Baby Sussex Name Explained: Why Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor?

The world has finally got its first glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's firstborn after what felt like an eternity of Royal Baby Watch.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex showed off their newborn son to the world on Wednesday, two days after he was born -- but initially kept mum about the baby's name, waiting instead for him to first be introduced to The Queen, Prince Phillip and Meghan's mum Doria.

But finally, in the early hours of Thursday morning (Australian time) we were given the Royal name of the bub the world had so far referred lovingly to as 'Baby Sussex' -- after his parents' Royal titles.

Photo: Getty Images.

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Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

It's a mouthful, but actually much shorter than the names of his Royal relatives.

And in what's become standard practice for the well-loved Royal couple,  Harry and Meghan once again broke with Royal tradition -- and bookkeepers' predictions -- in giving Archie his name.

Archie Harrison

The newest Royal has two first names, Archie and Harrison -- neither of which have Royal links, nor were tipped as favourites by punters.

In NSW, for example punters were firstly certain the baby would be a girl, but after Harry's giddy first announcement of their firstborn being a son -- bookkeepers quickly revealed the top four boy names predictions: Phillip, James, Edward, and Alexander.

Archie, meaning  "genuine", "bold" and "brave" was the 18th most popular name for boys in England and Wales during 2017 -- and was originally a shortened version of the name Archibald, which had Germanic elements, according to British site Baby Centre.

Baby Sussex. Photo: AAP

Harrison, meanwhile, literally means "son of Harry". While the reason for this name should be fairly obvious, Harry is not the Prince's actual first name -- it's Henry.

The royals haven't revealed if this is behind their decision, or if the name carries some other meaning.

Harry and Meghan's decision to stop at two names is also a rare choice for the Royal family. Archie's prince and princess cousins each have three names, while his father and uncle carry four.


The newest Royal's last-name also had people around the world scratching their heads.

While Windsor is well-known as the last name used by the Royal family for formal occasions -- the history behind their less popular surname 'Mountbatten' is not as well-known.

Until 1917, the British Royal family technically had no last name, the Royal Family's official website says. Individuals who made up the Royal Family had the last name Saxe-Coburg, which was changed during World War I due to anti-German sentiment.

It was George V, the Queen's grandfather, who made the "radical change" to adopt the name of his dynasty 'Windsor' as the Royal Family's surname.

Queen Elizabeth herself confirmed the surname at her own accession to the throne almost 40 years later in 1952, but a few years after that the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, made the decision to distinguish their own direct descendants from the rest of the Royal Family even further.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953. Photo: Getty.

Thus the name 'Mountbatten-Windsor' was born and all of the Queen's descendants, apart from those with style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry that last name.

Prince Phillip, who was the prince of Greece and Denmark before marrying Queen Elizabeth, abandoned those titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents.

While the surname will continue to be used by all of the Queen's descendants unless a future monarch changes the family's surname, it is not always used by Royal Family members who also use their Royal titles as last names.

Prince George for example -- Archie's cousin -- is enrolled in school as George Cambridge -- his last name reflecting his parents' Royal title, The Guardian reported. 

Prince George reportedly goes by George Cambridge at school. Image: Getty.

Archie is not a prince, and it's being reported that his parents have chosen not to give their son a royal title. Technically, he could be known as the Earl of Dumbarton -- Harry is the Duke of Dumbarton -- but it appears his parents have chosen to give him as normal a life as possible.

Regardless of his official titles, one thing is for sure: the now-seventh in line for the British throne is already being adored by his besotted parents.

New mum Meghan said he so far has the "the sweetest temperament in the world" adding that she was lucky to have "the two best guys in the world."

Photo: Getty Images.

While new dad Harry said, "It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined."

With CBS.