How Royal Baby Archie’s Role Within The Royal Family May Take Shape When He’s Older
A new baby just joined the royal family and became seventh in line to the throne, right behind his father, Prince Harry. And "seventh in line" is the most technical way little Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor fits into the royal family. It's almost certain that he will never be the monarch, because he's not even in the direct line like cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. So, what will life look like for Archie as he grows older? What will his role be? How much will the spotlight be on him?
There's no way to know for certain, but it is possible to look at how life turned out for the children of other "spares" to the throne. Of course, we have to still keep in mind the massive popularity Prince Harry has always had and how that's grown even more with Meghan Markle by his side. That sets the new baby apart from other royal children, at least for now.
Harry has recognized in the past that not too long from now, the spotlight will be on his brother's children, as they grow up and move closer to the throne, particularly future king Prince George. In a profile of the prince in June 2017, Newsweek wrote, "He tells me that he is in a rush 'to make something of my life. I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it.'"
It's impossible to say when and if that will happen — won't we care about Harry forever? — but here's a look at some other recent siblings of heirs' children and how their roles within the family and their level of celebrity turned out.
Lady Sarah Chatto & David Armstrong-Jones
Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, Princess Margaret, had two children with her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones: Lady Sarah Chatto and David Armstrong-Jones. Princess Margaret was very popular and was known as a party girl. But, while the spotlight was on her a lot, particularly when she was younger, her children, Sarah and David, aren't known as celebrities in the same way.
Like Archie, Lady Sarah Chatto was seventh in line to the throne at the time of her birth. Now, she's 24th. She had a very royal upbringing, growing up in Kensington Palace, according to Hello!, and she attends all sorts of royal family events, like Markle and Harry's wedding, for instance. But, her life isn't anywhere close to as publicized as some of her royal cousins. She had a pretty small wedding herself, has two sons, and is a professional painter.
Similarly, her brother, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, was born fifth in line to the throne and is now 21st. He is a furniture maker, whose clients have included Elton John and Valentino Garavani, according to Town & Country. He is also married with two children.
If Archie follows in Sarah and David's footsteps, he could live a very royal life for a while, but in his adulthood will be able to have the career of his choosing and a more of a private life than his parents. Then, he can pop up at things like Prince George's wedding and everyone will be like, "Oh, look, there's Archie! How nice!"
Zara Tindall & Peter Phillips
Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips are Queen Elizabeth's only daughter Princess Anne's children. Similar to Markle and Harry's decision to not have Archie use a title, it's long been reported that Anne and her ex-husband Mark Phillips, turned down the use of titles for her children even though Queen Elizabeth offered to make them princes and princesses. "I’m very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do," Tindall told The Times in 2015 (via People).
For Tindall (sixth in line for the throne at her birth, now 18th), that meant becoming an Olympic equestrian and winning a silver medal at the 2012 games. She married former rugby player Mike Tindall in Scotland in 2011 and they have two young kids together.
As for Peter Phillips (fifth in the line of succession at his birth and now 15th), he has had some regular jobs and not just worked as part of the royal family like some of his cousins. According to Town & Country, he's worked for Jaguar, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and in sports management. He also has two kids, and is married to Autumn Phillips. They wed at St. George's Chapel like Harry and Markle.
Phillips and Tindall both are still very close with their family and show up at royal events often. But, they get to also have more private lives with their families and not live full-time as members of the royal family.
Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are the daughters of Queen's Elizabeth's son Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, aka Fergie. Fergie was popular when she married Andrew and remained a tabloid fixture after their divorce, which in part explains the interest in her daughters. There's also the fact that they were both princesses from birth — which, obviously, can draw attention to someone — because the title was passed down through their father. Beatrice and Eugenie are currently ninth and tenth in line for the throne, respectively.
Both women have been in the public eye quite a bit. Just last fall, Eugenie had a huge, televised royal wedding, and Beatrice's love life has consistently made headlines, too. While both sisters do some work for organizations as royals, they also have both held other jobs. Eugenie works for the art gallery Hauser & Wirth (on their site she's listed as "Eugenie York"). The Duke of York's website explains that Beatrice "works full time in business."
Following in Beatrice and Eugenie's footsteps would mean Archie might live a more public life as compared to the other examples given. On the one hand, this seems unlikely because Archie does not have a title and his parents have made it clear how important privacy is to them. But, on the other hand, Harry and Markle are so popular, that it might just depend on how long that popularity holds up and how much it's passed onto their son.
There's also the fact that the world is much different now than it was when Princess Anne's children were young, for instance, when it comes to how the media covers the royal family. Eugenie even has her own Instagram account. There could be more interest in Archie for longer just because there are more ways to follow him.
Another factor is that the dynamic of the family as a whole could shift once Prince Charles becomes king. It's been rumored for years that he wants to "streamline" the royal family and reduce the number of working royals. In 2012, the Daily Mail reported that Charles was already trying to put this change into an effect, which supposedly upset Andrew. "A slimmed-down monarchy would, in future, star only those key royals who really mattered: the monarch, the next in line, and his next in line," the report reads. "Plus, their spouses and the indispensable Harry."
Well, if Harry is indispensable, maybe Archie will be, too. Whatever happens, as is always the case with royal watching, it'll be interesting to see how things shake out, even if it takes many years to find out.