- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made history with the arrival of their first child, Archie Harrison, on Monday, May 6.
- Archie, who will be raised without a royal title, has already started to change the family dynamic.
- INSIDER spoke to royal experts who broke down how the newborn is paving the way for future generations of the royal family and changing the relationships between Markle, Middleton, and the other royals.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
It’s been an exciting week for royal fans since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison, on Monday, May 6.
Not only has Archie made history by becoming the first biracial baby to be born into the royal family, but Harry and Markle also mixed things up by deciding not to give their little one a royal title, unlike Kate Middleton and Prince William’s children.
Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son will get a royal title after all, but it’s not what you think
However, Archie isn’t just paving the way for future generations of royals — he’s also creating “a halo of positive new life to the brand of the royal family,” according to celebrity brand management expert Eric Schiffer.
INSIDER spoke to royal commentators and experts who broke down how baby Archie is changing the dynamic of the British royal family for the better.
Motherhood could create ‘a new bond’ between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton
There have been rumors of a rift between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ever since Markle married into the family in 2018.
These claims only intensified after it was revealed back in March that the two couples would be splitting households in the spring.
Markle and Harry have since relocated their office — which was previously shared with Middleton and William at Kensington Palace — to Buckingham Palace.
Read more: A complete new household is being created for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Buckingham Palace says
Whether the rumors are true or not, one thing’s for sure: the new baby will create “a new bond” between them, according to Richard Fitzwilliams, royal commentator and former editor of “The International Who’s Who.”
“I’d say that as Kate already has three children, the new baby may well mean there is a new bond between them,” Fitzwilliams said.
However, he said it’s not just the relationship between Markle and Middleton that will be impacted.
“The Queen will be delighted to have an eighth grandchild and, when based at Windsor, will be able to see them a good deal,” he added.
“Meghan’s good relations with Charles will be enhanced by the new baby and we can expect him to have a good deal of attention from the Prince of Wales.”
Archie could be the first royal baby to be raised in Africa
It was first reported in The Times that a major international job could be in the works for Harry and Markle.
Discussions and plans are reportedly underway regarding a new “bespoke” role for the royal “rock stars” which could mean a move to Africa for two or three years while completing charity work across the continent.
If the rumors are true, baby Archie could have an entirely different upbringing — and in turn, a different kind of relationship — to his royal cousins, George, Charlotte, and Louis.
Journalist and royal biographer Katie Nicholl previously told INSIDER that the couple are likely to use the trip as a “sabbatical” instead of a permanent stay in the continent.
“Africa, Botswana in particular has always been a very special place to Harry. He calls it his spiritual home and it’s where he and Meghan fell in love so I think it’s probably high up on the couple’s wish list,” she said.
“They will be going away for a sabbatical lasting months rather than a two year stay and from what I am told they are keen to explore and experience life in different countries in the Commonwealth, an area which has been earmarked for the couple by the Queen and the Prince of Wales who are, together with the couple, instrumental in these talks.
“There is a huge amount for the royals to do internationally, so an overseas sabbatical makes sense and it is something Harry has wanted to do for some time.”
She added: “The time to do it is now while they are a young family and before they have the pressure of school to think about.”
Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could move to Africa as part of a new ‘bespoke’ role
Fitzwilliams believes a stint abroad could shape Archie’s royal identity in a completely different way to his relatives, as well as bring the Sussex and Cambridge families much closer together.
“As Harry and Meghan plan their future, once they have finished maternity and paternity leave, she takes on more patronage and it is seen what mileage there is in the idea of spending periods, whether long or short abroad, the full potential of Brand Sussex will start to be realized and Baby Sussex will receive adulatory attention on their trips abroad,” he told INSIDER.
“Their future is obviously totally different from William and Kate’s, [but] now that is established with separate residences and offices, relationships will unquestionably be closer.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will bring a more modern approach to royal parenting
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle changed things up when they declined to partake in hospital step photos after the birth of baby Archie. This was a tradition that started with Princess Diana after the birth of Prince William at the Lindo Wing, and was continued on by William and Middleton with their own children.
Harry and Markle did go on to have their own photo call, but it was two days after the birth and was hosted inside Windsor Castle instead.
Read more: Meghan Markle wore a white button-up dress for the first photos with her newborn baby
Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed the couple broke from tradition once again, as it was Harry who was holding the baby instead of his wife. He held Archie as the couple emerged into George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, while they chatted with photographers, and as they left the area.
Although in previous photo calls the mother and father have taken turns holding the baby, Harry and Markle noticeably did not do this during their appearance.
Prince Harry was also the first to speak to the press following the birth. He gave an interview without Markle by his side, telling the press “how any woman does that is beyond comprehension.”
Although it is not known whether this was an intentional decision, it could certainly indicate the couple’s fresh approach to royal parenting.
