Notoriously private during their time as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved away from royal duties, to Los Angeles along with baby Archie, in order to get time away from the spotlight. Speaking to some of the couple’s nearest and dearest, royal reporters Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie's have been able to uncover intimate details about Harry, Meghan and young Archie for their new book Finding Freedom: Harry And Meghan And The Making Of A Royal Family, and we can’t get enough of the adorable details.
According to the famed biography of the Sussexes, baby Archie started swimming lessons when he was just a few months old. In preparation for the couple’s royal visit to South Africa in October 2019, the Durand and Scobie revealed that the youngest royal started taking baby swimming classes. Given he was born in May 2019, he must’ve only been a few months old when he took his first splash. Cute!
Enrolling Archie in swimming lessons wasn’t without an extensive thought process though. According to Finding Freedom, his parents did substantial research, only signing up Archie to take the plunge “after anxiously [looking] up videos on YouTube about how babies can hold their breath underwater.”
Sources close to the family also shared an insight into the couple’s first few days with newborn Archie with Durand and Scobie. A friend told the authors that “Meghan described the moment she first held Archie as ‘ecstasy…total bliss and contentment,’” and called their first day together a “pinch-me” moment. “He’s barely cried. He’s an angel,” Meghan reportedly said.
The biography also reveals that Archie’s love of reading – remember how excited he was reading Duck! Rabbit! with his mum on his first birthday for Save The Children? – started from a young age. The young royal “loved being read to by his parents” and “particularly enjoyed the riddle and rhyme book Is Your Mamma A Llama? by Deborah Guarino” the authors write.
Among the other tidbits of information revealed in Finding Freedom included the fact that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry knew they were expecting a boy ahead of Archie's birth. Markle was eight days overdue, it claims, and never even considered giving birth at Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital – where Kate Middleton gave birth to all three of her children – opting to give birth at Portland Hospital instead. According to the authors, Markle had an "uncomplicated" birth and did not deliver by C-section.
The couple had a different name in mind, too. (Admittedly, it's pretty close to what they settled on in the end). As Hello! reports, Scobie and Durand said the Sussexes "wanted something traditional, a name that was powerful even without a title in front of it." According to an unnamed friend, "they thought about Archibald for all of one second...He was always going to be little Archie."
From his favourite books, to the family’s trip to South Africa, it seems that baby Archie has a keen interest in animals, even at his young age. During the couple's late September 2019 royal tour of the country, Archie was “mimicking the sound of animals during their stay at the high commissioner’s residence in Cape Town,” the authors wrote.
In his younger months, whilst the family were living at Frogmore Cottage, Meghan secretly took him to baby-and-me classes, too. “Like many new parents” Meghan loved taking Archie to classes, joining the Happy Clappy music class in Windsor with him (protection officers stood outside). Archie “went straight for the tambourine” and “according to his mom, ‘loved it,’” Scobie and Durand wrote. Perhaps Harry and Meghan have a royal musician on their hands!