Family

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor Is a Terrific Name for This Royal Baby

Prince Harry holds baby Archie as Meghan looks on in an ornate hall.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor with his parents at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.
Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

After an agonizing two days for the public, the new royal baby has a name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex—otherwise known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—announced the baby’s name on Instagram, shortly after the new family of three introduced the child to the public in a brief meeting with reporters. In a sweet black-and-white photo of the baby being introduced to his great-grandmother, otherwise known as the queen of England, everyone is smiling and the baby looks cute, if also, generically, like a baby. But the name was what most captivated the public.

Twitter exploded with wisecracks on Monday when a British tabloid, the Daily Express, tweeted that the couple would choose an “UNUSUAL name for baby that UNIFIES the US and UK.” Well, guess what? They pulled it off, haters. I believe that Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is a great name for this baby.

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a first name that more elegantly encompasses the baby’s dual heritage than “Archie”: His father is a British fancy-pants, and his mother is an American girl-next-door. “Archie” derives from the irrepressibly aristocratic “Archibald,” which is hard to say out loud without affecting a British accent. Intensive research—skimming the list of Wikipedia pages that start with “Archibald”—suggests that most well-known Archibalds have hailed from Great Britain. Archie is also the name of one of the most iconic all-American kids in American culture, Archie Andrews.

Archie Comics apparently approves:

(It’s an internet thing, just go with it.)

Archie Andrews is also famously a redhead, which means the baby’s name has the potential to be even more fitting if his hair takes after his father’s. We haven’t yet gotten a peek at the baby’s noggin, which has been covered up by a soft white cap in all his first public appearances. Fingers crossed.

The most controversial and mysterious aspect of the name is the question of whether and why the boy is named just plain Archie. Snobs are already taking to Twitter to sniff at the baby’s “chav” name. (It’s a British thing, just go with it.) The offense is that it’s supposedly tacky to give a baby a nickname as a formal name. It’s admittedly hard to imagine the queen and her husband going as Betsy and Phil. But times change! The authoritative baby-name site Nameberry reports that the “amiably retro” name is currently one of the top 20 most popular in the United Kingdom. Anyway, “Archibald” is stodgy and clunky, and its last syllable is rude to Prince William.

Archie is also a satisfying pick because it literally defies the odds: People bet on what the royals will name their children, for some reason, leading to newspapers quoting betting-company representatives saying things like, “We’ve seen a steady flow on James since yesterday’s announcement but the latest flurry favours Oliver and we’ve slashed odds accordingly as a result.” Archie was not in the top 5, foiling the gamblers placing money on an infant’s birth certificate.

As for “Harrison,” it appears to be rather literal: Harrison = Harry’s son. One might have hoped that the feminist Duchess of Sussex would have pushed a bit harder for Meghanson. But “Harrison” is unobjectionable. Gotta admit it rolls nicely off the tongue with Archie.

The couple has decided not to give the baby a royal title, though he could receive one later. “Mountbatten-Windsor” is a “surname used by some members of the royal family,” according to the AP; according to Wikipedia, it “applies to male-line descendants of the Queen without royal styles and titles.” OK! There you have it. Welcome to the world, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. You’re a baby.