How Baby Archie Could Have Been A Clue That Megxit Was Coming

While the news and rumors continue to swirl around Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's abrupt decision to step back from their royal duties — a scandal the British press promptly dubbed "Megxit" — it seems there was one great big clue that should have been staring us in the face for, oh, about the last 8 months... a clue named Archie.

In fact, the decision for Meghan and Harry to take time away from the public eye dates back to before Archie was even born, as Meghan, unlike her royal sister-in-law Kate, was treated pretty harshly by the press throughout her pregnancy. What's more, she cites the stress and strain of having to give birth inside the royal fishbowl as one of the reasons that may have lead to her and her husband's shocking decision to abandon their royal roles as she became disenchanted with her life as a duchess.

But speaking of royal titles — that's the main clue we've been missing all along. Has anyone ever heard Archie referred to by his hereditary title, which is the Earl of Dumbarton? Nope, not once, because his parents have chosen not to have their son use it, nor will he go by the courtesy title HRH (His Royal Highness) until his grandpa Charles ascends the throne (via Vanity Fair).

A not-so-royal name

Even the name Archie is itself not terribly royal sounding. His full name, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is impressive only at the end part, with the double-barreled royal surname. It would have undoubtedly been out of the question (not to mention ridiculously unwieldy) to have him be Markle-Mountbatten-Windsor, but that would have been pretty unique.

But that first name, though... there's just something so blue-collar, Joe Sixpack about an Archie, at least for us Yanks. The immediate associations are Archie Bunker from the 70s sitcom All In the Family and Archie from the comic books of the same name (and, more recently, of the TV drama Riverdale).

BBC News reports that the name is a bit more popular in Britain, having ranked consistently in the top 50 boys' names for most of the 21st century, but it's still pretty telling that there has never been a King Archie or even Archibald. The closest the UK has come to this has been with Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, described by Undiscovered Scotland as the strongly disliked stepfather of young King James V of Scotland. SInce baby Archie is just 7th in line to the throne, it's not likely there will be a King Archie any time soon.

Will Archie's parents be giving up their titles, too?

Archie isn't the only one who will be going title-less. His mom and dad haven't announced any intent to renounce the Duchy of Sussex itself as per their official website, Sussex Royal, which still proclaims itself that of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Royal watchers, however, read much into the queen's initial statement to the press (via The Daily Express) regarding the couple's intent to step back from their royal roles. Throughout her statement, she referred to the couple as "Harry and Meghan," rather than once using their titles. Some commentators saw this as foreshadowing those titles being stripped altogether.

A more recent press statement published on the Royal Family website revealed, "The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family," but Fox News explains that Harry and his bride are not being stripped of those titles, nor did they renounce them; they have just agreed to stop using them. Harry is still a prince, and he and Archie will always be members of the royal family. There's nothing Prince Harry or his granny the queen could do to change this — with royals, as with us commoners, family is what we're born into, whether the other members like it or not.

So what's next for Archie?

Royal or otherwise, little Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is still one of the world's most well-known infants. Good Housekeeping gushed over the knit hat Archie wore in a recent photo, while Tatler elevated him to a new fashion icon who's single-footedly bringing back the once-reviled UGG boot.

One thing's for sure — we couldn't ask for a more entertaining spectacle to help us get through the dull post-holiday winter than Archie-watching. Grab a scone, pour a cup of tea (be sure to stir it the proper way) and settle in to enjoy the latest — and cutest — installments of the unfolding royal family saga.