Meghan Markle Reveals The Alternate Name She And Prince Harry Almost Gave Archie

Back in 2019 when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were expecting their first child, people placed bets on the baby's name, gender, weight, and even godparent for upwards of $1 million, per The New York Times. Some of the name favorites were Alexander and Albert, according to BBC, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went with Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor for their firstborn. Archie was traditionally a nickname for Archibald and means genuine and bold, according to Time. The name Harrison is typically a last name that means son of Harry, which, of course, makes sense.

The couple has generally kept Archie out of the spotlight, though he did accompany his parents on their 10 day Africa tour when he was five months old, per Time. Archie didn't come along on the couple's visit to The Hague for the Invictus Games — the first European trip for Markle since the couple left royal duties — and at an event during their trip, Markle said that she's missing Archie and his little sister Lilibet, via Daily Mail UK. She also revealed that Archie's name could have been different.

Archie's middle name Harrison was almost his first name

While talking with a mother and competitor in the Invictus Games, Meghan Markle acknowledged the challenge she and Prince Harry faced when naming Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor; they were debating switching the names and having his first name be Harrison and his middle name be Archie, per Yahoo News!.

Archie came up another time at the Invictus Games. At the opening ceremony of the games, Prince Harry talked about what three-year-old Archie wants to be when he grows up; it apparently changes day to day and includes helicopter pilot, astronaut, and the character Kwazii from Netflix's animated "Octonauts" (via Town & Country). Prince Harry went on to say that he hopes Archie can grow up with the character like those participating in the games. The Invictus Games were an initiative of Prince Harry's that brings together injured and sick servicemen and women from around the world to compete in a series of sporting events, highlighting how athletics can help with emotional and physical healing (via Invictus Games Foundation).

Archie isn't currently a prince, but he might be someday

Under royal protocol stemming from a 1917 legal document written by King George V, Archie would be able to take the name Prince Archie when his grandfather Prince Charles became king (per BBC). However, in the explosive Oprah interview that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat for while Meghan was pregnant with their second child, she alleged that there was conversation within the royal family about not letting Archie ever take the title. Without him being a prince, he would have had reduced security, per The New York Times. Queen Elizabeth II issued her own legal document that made all of Prince William's children, not just their firstborn, princes and princesses.

If he does become a prince, his name will be fairly unique. Unlike most of the world, instead of going to a baby name book, the royal family often looks back at their own family tree for name inspiration. Traditionally, royal babies are named after members of the royal family. Take Prince William and Kate Middleton's children, for example. There are six former King Georges, which makes sense that their first born — third in line to be king — is named Prince George. Meanwhile, Princess Charlotte shares her name with Queen Charlotte, and Prince Louis was named for Prince William's great granduncle, Louis Mountbatten, via Cosmopolitan.

Archie's last name was determined in 1960

Queen Elizabeth II is apparently consulted about the names of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, though it isn't a formal process the way that getting a title is, according to CNN. We don't know for sure what the queen thought about Archie's name when she first heard it, but we do know that she definitely played a major part in his last name. 

According to the Royal Family's website, in 1960, it was decided that all direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would have the last name Mountbatten-Windsor if they were not otherwise a prince, princess, or his/her royal highness. If you're a fan of Netflix's "The Crown," you may remember the debate over the last name featured in Season 1. Basically, Prince Philip wanted his children to be named Mountbatten, but others, like the Queen Mother and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, wanted to stick with the name Windsor, according to Good Housekeeping.

While Archie's first name doesn't seem to have much connection to the historic family he was born into, his younger sister's name definitely does. Her first name Lilibet is also a nickname for Queen Elizabeth II, and her middle name Diana is, of course, for Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana, per NBC News.