The royal baby has a name – Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – and has officially been introduced to the world's media (not to mention his great-grandmother the Queen) by his proud parents, Meghan and Harry. So after all of the excitement, what's next for the Sussexes? Here, royal correspondent Victoria Murphy reflects on what the immediate future might hold for the new family of three.
Proud new parents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were beaming as they posed for the first official photographs with their newborn son, Archie Harrison, earlier today. Standing in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Hall, where their wedding reception was held almost a year ago, the couple rejected a large-scale media moment in favour of a more intimate photocall. This decision was in-keeping with their request for privacy surrounding the birth, setting the tone for them being in control when it comes to what they share about their family life. Just a few hours after the images were published around the world, the couple announced they have named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Duke and Duchess moved into Frogmore Cottage, in the grounds of Frogmore House next to Windsor Castle, in April. The Grade II-listed property, most recently used as accommodation for royal staff, underwent large-scale structural refurbishment to create a spacious and secure home. With the 5,000-acre Great Park next door, the area offers the Sussexes a rural lifestyle. However, the main streets of picturesque Windsor are often teeming with tourists, so the family may prefer to spend leisure time behind closed doors with friends. George and Amal Clooney, parents to toddler twins, have a home 30 minutes away. The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who was with the couple at Frogmore Cottage immediately after Archie Harrison was born, will be a frequent visitor, although her home will continue to be LA. The Sussexes’ offices, where their private and press staff are based, are at Buckingham Palace, 25 miles away.
Maternity and paternity leave
Members of the royal family don’t have fixed maternity and paternity leave, instead they work with staff to create a timetable that allows them to spend time with their newborn and return to duties when appropriate. Prince Harry’s visit to The Netherlands to launch The Invictus Games 2020 on 9 May, three days after the birth of his son, reflects how important this cause is to him. However, his working timetable is likely to become quieter over the summer. The Duchess’s leave will be some months, however, an aide said that “she may make some official appearances during this time”. The Duchess could join royals for The Queen’s official birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, on Saturday 8 June. The couple are also expected to be photographed at a christening for their son, though this is not classed as an official appearance.
Extended stay overseas
Looking further into the future, discussions have taken place about the Sussex family spending extended periods overseas, potentially in Africa and in one of the Commonwealth countries. A palace source said this idea is still in a workshopping phase. Rather than becoming a permanent move, any stint abroad would likely follow a similar pattern to when then Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh spent time in Malta in the early years of their marriage.
When Prince Harry was six months old, his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana took him to Venice with brother Prince William on an official visit, and plans are in the works for Archie Harrison to carry out his first trip at a similar age. If this goes ahead, we could see the family travel to Africa in the autumn, although which country or countries is understood to still be under discussion. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took Prince George to Australia and New Zealand when he was almost nine months old and have since travelled with Prince George and Princess Charlotte to Canada, Germany and Poland. While Prince Harry has made it clear he hopes for a relatively “ordinary” upbringing for his child, as members of the royal family the Sussexes will participate in royal life. Calendar staples include visiting Balmoral over the summer and attending church on Christmas Day at Sandringham.