Why Baby Archie Will Have A Complicated Life

Since baby Archie entered the world on May 6, 2019, he's been adjusting to life outside the womb while his parents adjust to being first-time parents. "Like any father, he lights up when he speaks about his son and how proud he is of his wife," Prince Harry's close friend and former Invictus Games contender JJ Chalmers told People of the royal. "I can see the buzzing smile on his face still."

As the family of three made their first joint public appearance in Windsor Castle, new mom Meghan Markle commented about parenthood. "It's magic. It's pretty amazing," the Duchess of Sussex revealed. Harry, too, gushed about his little one and fatherhood. "Parenting is amazing," said the new dad as he held Archie close. "We're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy and to be able to spend some precious times with him as he slowly starts to grow up."

While it will no doubt be exciting for his parents — and us, of course — to watch little Archie grow, the young royal's life isn't going to be entirely easy. Here's how complicated baby Archie's life could become.

He's already the target of racism

As The New York Times confirmed after the birth of baby Archie, Meghan and Harry's son is "the first interracial baby in the British monarchy's recent history." Archie's birth was certainly historically significant, but his birth also touched many on a more personal level. "Because just by seeing his face representing one of the world's most famous families, those of us who have always felt 'other' will be a little bit less alone — and we'll be cheering him on from the sidelines," wrote Arianna Davis for The Oprah Magazine

Although Davis dubbed the young royal as a "symbol of hope for many biracial people," she acknowledged the complexities he will face. "So unfortunately, thanks to Archie's royal status, when he gets older he will probably be forced to grapple with the private matter of identity in a very public way," she explained. Devastatingly, Archie has been the target of racist remarks nearly as long as he's been alive, which is something the majority of royals have never faced and may never face.

The world is enamored with his parents

It's no secret that we're all enthralled by Meghan and Harry and, now, their little one too. But, have you ever considered why? Psychologists have looked to explain our fixation with these modern royals.

Brandy Engler, a couples therapist in Los Angeles, Calif., told Shape, "[Meghan] symbolically represents a fantasy that most people have to be swept away by a Prince Charming." And we have the opportunity to "live vicariously" through the duchess. New York-based holistic psychotherapist Rebecca Hendrix added that Meghan is basically "the epitome of the American Dream" because "she worked against the odds of race, gender, and economic class to achieve success" — which is something that Hendrix says causes us to root for her and "gives us hope for change."

Thanks to their loyal fandom, Meghan and Harry's Instagram account amassed over 8,000 followers just six minutes after it was created and over a million followers in six hours' time, successfully setting a new Guinness world record. Archie was born into record-breaking fame and navigating those waters will be tricky, to say the least.

He won't have privacy

When Harry was informed that the news got out about his and Meghan's relationship, royal expert Angella Mollard said he told Meghan that "things will never be the same again." In an interview with Royals (via Express), Mollard added, "I can imagine he felt a little bit of sadness that that privacy had [gone]." Unlike Harry and Meghan who had a little time together before their relationship became very public, Archie was born into next-level fame. Unfortunately for him, the royal may never know the luxury of privacy.

Regardless of what lifestyle Meghan and Harry may desire for their little one, royal expert Roya Nikkhah told Express that Archie will never be able to lead a "normal life." Even if he does not have royal obligations, he will "always be an enormous public interest." Regarding Harry, Nikkhah added, "He's the most popular member of the Royal Family often in polls after the Queen, sometimes even ahead of the Queen." Naturally, Harry's son is, as the expert revealed, "probably going to have a life very different to most children."

He has to follow more rules than the average child

Growing up in the royal household means following a lot of seemingly pointless rules. For one, Archie will likely be expected to receive etiquette training. Etiquette expert Myka Meier told People that this training begins "as soon as [a royal child is] old enough to sit at a table." When Archie does receive his training, he will learn how — and be expected — to bow to his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, by the time he turns 5 years old, according to royal expert Marlene Koenig.

