The Sussexes Were Worried Archie Would Attract "Mockery" If He Took This Royal Title, Apparently

OK, this kinda makes sense.

cape town, south africa september 25 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex and their baby son archie mountbatten windsor at a meeting with archbishop desmond tutu at the desmond leah tutu legacy foundation during their royal tour of south africa on september 25, 2019 in cape town, south africa photo by toby melville poolgetty images
(Image credit: Pool)

When naming your kids, thinking about all the obvious ways their names could be twisted into playground taunts is just common sense.

This is apparently why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab), conscientious parents that they are, rejected a particular title for their son Archie (opens in new tab). "[Archie] could have taken the title [of] the Earl of Dumbarton, which is an honorary title, but [Harry and Meghan] decided against that because they felt that the word ‘dumb’ in the word ‘Dumbarton’ would have been used as mockery when Archie went to school," Andrew Morton, author of Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy (opens in new tab) tells Us Weekly (opens in new tab).

For Morton, this says a lot about the couple. "And again, it shows you their sensitivity to image," the royal expert added. "Which is something, you know, somebody was saying to me the other day that they contacted team Sussex and the first question [the Sussexes] asked was ‘What pictures are you using?’ And that person thought, 'That’s everything you need to know about the Sussexes.'"

The question of whether or not Archie (opens in new tab) should have been given a title at birth has been a controversial one from the start, with many mixed messages about whether or not he was entitled to one at all. After Markle's interview (opens in new tab) with Oprah Winfrey, there was speculation (opens in new tab) about whether Archie's race and his skin color (opens in new tab) had affected the decision not to give him the title of "prince." For Morton, however, this was simply protocol for a great-grandchild of the monarch, as opposed to a grandchild (not that this in any way excuses a royal family member's concern over how "dark" Archie's skin would be).

"Then we get into the whole business of whether or not a member of the Royal family talked about the color of the skin of Archie, whether that was graduated, the darker the skin, the less the protection and the less likely of getting a title," Morton added. "There was, as they both were well aware of, no chance of getting a title until Prince Charles takes over because they’re only given the title of prince or princess [as] the son or grandson of the reigning sovereign and Archie was a great-grandson of the reigning sovereign."

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Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.