Royal baby Archie: Name's meaning, connection to Germany, Riverdale

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their new baby boy is named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor; an unconventional choice that surprised bookies.

Archie is a shortened version Archibald, composed of the German words "erchan"- meaning genuine or precious - and "bald" - meaning bold.

The German link may be a nod to the baby's Windsor heritage.

The House of Windsor is the reigning British royal house headed by the Queen who descended from a branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a German dynasty.

Joe Little, the managing editor of the royal magazine Majesty, told the BBC neither Archie nor Harrison are believed to have been used by the British royal family before.

That may reflect Harry and Meghan's modernity and the latest in a line of actions that have broken from royal tradition or protocol.

In 2017, it was the 18th most popular boy's name in England and Wales, and has been within the top 50 since 2003.

Royal baby Archie: Name's meaning, connection to Germany, Riverdale
Photo credit: Royal Family / Getty / Reuters.

Historian Professor Kate Williams said the name was probably inspired by famous figures like South African anthropologist Archie Mafeje and saxophonist Archie Shepp.

But young royal fans may instead think of Archie Comics character Archie Andrews, who has drawn an intense fandom recently with his depiction on the CW show Riverdale.

The internet certainly made the connection, going crazy online about the name after the announcement.

The unconventional name was never a favourite with gambling companies attempting to predict which moniker the new baby would receive. Ladbrokes said only NZ$198 was put on it being picked.

The middle name of Harrison is very likely a tribute to his father, meaning "son of Harry", while the decision to include Mountbatten in the last name reflects the Duke of Edinburgh's desire to have his surname passed onto his descendants.

Prince Philip.
Prince Philip. Photo credit: Royal Family.

As the baby is the first born son of a duke, he could use the title of Earl of Dumbarton, but royal sources say he will instead simply be known as Master Archie - another do-away with tradition.

The name was first announced on Prince Harry and Meghan's Sussex Royal Instagram as well as a picture of the couple, the baby, the Queen and Prince Philip, and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.

Archie is seventh in line to the throne, following the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and his children, and then Prince Harry.

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