The royal baby's name has finally been revealed! Meghan and Harry confirmed, after days of speculation, that the name of their baby is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Archie's name is unexpected, to put it mildly. It doesn't reference a former monarch -- or a male who is or was in some way connected to the monarchy -- as is traditional within the royal family. But the name was apparently able to pass muster with Queen Elizabeth, who almost certainly had final right of approval on the boy's name.
Picking Baby Names Is Hard For Everyone, But Even Harder For Royals
Every set of parents has to grapple with what to name their baby. They want something that works with their last name, that is simultaneously neither too mundane nor too ridiculous. In some cases, parents may also value a name which honors people or places that are important to the parents.
But as a royal, the list of acceptable names is woefully abbreviated.
Generally, royals -- particularly those closer to the throne -- tend to pick the names of nobles who have gone before them. Prince Charles -- himself named after two previous kings -- for example, named his first son William, after several previous English kings. His second son, Harry, was also named for previous kings. Harry's actual given name is Henry, for those unaware.But royal watchers may have noticed that members of the royalty tend to have multiple names. Prince William, for example, is William Arthur Philip Louis in full. Prince Harry's full name is actually Henry Charles Albert David.
Picking Names Is Even Harder For Royals Not Directly In Line To The Throne
For Harry and Meghan, the list of acceptable names is even shorter than the one William and Kate had to work with.
For example, considering that Archie is seventh in line to the throne, giving him the name of a previous king could be seen as presumptuous. This severely limits their naming choices. What's more, "modern" names like Kevin or Colin are considered to be unacceptable.And inasmuch as the royal family is Christian, Biblical names like David or Michael are appropriate. However, more "obscure" Biblical names, like Hezekiah, are certainly off the list.
Adding to the confusion, the name of John is absolutely, positively, 100 percent unacceptable. King John (1166-1216) was such a terrible king that no royal since his reign has had that name. It's considered bad luck.
Why Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor?
As of this writing, it remains unclear why Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan chose such an unexpected name for their son. Expect an explanation to come when the proud parents are ready.