Prince Archie turned two years old in May, on the same day his grandpa was crowned King. The young boy is living his best life with his parents, Harry and Meghan, and his little sister Lilibet in California, and in a few years, he will start school.
Royal children have traditionally enrolled at some of the best schools in the UK, for example, at Eton, where Prince William went, and Prince George will enroll in three years. However, when it comes to Archie and Lilibet, they will go to school in the US.
Even if Harry and Meghan were to have stayed in the UK instead of moving to the US, the Duke and Duchess wouldn’t have wanted Archie and Lilibet to study there anyway. Sadly, there is a tragic reason behind it.
On May 6, 2019, Harry and Meghan’s son Archie was born at The Portland Hospital in London. As with the birth of any royal child, it was a monumental occasion – but Harry and Meghan decided to approach things differently.
According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, Harry was obsessed with not giving the media details of his son’s birth. In her book The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown, Nicholl described Harry as “almost morbidly obsessed” with keeping Archie’s birth as secret as possible.
However, with millions of loyal fans and most of the public seeking information about the little boy, the longing for secrecy was ignored as it was a breach of the “unwritten contract between the royals and the public.”
“Behind the scenes, matters were so fraught that more than one official — as I know from personal experience — was reduced to tears of frustration and despair,” Rebecca English, royal editor of the Daily Mail, added.
Usually, when a royal baby is born, the parents stand in front of the media on the steps to the hospital with their new son or daughter. After photographs are taken, the proud mother and father usually answer a few questions before retreating to privacy again.
Harry and Meghan, however, wanted to approach their son’s birth differently, according to Katie Nicholl. Instead of facing the media openly, they tricked reporters and photographers.
Prince William, Harry, and all three of William’s children were all born at St Mary’s Hospital. Therefore, the traditional first baby photos were taken there. However, Meghan’s doctor worked at Portland Hospital; so giving birth there made sense. The Sussexes were then informed that the place would make photos impossible due to safety considerations around the entrance.
“Harry had always enjoyed outfoxing the media,” Nicholl wrote in The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.
Drama at the hospital
“He and Meghan were thrilled to be safely delivered of their son in London’s private Portland hospital even before the palace press office had confirmed the duchess was in labor.”
In their Netflix documentary series, Meghan explained how she was anxious about what might happen the day her baby boy was born.
“There was already the pressure of the picture on the steps. … But I had been really worried going into that labor because I’m older, I didn’t know if I’d have to have a c-section, and I had a very longstanding relationship with my doctor, and that’s who I trusted with my pregnancy,” she said.
Two days later, however, Harry and Meghan decided to participate in a brief photo session, where one reporter got to ask questions.
Though everything was in order, it turned out that their time at the hospital had been quite dramatic, at least for Harry, which he revealed in his book, Spare.
Harry described the extraordinary scene at the Portland Hospital where he decided to get high on laughing gas to calm himself down.
“But I saw two ways of enhancing my calm. One: Nando’s chicken (brought by our bodyguards). Two: A canister of laughing gas beside Meg’s bed. I took several slow, penetrating hits,” he wrote in his tell-all book. “Meg was so calm. I was calm too.”
Harry added: “Meg, bouncing on a giant purple ball, a proven way of giving nature a push, laughed and rolled her eyes. I took several more hits, and now I was bouncing too.”
Prince Archie – relationship with the royal family
Harry then explained that a nurse tried giving his wife the gas for the pain, but he had already consumed it.
“I could see the thought slowly dawning. Gracious, the husband’s had it all. ‘Sorry,” I said meekly.’”
Eventually, doctors decided to give Meghan an epidural to ease the pain.
“The anesthetist hurried in. Off went the music, on went the lights. Whoa. Vibe change.”
Though there was an initial worry that Archie had been tangled up in his umbilical cord, he emerged unharmed – reducing both Harry and Meghan to tears.
In his book, Harry wrote an emotional chapter on how he felt his brother, Prince William, and Princess Kate pretty much shut him out of their lives when George was born. He described how he had imagined playing with his new nephew all the time, but it sadly didn’t happen.
When Harry and Meghan left the UK and began their new life in the US, the relationship between Harry’s children and the royal family also took a turn. It’s been reported that Princess Beatrice, one of the few royals who reportedly still has a good relationship with Harry and Meghan, is the only one who has visited them in the US.
Because of that, Archie and his sister Lilibet’s grandpa, King Charles, and uncle, Prince William, have missed out on some of the most important moments of the two young children’s lives.
Titled Prince as it is his “birthright”
In one of the chapters in Spare, Harry detailed the special milestone when Archie took his first steps, which Charles and William sadly missed. Before moving into their Montecito, California mansion, the couple briefly lived at the American actor Tyler Perry’s house – he is also Archie’s godfather.
“Within a week, Tyler’s house felt like home. Archie took his first steps in the garden a couple of months later, at the height of the global pandemic lockdown. We clapped, hugged him, cheered. I thought, for a moment, how nice it would be to share the news with Grandpa or Uncle Willy,” Harry wrote.
Prince Archie – who got his royal title earlier this year after Harry and Meghan stated it was his “birthright” – and Princess Lilibet have largely been kept out of the spotlight. Harry and Meghan are trying to live a calmer life far away from the British paparazzi and press, which also goes for their children.
However, in their Netflix documentary, the Duke and Duchess decided to give the world an insight into their children’s lives and even shared pictures of them. Today, there are only a handful of photos of the two young children – but in the Netflix series, they were seen hanging out with their parents, playing, going on adventures, and even watching hummingbirds.
The hummingbird part was a wonderful moment that many fans enjoyed. It also gave some new details about Archie – and that he isn’t speaking with the same accent as his father.
In the video, with a sunset backdrop from the Sussexes’ patio, Meghan asks Archie what he thinks of it.
“Well, it’s all done, beautiful,” he answered.
The fact that Archie was talking might not have been a surprise. However, many fans reacted to the manner of Archie’s speech.
Archie speaks in an American accent
As he’s been living in the US for quite a while, the young boy has adopted an American accent – and fans couldn’t help but remark on it.
“Not Archie having the most adorable American accent,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“Prince Archie has an American accent? I didn’t have any expectations of what he’d sound like but it was not that,” a second person tweeted.
Previously, experts have spoken on the subject of Archie’s accent. The fact that he’s living in the US and interacting with other local children evidently means he will sound more American, as opposed to British.
However, there are cases where children living in the US with family in the UK can switch between accents when traveling across the Atlantic.
One expert, Geoffrey Pullum, linguist and emeritus professor of general linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, argues that Archie’s accent will also change as he grows older.
“If Archie’s first experience of mixing with other kids is in a Los Angeles preschool, he will develop a Californian US accent,” Pullum said.
“He may learn to speak like an American kid in California, but be able to switch to a British accent when he visits in England,” Berko Gleason, an emerita professor at Boston University who researches language acquisition, added.
Sad reason Meghan & Harry wouldn’t let Archie attend UK school
It will be an American education for the young prince, and he will most likely not attend the famous British schools such as Eton, where Prince George is said to begin his education in three years.
However, neither Harry nor Meghan would want it even if he went to school in the UK. And that is due to a rather tragic reason.
In a piece for the New York magazine, The Cut, journalist Allison P. Davies recalled a conversation she had with Meghan. The Duchess stated that she didn’t want her son Archie to attend school in the UK due to safety concerns.
Meghan would be fearing for both her and Archie’s safety.
“Earlier in our conversation about her goals for the life she’s creating here, she’d remarked upon how, if Archie were in school in the UK, she’d never be able to do school pickup and drop-off without it being a royal photo call with a press pen of 40 people snapping pictures,” Davies wrote, as quoted by Yahoo.
Meghan told Allison: “Sorry, I have a problem with that. That doesn’t make me obsessed with privacy. That makes me a strong and good parent protecting my child.”
It’s not the first time there have been talks of safety concerns from the Duke and Duchess. Previously, Harry said he was concerned for his son’s safety in the UK, saying that the paparazzi culture is “this sort of rabid feeding frenzy. Kids don’t get a choice; they don’t get a say in it”.
“We spent the first three and a half months living at [friend] Tyler Perry’s house,” Harry continued. “The helicopters, the drones, the paparazzi cutting the fence, like, it was madness. And people out there, their response was, ‘What do you expect if you live in LA?’
“First of all, we didn’t mean to live in LA. This is a staging area to try and find a house. Secondly, how sad that if you live in LA and you’re a well-known figure, you just have to expect it.”