What Meghan and Harry's decision means for baby Archie

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared their decision to scale back their duties as members of the royal family — aka "Megxit" — they also made it a point to mention their infant son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born in May 2018. In an Instagram post published Jan. 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they intend to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America: "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."

It's fair to wonder what Harry and Meghan truly mean when they say Archie will be raised with "an appreciation" for the royal tradition. How will this chances of inheriting the throne, and how will Archie's education and experiences compare to his royal cousins: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis? Although we don't have all the answers regarding Archie's future, we do have a few compelling possibilities to share.

Does Archie still have a shot at being king?

A lot of the questions surrounding Archie's future are technical ones, like whether he'll still have a spot on the line of succession. As it stands, Archie is seventh in line, preceded by his dad, Prince Harry, his three cousins, uncle Prince William, and grandfather Prince Charles, who is next in line. It's unlikely Archie will ever become king, but it can't be ruled out completely, especially since it's unlikely he'll be removed from the line of succession. That's because this tradition isn't just about birth order — it's also tied up in British legislation. "Succession to the throne is based on legislation including the Succession to the Crown Act, which includes the Act of Settlement," Historian and author Marlene Koenig told Royal Central. "It would take an act of Parliament to remove a person from the line of succession."

It's important to note: Archie can't be stripped of any royal title because he wasn't given one at birth, which was reportedly decided by his parents. The kiddo is simply known as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and was bestowed the surname used for descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

As for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's titles, they seemingly have no plans to abandon their Duke and Duchess of Sussex monikers, but it's possible the queen, who is reportedly outraged at the moment, might rescind their titles in the future. TBD.

Archie's education might not be traditional

Prince William and Kate Middleton's eldest kids, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, both attend Thomas's London Day School in Battersea, but it's possible cousin Archie won't join them since his parents plan to split time between the U.K. and North America. The little guy is obviously too young at the moment to hit the books, but according to the Daily Mail, "the options on the table are a traditional grade-focused British education, a 'holistic' and potentially bilingual school in Canada, or a private tutor." One potential option in Canada? "Lakefield College School which bills itself as 'the best day and boarding' establishment in the country, charging eye-watering fees" of up to $61,000 annually, per the Daily Mail.

It's probably safe to rule out Archie splitting his time between two schools. "It's necessary not just for their academic growth but their social and emotional health," education expert Edward Williams told the Daily Mail. "Six months is an eternity in the life of a five-year-old, and making a best friend only to then disappear for half the year to return and have to try and fit in again seems untenable."

Wherever Archie ends up going to school, we're certain his parents will be by his side to help him through the transition. 

Meghan Markle supposedly wants a different life for Archie

A possible motivating factor behind Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from royal duties reportedly revolves around their desire to give Archie a so-called normal life. "Meghan has already made a name for herself since marrying into the royal family, but she didn't realize how big of a responsibility it would be to be a part of the monarchy," an insider told Radar Online. "She realized that this is not the life she wants to live forever and especially with Archie, it's not the life she wants him to have."

This sentiment echoes the statement of royal expert Katie Nicholl, who told Entertainment Tonight in July 2019: "I think the couple [is] determined for Archie to have as normal a life as possible. 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." 

Apparently, Prince Harry's desire for more privacy is one of the reasons why they want to keep their Frogmore residence in the U.K. — a gift given to them by the Queen. "My understanding is that at Frogmore, they have essentially built a fortress," Nicholl said. "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." FYI: It's up to the queen — aka the couple's landlord — to determine if they get to keep the "oasis."