6 MAY 2019
On 6th May 2019 at 5.26am - Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex (b.1981), the wife of Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex (b.1984) - youngest son of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) gave birth to their first child (a son) at The Portland Hospital, London.
A Sky News interview with Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
where he announced the birth of his son
The official announcement from Buckingham Palace
about the birth of The Duke & Duchess of Sussex's son
Unusually Buckingham Palace announced that only limited information would be given about the birth, eg: there would be no photo-call within hours of the birth for the world’s press outside a hospital and the birth would be announced on the Duke & Duchess’ new Instagram page.
No details of where the Duchess gave birth (or the names of the attending medical staff) were originally released, but the wording of the official announcement fuelled speculation that The Sussexes had opted for a home birth at the couple’s newly renovated residence - Frogmore Cottage, Frogmore, Berkshire on the Windsor Castle estate.
Baby Archie’s birth certificate subsequently confirmed that he was born at the same hospital where the daughters of Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (b.1960) - Princess Beatrice (b.1988) and Princess Eugenie (b.1990) were born.
The Portland Hospital, London
Buckingham Palace announced on 8th May 2019 that the child would be named ‘Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’, and at the request of his parents, he would not have any title whatsoever to have as normal a life as possible. Unlike the children of Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge (b.1981) - Archie was not born a Prince of the United Kingdom or styled Royal Highness. Under the terms of the 1917 Letters Patent, baby Archie is not entitled to Royal rank, however upon his grandfather succeeding to the Throne he will become a grandchild of the Sovereign, and therefore will be entitled to Royal rank..
ABOVE: The Duke & Duchess of Sussex present their son Archie
to the world in St George's Hall in Windsor Castle
LEFT: The official birth registration of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
Under the terns of The Queen’s declaration in 1960 where she stated “... while I and My Children shall continue to be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, My descendants other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor" - the new addition to the Royal Family does indeed bear the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.
Baby Archie is the first member of the British Royal Family who is bi-racial and to have both British and American citizenship. He was born 7th in line of succession to the Throne and is the eighth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921).
The Duke & Duchess of Sussex present their son to Queen Elizabeth II
(the baby's great-grandmother) at Windsor Castle -
(left to right) - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Queen Elizabeth II, Doria Ragland and her daughter
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex holding baby Archie
On 8th January 2020, The Duke & Duchess of Sussex made an announcement on their Instagram account of their intention to "step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family". An agreement was finally arranged on 18th January 2020 – with Prince Harry and The Duchess of Sussex stating that from Spring 2020 (confirmed later as 31st March 2020), they would no longer use the style of Royal Highness. Prince Harry said - "the decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges . . . there really was no other option. . . . I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life."
It should be noted that under the terms of the Letters Patent by King George V (1865(1910-1936) on 17th November 1917, upon Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) succeeding to the Throne, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (as a male-line grandson of the Sovereign) would be elevated to the rank of a Prince of the United Kingdom with the style of Royal Highness and officially no longer use any surname. However, it may be the case that The Sussexes might follow the precedent of The Wessexes with their own children and chose to decline the use of such titles for their children. We will have to await what decisions will be made!