son's name to the queen before announcing it to the world. Traditionally, the reigning monarch has to sign off on the name. The queen, Koenig said, "is not like her grandfather, King George V, who vetoed Ann Margaret for Elizabeth's younger sister so the Duke and duchess of York went with Margaret Rose."

    Days before the big reveal of Meghan and Harry's child's name, many predicted the famous couple would opt for something along the lines of Arthur, Alexander and Albert.

    William and Kate had given their eldest son and daughter names that have been used by the British royal family over the past few centuries. Their youngest child, son Prince Louis, 1, also has a royal name. Unsurprisingly, Meghan and Prince Harry broke tradition, as they are known to do.

    When it comes to picking a name, many royals have paid tribute to their lineage. For example, King George VI was Queen Elizabeth II's father. King George IV's only child was Princess Charlotte of Wales. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's daughter's name is Charlotte. Her middle names are Elizabeth and Diana, which is an homage to the queen and William and Harry's late mother, Princess Diana.

    However, it's common that the closer you are to the throne, the more traditional your child's name must be. Archie stands seventh in line.

    What about a royal title?

    The couple has reportedly chosen not to use a courtesy title for their boy. According to Keonig, Harry and Meghan's son could have been known as the Earl of Dumbarton, but his title will instead be "Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor."

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    "Very untraditional," she said. "But not surprised as Harry and Meghan want a 'normal' life for their kids."