It’s been less than a week since Meghan Markle welcomed her first child, but already, little Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has stirred up a controversy as big as his nine-syllable name.
First, there’s the name itself, which many are interpreting as Meghan and Harry’s way of giving the middle finger to their British haters.
And then there’s the fact that a crucial honorific seems to be missing from the little bloke’s lengthy moniker.
Yes, as you may have noticed, there’s no “prince” in front of little Archie’s name.
If, like us, you’re some sort of ignorant American rube, you may have assumed that such titles are simply a matter of heredity — Harry was a prince, so it stands to reason that his son would be as well.
But it turns out there are no hard-and-fast rules for this sort of thing.
There are several reasons why Lil Arch might be forced to go through life with a regular-ass peasant name, and even though we may never know the truth, pundits peddling their wares in the age of hot takes are very pissed off about two of the possibilities.
For starters, it’s possible that the Queen denied Archie a title due to his American parentage.
Of course, even the people who proposed that possibility have mostly acknowledged that it would be wildly out of character for QE2.
Which is perhaps how we wound up with the theory that it’s all Prince William’s doing.
As you’re probably aware, Will has become the resident villain of Kensington Palace in recent weeks, thanks largely to rumors of his affair with Rose Hanbury.
As a result, some folks are under the impression that Will appealed to his grandmother to deny Archie a title on the grounds that he’s seventh in line for the throne, and will, therefore, spend his life as a “minor royal,” on par with Prince Andrew’s kids.
It would be the latest volley in the supposedly ongoing feud between William and Harry — but it would also be pretty damn implausible.
But those theorists are on to something in one sense:
Archie will be a minor royal, which is why the most likely theory holds that Meghan and Harry decided their child should not have a royal title.
“The fact that they have chosen not to use a title suggests they want this baby to have a relatively ordinary life,” royal historian Professor Kate Williams tells Vanity Fair.
“When Archie is older he will likely have to go out and get a job.
“He will be a minor royal and will have to be prepared for a life of work. If the Commonwealth becomes a smaller entity, there will be less work for the royals overseas.”
But that’s not to say that Archie will be anything less than an essential and widely beloved member of the royal family in his adult years:
“He is the Queen’s first biracial grandchild,” says Professor Williams. “This is a historically important baby. He affects a multicultural bridge.”
This may not be exactly how a famed royal historian would put it, but that trumps the hell out of any lame-ass title.