There’s an adorable photo of a cute baby going around the internet, purportedly of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s newborn son Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and you may have already seen it on your Facebook or Twitter feeds. There’s just one problem: it’s not Baby Archie.
As The Sun reports, news organizations began reporting on the photo of “Baby Archie” on Saturday morning, eager to pick up on the story but without doing some fact-checking first. And of course, once it reached the general public on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, the thing went viral.
However, had the news outlets and social media users who shared the photo of “Baby Archie” done even the most basic of basic fact-checking, they would have noticed a dead giveaway that it’s not legit.
It Came From A Fake Account
The picture of “Baby Archie” came from the Twitter account @sussexroyal19. On the one hand, it does seem rather convincing. After all, Meghan and Harry’s official Instagram account uses the handle @sussexroyal. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex don’t have a Twitter account, notwithstanding the bogus account’s claim that it’s “The official Twitter account of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
The tweet in question has been deleted.
Another dead giveaway that the account is bogus: it only has 13,000 followers. Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account, by comparison, has 8.5 million followers. And then there’s the fact that the Twitter account lacks the familiar blue symbol that indicates a “verified” account, as is generally done with high-profile public figures.
Though the tweet has been deleted, the photo of the baby that served as the basis for the hoax is still available, from the Instagram account of the mom from whom it was stolen.
So Who’s The Baby?
His name is Maddox Nino, and his mother is German fitness instructor Bella Kraus. Her Instagram account is filled with adorable pictures of her family, including a man who appears to be her husband or partner, as well as a couple of other adorable children.
When a reporter for The Sun contacted Bella to let her know that her photo of Maddox was being used as prop for an internet hoax, she was none too pleased. “What an insolent behavior,” she told a reporter.
In the comments on the Twitter post that got the ball rolling on this hoax, several commenters pointed out that this is a hoax, many of them promising to unfollow the bogus account for spreading “fake news.” Many others, however, responded with “how cute!” and similar reactions, betraying the fact that they apparently didn’t realize they were being fooled.
As of this writing, the Royal Family has not officially responded to this hoax.