Prior to Archie's birth, many things have already been decided about his future — including even his wardrobe. As you've likely noticed, Prince George dons shorts no matter the weather. Etiquette expert William Hanson told Harper's Bazaar that "a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class" — sigh — and it isn't until royal boys are older that they begin to transition out of shorts and into slacks

He's not technically a royal

As royal expert Roya Nikkhah confirmed to Express, Harry's popularity has, at times, surpassed his grandmother's. You know, Queen Elizabeth II. So, it's likely that Archie's popularity may also soar as the years go by. This may be somewhat surprising because baby Archie's not even technically a royal. That is, he doesn't have a royal title.

Prior to his birth, it was speculated that he might adopt the title Earl of Dumbarton, but royal experts have since confirmed that Archie is not an earl — nor a prince, nor even a lord. He is, instead, a master. Although it is a title one would use when referring to him, and it's not a royal one.

Royal expert and biographer Penny Junor told Express that Harry and Meghan chose not to give their child a title because of Harry's own desire to have been "a normal boy" throughout his childhood. Decades earlier, Princess Anne chose not to give her children royal titles — a decision for which her grown daughter Zara Tindall is thankful — but will Archie be similarly appreciative? Given the unique attention already bestowed upon him, it's hard to say.

He may soon be propelled into royalty

Archie's position in the royal family is only bound to get more complicated as time goes on. Upon his birth, he took the seventh spot in the line of succession, which meant he was too far down the royal totem pole to be automatically assigned the title of prince. Had Harry and Meghan wanted Archie to have a royal title, though, the monarch would've likely appointed him as an earl or lord, according to Global News. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a say in their son's title — or lack thereof — at his birth, they may not have a say forever.

When Prince Charles becomes king, royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained to Global News, Archie will no longer be too far removed from the throne. At that point, he would be bestowed a royal title and become His Royal Highness Prince Archie. He would then also be expected to perform royal duties. Arbiter confirmed that Meghan and Harry's child "will still be the grandchild of the Sovereign, and him and Harry will take on very significant roles once Charles is King, in particular."

His career aspirations may be limited

Without a royal title and without lots of public attention, Princess Anne's children were mostly free to live their lives as they saw fit. Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall (née Phillips), lives a life adjacent to the royal family as Prince George's godmother and the granddaughter to Queen Elizabeth, but she also lives a much more private life than those of her royal relatives. "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," she told The Times. Thanks to their non-royal status, Tindall went on to become an Olympic equestrian and her brother, Peter Philips, became the managing director of his own sports and entertainment agency.

Archie may not have the same opportunities. Upon becoming a prince, he would have no choice but to pursue a career within the royal family. Prince William knows what that's like. William's biography reveals: "A ten-year-old William told his mother, 'When I grow up I want to be a policeman and look after you, Mummy.'" Harry reportedly immediately replied, "Oh no you can't, you've got to be king." Eek.

He may never know his maternal grandfather

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made sure to include Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, in Archie's life from the very beginning. After the couple's son was born, a statement from the royal family revealed that Ragland was staying with her daughter, son-in-law, and first grandson at the family's home in Windsor. However, Meghan's estranged father, Thomas Markle, has yet to meet the royal baby as of this writing. It's not known whether Harry and Meghan will grant him the opportunity to do so. 

In an interview with The Sun, Thomas Markle Jr., Meghan's half-brother with whom she is also estranged, said their father was "terrified" to think he'd never meet his grandson. "Hopefully this baby will help mend the family rift — we'd all love to meet the baby and become a part of his life — especially my dad," he explained. In the meantime, Thomas Markle Sr. issued a statement congratulating his daughter on the birth of her son and wished him "health and happiness" (via The Sun). Needless to say, Archie already has a complicated family dynamic.

He's an American Brit

Although born in England, baby Archie is technically an American. This is because his mom, Meghan, is an American — albeit one who lives abroad. Unfortunately for Archie, this means he's liable to the IRS. Regardless of where a person resides, CNBC explained that the U.S. requires all American citizens to pay taxes. How much? "It will really depend on how the baby earns money or how money is given to the child what kind of tax reporting situation it would have," David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, told the publication.

Meghan is unable to legally renounce Archie's citizenship for him, which means that the royal family will have to continue to pay the IRS on Archie's behalf until the royal's 16th birthday, at which time he can choose to renounce his American citizenship — but not before paying a hefty fee, of course. As of this writing, he would owe $2,350, so we can expect that figure to only go up. He may only be a baby, but he's already developing a complicated relationship with the IRS.