It could also signal that Harry plans on having a closer relationship with his son than other royals have had with their parents. For instance, Prince Charles has been quoted saying that those who raised him “were not his parents,” but instead “the nursery staff.”
Charles and his siblings were also often left behind while the Queen embarked on royal duties and tours across the world.
Archie will not be raised with a royal title
Unlike the newborn’s older cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, baby Archie does not have a royal title.
This is because of an ancient decree written by the Queen’s grandfather, George V, which entitles only the children and grandchildren on the direct male line of the monarch to get HRH status. Therefore, Archie could eventually be granted the title of prince — but not until his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king.
An exception was made for Prince William’s children before the birth of Prince George in 2013, when the Queen issued Letters Patent to ensure that all of her grandson’s children would be born a prince or princess.
While it is not known whether the same offer was made for Prince Harry, it has been confirmed that he declined a courtesy title, “Earl,” for Archie.
This is unsurprising when you look at Markle’s own approach to royal life, using her “celebrity status rather than her royal status” to move forward in her new role, according to Fitzwilliams.
Read more: Meghan Markle is changing what it means to be a royal
Markle and Harry have sustained close relationships with those Markle connected with during her time as a Hollywood actress. The duchess’ close friend, Oprah Winfrey, recently revealed plans to co-produce a mental health documentary series with Prince Harry for Apple.
Read more: Prince Harry and Oprah are teaming up to make a mental health documentary for Apple, sharing ‘stories of unparalled human spirit’
If the new parents’ recent behaviors are any indication, it seems Archie will be raised with “celebrity status” rather than as a working member of the royal family. This will equip him with the ability to carve out his own connections, his own career path, and ultimately, his own life separate from the monarchy.
Although not uncommon in the royal family — Princess Anne raised both her children without titles — this is still a major change to the family dynamic, and one that could go on to influence the decisions of future generations.
The royal family could become “Americanized”
The royals are frequently spotted attending Christmas and Easter church services together, but Archie could celebrate holidays that the other royal children do not because of Markle’s American upbringing.
On Sunday, the duchess posted a sweet tribute to her son on Instagram for Mother’s Day.
“Paying tribute to all mothers today — past, present, mothers-to-be, and those lost but forever remembered,” the post reads.
“We honor and celebrate each and every one of you.
“Today is Mother’s Day in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Japan, and several countries across Europe.
“This is the first Mother’s Day for The Duchess of Sussex.”
It wasn’t Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday. However, instead of waiting for the UK version of the holiday, Markle honored her American roots by paying tribute to her son on the special day.
This could be an indication that the duchess will continue to favour American holidays and traditions, such as Thanksgiving, throughout Archie’s life.
Archie will create ‘a halo of positive new life to the brand of the royal family’
According to celebrity brand management expert Eric Schiffer, the arrival of baby Archie will not only bring the family closer together, but will also bring a stand-still to rumors which have suggested that Markle is difficult to work for.
“Meghan Markle’s new baby boy shifts her image from outcast of the Royal Family to new mother of the seventh in line to the throne,” said Schiffer, Chairman of Reputation Management Consultants.
“Royal babies have a power to bring people together and will, in the short term, douse the flames of outrage surrounding the controversial Duchess of Sussex, as she has been attacked in the media as a ‘demanding bridezilla,’ and a ‘difficult boss,’ with a focus on her troubled past with her family.
“But, Meghan’s baby boy creates a halo of positive new life to the brand of the royal family.”
Back in March, there were reports that Markle has been given the nickname “Me-Gain” by staff at Kensington Palace.
Read more: A UK high society magazine says Meghan Markle has been given the nickname ‘Me-Gain’ in Kensington Palace
David Jenkins, Senior Editor at British high society bible Tatler, wrote that sources “with connections to the palace” confirmed the nickname, and said that the duchess was “trouble.”
Several of Markle’s staff members have also resigned from their posts in recent months. Markle’s personal assistant Melissa Toubati resigned after just six months because the work had become “too much,” according to the Mail Online.
There has also been a large focus on the duchess’ estranged family, most notably, her father and half-siblings. Her brother, Thomas Markle Jr, recently gave an interview to The Sun where he pleaded for his sister to “reach out and make the baby a part of everybody’s life.”
It’s understood that the duchess has not been in touch with that side of her family since her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. This is believed to be due to a number of events, including her father staging paparazzi photos as well as leaking a letter that his daughter sent him to the press.
However, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, was there for the birth of baby Archie, and the new arrival is already helping forge a closer connection between Ragland and Archie’s other family members, including Her Majesty the Queen.
The pair posed for a photo with the newborn, alongside Prince Phillip, Prince Harry, and Markle.
Read more: Meghan Markle’s estranged brother said he hopes becoming a mom will teach her ‘what family means’
It’s unclear whether the arrival of the new child could completely mend the Markle family feud in the long-term, but baby Archie will certainly “bring people together,” according to Schiffer.