London: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex allegedly rejected the title Earl of Dumbarton for their son Archie because it contained the word “dumb”.
Royal-connected sources who were not free to speak on record said that Harry and Meghan declined the Scottish noble title because they feared Archie may be bullied or attract unfortunate nicknames.
The word “dumb” is more frequently used as schoolyard slang for stupid in the US.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, reads ‘Duck! Rabbit!’ to son Archie in May 2020. Credit:AP
A source said: “They didn’t like the idea of Archie being called the Earl of Dumbarton because it began with the word ‘dumb’. They were worried about how that might look.”
Another insider added: “It wasn’t just Meghan who pointed out the potential pitfalls, it also bothered Harry.”
Harry is himself styled as the Earl of Dumbarton when he is in Scotland, although when last there in February 2020 he told everyone “just call me Harry”.
It follows reports that relations between the couple and Prince Charles plunged after he told them Archie would never become a prince because he wants a slimmed-down monarchy when he becomes king.
According to Sussex sources, the heir to the throne told them he plans to change legal documents to ensure that his grandson cannot get the title he would once have inherited by right once he became the grandson of a King.
Yet the claims have left royal watchers baffled after several sources confirmed that Harry and Meghan “never raised an issue” about Archie not being a prince until they gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in March.
Harry was said to be “adamant” that Archie, now aged two, “should be raised without titles like his cousins Peter and Zara Phillips”.
Another insider confirmed, “the couple didn’t want any titles for their children”, although they suggested Harry “feared” that when his father took the throne, he would change the George V convention specifying that grandchildren of a monarch become princes or princesses.
During their interview with the American chat show host, the Duchess hinted Archie was blocked from a royal title and therefore a “His Royal Highness” prefix, which meant he would be denied taxpayer-funded security.
She said: “They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and [said] that he wasn’t going to receive security.
“In those months when I was pregnant we have in tandem the conversation of, you won’t be given security, not going to be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Insisting she did not care about “all the grandeur surrounding this stuff”, the Duchess declared: “The most important title I’ll ever have is Mom.”
The Earl of Dumbarton title was created in the Peerage of Scotland in March 1675 for Lord George Douglas, son of the Marquess of Douglas and younger brother of the Earl of Selkirk, for services fighting in the Franco-Dutch War.
The title was recreated in the UK Peerage by the Queen as one of the two subsidiary titles for her grandson Harry, when he married Meghan in May 2018. He was also created Baron Kilkeel. His son is the heir to the earldom but when he was born in May 2019, the couple insisted that he would simply be known as Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
A spokeswoman for the Sussexes declined to comment.
The Telegraph London
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