London – Could they possibly have chosen two names less weighted with tradition, less burdened with royal expectation?
If Harry and Meghan truly wish their son not to be immersed in the duties and stiff conventions of the House of Windsor, calling him Archie Harrison is a formidable start.
Not since the Queen’s cousin Marina Mowatt came up with Zenouska for her daughter has a member of the Royal Family selected such original and unusual names.
But Zenouska, whose name was derived from the cult book Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Eno after the pop musician, Brian Eno, is 56th in line to the throne – though she was 27th when she was born in 1990.
Archie is a mere seventh. It is a name chosen with an eye to the future. This is an infant whose parents hope he will be a global citizen. Even so some will wonder if baby Sussex’s names were deliberately chosen for him to stand alone, aloof almost from the ancient traditions of royalty.
But put yourself in Prince Harry’s shoes – since 2013 he has seen his brother William have the pick of royal names for his sons George and Louis – and the pool is not big.
Many are repeated not just down the generations but within them too. In an instant, Harry has rejected this curious royal parlour game.
After all the speculation, all the hints and clues the only winners were the bookies who had Archie as a 150/1 outsider. And Harrison? It did not even feature among the also-rans.
With two such unexpected names Harry and Meghan have avoided the perils of offending the family by choosing some but not others. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that, despite all the talk suggesting the duke would be honouring his paternal grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh with his new son, the name Philip did not feature.
Neither does Charles, of course, and after all the sadness over the rift between former actress Meghan and her father Thomas Markle, it is no surprise that his name was not used. Spencer to acknowledge his mother Princess Diana’s family was another name that was hotly tipped but failed to make the grade.
What we can be sure of is that both he and Meghan really do like the two names they have chosen. For if there is one thing we have learned about this couple, it’s that they do things their way.
Indeed after everything that surrounded the newborn’s birth, from the secrecy over where he was delivered to the timing of the announcement, the names are surely just a final twist.