As most royal fans know, the members of the British royal family do not use a last name, unless they refuse to use a title. Even though Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s maiden names are commonly used in the media, their official titles are Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
When Markle gave birth to her and Prince Harry’s first child on May 6th, they decided against using a courtesy title and instead named him Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Where did this name come from? And, why does it have a history that makes Prince Philip furious?
The history behind theMountbatten-Windsor surname
The rules about royal titles and names vary based on three main factors: gender, being born a royal, and marrying into the royal family. While some of the rules have changed slightly over the years – Queen Elizabeth changed the order of succession to the throne by basing it solely on birth order without regard to gender – most rules have been the same for centuries.
The Duke of Edinburgh was actuallyborn into the Greek and Danish royal families and known as Prince Philip ofGreece and Denmark. However, before announcing his engagement to thethen-Princess Elizabeth, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles andbecame a naturalized British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from hismaternal grandparents.
But when Elizabeth became Queen in1952, she decided that the royal family’s surname would be Windsor instead ofMountbatten after getting advice from her grandmother, Queen Mary, and BritishPrime Minister Winston Churchill.
This reportedly infuriated PrincePhilip. According to The Express, he shouted“I’m just a bloody amoeba” because he was the only man in the UK who couldn’tgive his children his last name.
Queen Elizabeth changed the familyname for Prince Philip
By 1960, Queen Mary had passed away, and Churchill had resigned, and Queen Elizabeth decided it was time to change the name of the royal house. She decreed that her direct descendants who were not granted the title of Prince or Princess would have Mountbatten-Windsor as a last name.
With Meghan Markle and Prince Harrynaming their child Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, they made it clear theyopted not to use a title for their son, which would have most likely been Lordof Dumbarton, which is one of Harry’s lesser titles.
“I would think the Duke of Edinburghwould be absolutely thrilled with that. Archie is a lovely name, but the factis that they’ve chosen to call him Mountbatten-Windsor. Prince Philip was neverallowed to call his children by his own surname. I think that’s a really nicetribute to Harry’s grandfather,” says royal author Penny Junor.
When Queen Elizabeth dies or abdicates the throne, Archie’s grandfather – Prince Charles – will become King, and that means that he will automatically be granted the title of Prince Archie, but he won’t be required to use it.
Archie Harrison’s childhood won’t belike most royals
Instead of growing up in the palace surrounded by servants who call him Lord Archie, Harry and Meghan are raising their son in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, away from the royal spotlight. Their decision to skip a public photo call after Archie’s birth and instead do a private photoshoot with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip is an example of how much the couple values their son’s privacy.
They have planted extra trees aroundFrogmore Cottage to hinder the public view, and chances are fans won’t get verymany opportunities to see the young royal outside of official publicappearances with the rest of the family.
According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Harry and Meghan have not yet hired a large staff to help with their newborn, even though Meghan’s major helper, her mom Doria Ragland, just returned to the United States.
“Theydon’t yet have a nanny or a team of staff, and there’s no chef,” says Nicholl.“Doria has been helping out, she has been indispensable.”
Harryand Meghan want to tackle parenthood on their own
Raglandwill definitely play a major role in Archie’s upbringing, but it appears Harryand Meghan are tackling parenthood on their own, with the occasional help fromgrandma.
“Insome families in the US, grandma is a big deal. Historically, in our culture,the mother worked long hours and needed all the support with her kids that shecould get,” said Ragland’s stepmother, Ava Burrows.
“Grandmashave all sorts of names – Mee-maw, Gran’maw – and usually live close togetherwith the rest of the family, playing a big part raising their grandkids. Doriais very important to Meghan and vice-versa. So, I’m sure she wants to be a bigpart of her life and her baby’s life. She’ll be a wonderful grandmother.”
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were some of the first family members to meet Archie Harrison, although it is not known if they have seen him since.
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