Archie Harrison turns two: A year in the life of Harry and Meghan's son

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read

Watch: Meghan Writes Children’s Book Inspired By Prince Harry and Archie

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the first son of Prince Harry and Meghan, is turning two. The toddler now lives in California with his adoring parents, who are carving out a family life outside of the Royal Family.

Harry and Meghan are careful about how much they share about Archie and his life, only releasing limited pictures and videos of their son.

Later this year Archie is going to become a big brother, as Meghan is expecting their second child - a daughter.

And just two days before his birthday, it was announced that Meghan is to become a published author - inspired by Archie.

Meghan's first book, The Bench, will be published on 8 June and was based on a poem she wrote for Fathers' day about Harry and Archie's relationship.

The illustrations feature one of a man in army fatigues returning home. (Penguin)
Meghan's new book is illustrated with a diverse cast of families. (Random House)

Read more: Queen and Prince William wish Archie a happy second birthday

Archie has spent the last year of his life mostly in lockdown in Santa Barbara, where he helps his parents with their "growing flock of rescue chickens".

During Harry and Meghan's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, fans were also given a glimpse into the couple's garden, where the chickens live in a hut, decorated with a sign reading "Archie's chick inn".

Harry and Meghan also shared a video of Archie playing on the beach during the interview, showing him running along and between Harry's legs as he filmed.

Harry said he was enjoying being able to go on bicycle rides with Archie, and added: "This year has been crazy for everybody, but to have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie and we can go for walks as a family and with the dogs, and go for hikes or go down to the beach which is so close…

“I guess the highlight for me is sticking him on the back of a bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides, something which I was never able to do when I was young.

“And I can see him on the back and he’s got his arms out and he’s like ‘woahhh', chatty, chatty, chatty, 'palm tree, house’ and all this sort of stuff, and...I think to myself, ‘wow’.”

Watch: Prince Harry: Why he stepped back from royal duties and what the Queen bought Archie for Christmas

The couple also revealed Archie was "on a roll" with new words, and Meghan said "in the past couple of weeks it has been ‘hydrate’, which is just hysterical”.

Harry said Archie tells people "drive safe" whenever they leave the house.

In an interview with James Corden, before Prince Philip died, Harry revealed Archie's year had been full of video calls - just like many other families.

Harry said he had been keeping up with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh via video calls and said they had seen Archie running around.

He also revealed Archie's lockdown has been full of waffles, as Meghan suggested the Queen buy Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.

The Duke of Sussex said Meghan "makes up a beautiful organic mix, in the waffle maker, flip it, out it comes, he loves it".

He said Archie wakes up saying "waffle". 

And he said Archie "has the most amazing personality and is already putting three or four words together, he's already singing songs".

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 25: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Archie on his mother's lap when he went to South Africa on their royal tour in September 2019. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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The couple shared a picture of him at Christmas, but the image was created in a cartoon style, limiting how much of Archie's face was seen.

However, it did seem to show Archie has inherited his father's red hair, and gave a glimpse into their home life, as they sat in front of a playhouse with their two dogs.

In a busy year for many royals, Archie also technically settled in his first court case.

Meghan brought legal action against Splash News and Pictures over long lens pictures that were taken of her and Archie when the family was staying in Canada in January 2020.

Harry was also part of the legal action, but acted on behalf of Archie.

Splash News and Pictures went into administration in July last year and so the Sussexes were able to settle their case with the agency agreeing not to take further pictures of them should they ever come out of administration.

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At the time, a spokesman for Schillings, Harry and Meghan’s legal representation, said: “As explained in today’s hearing, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have successfully settled a legal claim brought at the beginning of this year against the paparazzi agency Splash UK.

“This settlement is a clear signal that unlawful, invasive and intrusive paparazzi behaviour will not be tolerated and that the couple takes these matters seriously – just as any family would.

“A simultaneous and similar claim against Splash US, a sister company to Splash UK, continues to move forward in the British court system.”

Archie's life near Los Angeles is likely to be very different from that of his royal cousins.

He is about a year younger than Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Kate, who turned three on 23 April.

William and Kate recently revealed their youngest has started nursery in London, close to their home at Kensington Palace.

Louis is also kept out mostly of the spotlight, though he attended his first red carpet event in December, accompanying his parents and siblings to the pantomime in London.

Kate uses her own passion for photography to take pictures of her children, and shared a new one of Louis, ahead of his third birthday. 

Although Archie doesn't currently have a title, he stands to become Prince Archie when his grandfather Prince Charles accedes to the throne.

However as his parents have stepped away from royal life, it's not likely he would ever carry out royal duties.

The cousins could reunite frequently in years to come though, as they will both be invited to family events and formal occasions such as Trooping the Colour. 

Here's hoping it's a very happy birthday for Archie this year, as he gets ready to welcome his baby sister.