With his little boy turning 2 months old on Saturday, ET is learning how Prince Harry’s childhood is impacting how he and Meghan Markle raise baby Archie.
And while he may have the world at his feet as a British royal who’s seventh in line to the throne, his parents are eager for him to have “as normal a life as possible” -- and that means no royal titles, an idyllic private home life at Frogmore Cottage and, one day, job hunting!
“I think the couple are determined for Archie to have as normal a life as possible,” royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET. “Prince Harry grew up very much in the spotlight, never far away from the gaze of the cameras, and at points in his life that's been something he has resented. My understanding is that at Frogmore, they have essentially built a fortress. One of their closest friends told me it was their oasis -- their sanctuary where they're going to raise their child away from the spotlight.”
“They are tucked away there, in acres of beautiful green space,” Nicholl continues. “Archie is enjoying, albeit a privileged lifestyle, a remarkably ordinary lifestyle. There hasn't been a team of maternity nurses and night nurses and staff on call to cater for their every whim.”
Nicholl says Harry and Meghan have done “pretty much everything for themselves,” when it comes to parenting duties during Archie’s first weeks. While she hears they have a housekeeper and two private assistants, as well as a nanny, the team is “quite small” compared to that of Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his family.
“So, Archie is being raised in a very loving, relatively ordinary upbringing as far as royal childhoods are concerned,” Nicholl says, adding that omitting “HRH” from Archie’s name was also part of the couple's endeavor to give Archie an “ordinary childhood.”
“It was a very deliberate decision not to give Archie the HRH title,” she explains. “He is of course technically a prince, but they chose not to make him His Royal Highness and that is quite simply because they want him to be raised as a private citizen. Of course, things will change when the Prince of Wales becomes King Charles III, because the the act of succession means that any sons of sons of monarchs automatically take the HRH title. Sons and now daughters -- because the Queen changed that act of succession, so it would incorporate Charlotte.”
“So, at some point further down the line, he will become technically Prince Archie,” she adds. “But I think regardless of him taking that title later in life, what the couple are setting out to do is to raise him ordinary. I am to understand that they want him to grow up living a normal life, to go and get a job, to make a living in the world, to make a difference in the world -- but to be normal as opposed to being royal.”
There is one particularly royal activity Harry hopes that Archie, who is expected to be christened in coming days, will excel at, though -- playing polo! Nicholl says she was recently told by a friend of Harry’s that the royal has “high ambitions” for Archie with the sport and plans to get him on a pony “once he’s learned to walk.”
In the meantime, Harry and William plan to take part in a charity polo match in coming weeks. And while Archie may be too young to understand his unique life just yet, he has already made an impact in the brothers’ relationship.
“Archie is being held as the olive branch who has essentially repaired relations between the royal brothers,” Nicholl says. “I think we all know that there have been rumors of tensions between William and Harry. The tensions went back to William being concerned about how quickly the relationship with Meghan was moving in those early days. I think the brothers have moved on [and] they’re on much better terms. I think probably Archie has had something to do with that.”
Nicholl notes that while William and Kate are “thrilled” to be a new aunt and uncle to Archie, another development that has likely helped improve family relations is the fact that Harry and Meghan have moved to their own place in Windsor. “They’re able to be a bit more independent of the Cambridges,” she says. “I think that has helped with relations, but without a doubt a new baby has definitely helped to heal tensions between the foursome.”