I wrote a short history of the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor for the BBC History Magazine. I discussed the long history of the name Archibald or Archie among the Scottish nobility including an ancestor of the new royal baby, how Harrison mirrors Norse and Anglo-Saxon patronymics from before the Norman Conquest and the emergence of the surname Mountbatten-Windsor for junior members of the royal family from 1960 to the present.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Lady Lansdowne,
viceregal consort of Canada from 1883 to 1888 and Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Alexandra. Lady Lansdowne was an active and popular viceregal consort who became an accomplished figure skater during her time in Canada. Her eldest brother was an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales and Lady Lansdowne was therefore a great-great-great-great grand-aunt of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the newborn son of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
I discussed The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor with Janet Davison for the CBC royal newsletter, The Royal Fascinator. The interview includes the birth announcement, first photographs and the name that was announced today.
I discussed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s newborn son in a series of interviews on the CBC News Channel and CBC Radio on the day of the royal baby’s arrival, May 6, 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a baby boy today. The newborn is 7th in line to the throne after his grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince William, cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and father Prince Harry. Just before the birth, I discussed the historical significance of the royal baby in an extended interview with Natalie Escobar at The Atlantic.
I discussed the history of speculation and rumours surrounding royal births from the seventeenth century to the present day with Janet Davison at CBC News. The article also discusses the reports that that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live abroad at some point in the future. The royal couple’s first child is expected to arrive in the next few days, prompting widespread conjecture concerning the young family’s eventual plans for travel within the Commonwealth.
In previous interviews, I discussed the possibility of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby being born at home. There are certainly other potential locations for the birth including National Health Service hospitals near Windsor. In an interview with Ciaran McGrath at the Daily Express, I discussed great-grandchildren of the Queen who were born in NHS hospitals, the media scrutiny faced by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s child, and the future role of the 7th in line to the throne.
I discussed the history of royal parenting and how royal babies were fed over the past few centuries with Aly Walansky at Today. The debate concerning whether royal mothers should nurse their own children dates from the late eighteenth century when French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau objected to the prevalence of wet nurses employed to feed and care for infants. Marie Antoinette briefly nursed her daughter Marie-Therese over the objections of her own mother, Empress Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria’s daughters nursed their children despite the Queen’s distaste for the practice. The controversy surrounding royal mothers nursing their own children continued until the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II’s children in the mid 20th century.
I discussed the history of royal births with Janet Davison at CBC News including the experiences of the Tudors and Queen Victoria. The arrival of a royal child prompts discussion of centuries old traditions but each generation of the royal family also introduces their own innovations, responding to the cultural trends of their times and shaping these trends. With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby due any day, there is growing interest in how the arrival of the latest royal child will shape parenting trends in the 21st century.
I discussed royal parenting over the past century with Laura T. Coffey from Today. One hundred years ago, King George V’s and Queen Mary’s youngest son Prince John died following an epileptic seizure. While his parents grieved his loss, his daily care had been entrusted almost entirely to his governess Charlotte Bill, and he resided in his own residence, the Wood Farm cottage on the Sandringham Estate. Royal parents are far more involved in the daily care of their children today, a trend that will continue with the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby.