Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Son Archie Almost Had a Different First Name

·4-min read
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Toby Melville/Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were playing the name game ahead of Archie Harrison's arrival.

While attending a reading session for children at the Invictus Games The Hague over the weekend, Meghan got chatting with a parent who had brought a son named Harrison to the event.

Sherry McBain, a nursing officer in the RAF competing in the Invictus Games, told PA her wife Mandy spoke with Meghan at the event when they realized the commonality in their children's names.

"[Meghan] was like 'Harrison, that's Archie's middle name', and Mandy was like 'Yeah, I know,' " said McBain. "They were just having a chat because Harry and Meghan couldn't decide between Archie and Harrison for the first name."

RELATED: Prince Harry Shares Son Archie's Career Aspirations at Invictus Games Opening: 'Some Days It's an Astronaut'

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Archie

Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, welcomed Archie in May 2019, nearly one year following their royal wedding. The name choice was somewhat surprising, as British oddsmakers' top picks for potential names included more traditional monikers, like Arthur, James, Philip and Albert.

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Archie is a shortened version of the name Archibald, meaning genuine and bold or brave. Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll of Scotland was also an ancestor of Princess Diana's. Using the nickname as a first name gives it a more casual, American vibe — while the baby's middle name, Harrison, originated in the Middle Ages as a patronymic meaning "son of Henry" or "son of Harry."

The couple later announced they were naming their foundation Archewell, explaining, "Before SussexRoyal came the idea of 'arche' — the Greek word meaning 'source of action.' We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son's name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also chose a meaningful name for their daughter Lilibet Diana, born in June 2021. Lilibet was a family nickname for Queen Elizabeth, while her middle name is after Harry's late mother Princess Diana. They have said they plan to call their daughter "Lili."

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend day two of the Invictus Games 2020
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend day two of the Invictus Games 2020

Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

McBain described Meghan as "really open" and "very friendly" at the event, adding that Harrison was "just over the moon that a princess has read him a story, so that went down really well with all the U.K. children."

Harrison even showed off some of his artwork to Meghan.

"Harrison was drawing pictures and telling her that it was a picture of a tram," McBain said. "I don't think it quite looked like a tram, so she was very gracious and said that's a brilliant tram, so he was delighted."

Meghan and Harry Invictus Games
Meghan and Harry Invictus Games

Karwai Tang/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

British Army veteran James Stride also attended the children's book reading event at the Invictus Games, telling the Daily Mail that Meghan was "quite chatty and told me she was missing her children. She said she wanted to be with children as she was missing her own."

Their kids were clearly on Meghan and Prince Harry's minds throughout the weekend. At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Prince Harry told the crowd about Archie's potential career aspirations.

"When I talk to my son Archie about what he wants to be when he grows up, some days it's an astronaut, other days it's a pilot — a helicopter pilot obviously — or Kwazii from Octonauts," Harry said with a laugh, adding, "if you're laughing, then you've seen that."

"But what I remind him is that no matter what you want to be when you grow up, it's your character that matters most, and nothing would make his mum and me prouder than to see him have the character of what we see before us today," he continued.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

ANP/Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

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And when young reporters Sophia and Jay of Kindercorrespondent (which translates from Dutch to Children's Correspondent) had the chance to interview Prince Harry, they asked him about his wish for his two little ones.

"To grow up in a better world," Prince Harry replied. "To grow up in a fairer world, a safer world, a more equal world. It's not going to be easy, but I will never, ever, ever rest until I as a parent have at least tried to make the world a better place for them. Because it is our responsibility that the world is the way that it is now. I don't think we should be bringing children into the world unless we are going to make that commitment to make it better for them."

He added, "We cannot steal your future."

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