Where Does Mountbatten Come From? The Royal Baby’s Last Name Has Some Major History
The Royal Baby is here, and we finally know what to call it! Just a few days after welcoming their new son, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced that they have named their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. It's a beautiful and unique name for a member of the Royal Family, but what surprised many people about the announcement was the public declaration of the baby's last name. Prince Harry's, and his brother William's, last name (or surname, as they say in the United Kingdom) is not often used in the media or in their personal lives, but Mountbatten-Windsor has some major family history behind it.
Obviously, the Royal Family does not need their surname to be recognized, which is a big reason why some members don’t use one at all, according to the official royal website. Members of the Royal Family that have an official title are not required to have a surname, but those that do not carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor. The name Windsor derives from George V, who, according to the site, declared in 1917 that “all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor."
Mountbatten is Prince Philip’s own surname that he assumed in 1947 when he was naturalized as a British subject and married Queen Elizabeth II. In 1960, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh decided that they wanted their direct descendants to somehow be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family. It was then declared that those descendants, “other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry,” as reported by the website, would carry the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.
Although the surnames of Prince William and Prince Harry may technically be Mountbatten-Windsor, they have never used the name in public, always going by their titles. Even when they started school, they simply were listed as William Wales and Harry Wales, picked up from their father's title, according to Reader's Digest. The use of Mountbatten-Windsor means that Archie does not have an official title as of yet, and according to E!, he may not receive one, as his parents have reportedly chosen not to give him a courtesy title.
His first and middle names also have some significant meanings. As reported by Sky News, the name Archie is the shortened version of "Archibald," which means "brave," "bold," and "genuine." In a likely nod to his father, Harrison means "son of Harry," meaning his full name translates to "genuine, bold, and brave son of Harry."
Earlier on Wednesday, May 8, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex debuted their newborn to the world during a photo call at Windsor Castle, and the new parents couldn’t have been happier about Archie’s arrival.
"It's magic, it's pretty amazing, and I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy," Markle said about parenting, as reported by CBS News, adding that Archie has the “sweetest temperament." He did, notably, sleep throughout the entire press conference. "Parenting is amazing,” Harry said. “It's only been, what, two and a half days, three days, but we're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy, and to be able to spend some special time with him as he slowly starts to grow up.” He even said that Archie’s looks have already changed significantly. "He's already got a little bit of facial hair as well," he joked.
If Harry's beard is anything to go by, not only will Archie grow up to be brave and bold, in accordance with his name, but also have some serious facial hair.