Almost everything about the birth of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's royal baby boy on Monday was a departure from recent royal-birth traditions – from his casual-sounding name to the palace pre-birth planning to the location of the birth to the "over the moon" exultation of the Duke of Sussex, who was so happy he even answered questions from the media.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, as the baby has been named, is unlike any previous royal baby: For one thing, he's half-American, as the child of the former Meghan Markle, 37, the divorced, biracial ex-actress born and raised in Los Angeles.
Seventh in line to the throne, he's also the first royal baby from the Sussex line born in hundreds of years and the first baby born into the royal family ever to be acknowledged to have part-African descent.
Here are some other ways the birth of the Sussex baby differed from the recent past:
Two days after his birth, Buckingham Palace announced that Harry and Meghan chose the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, with no "His Royal Highness" title or courtesy title (such as Earl of Dumbarton) attached.
Neither of the first two names are traditional British royal names, but Queen Elizabeth II's two eldest grandchildren, Peter and Zara Phillips, also did not have traditional royal names, although they are farther from the throne than Archie.
Archie is usually short for Archibald but we may have to wait for the official birth certificate to see if it says Archie. (Harry's real name is the super-traditional Henry but he's always been known as Harry.)
The last name of Mountbatten-Windsor honors Harry's beloved grandfather, Prince Philip, 97. After Philip Mountbatten married then-Princess Elizabeth Windsor in 1947, the blended name of Mountbatten-Windsor was created for their descendants who are more distant in the line of succession; others use just Windsor, the official dynasty name.
No one is saying where the baby was born:
Archie wasn't born in St. Mary's Hospital in London, where his father was born, but Harry and Meghan aren't disclosing if he was born at home or at another hospital.
St. Mary's Lindo Wing is also where his uncle Prince William was born, and Will's children with Duchess Kate of Cambridge, cousins Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, were born there, too.
Baby Sussex may have been born at home:
The palace has declined to answer direct question from USA TODAY about the location of the birth. But he could have come into the world at Frogmore Cottage, Harry and Meghan's newly renovated home on the Windsor Castle estate about 25 miles west of London.
Significantly, the palace birth announcement said Meghan and Harry and Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, visiting from Los Angeles for the birth, were all at Frogmore Cottage.
If Frogmore was the birthplace, this would be the first royal at-home birth since the baby's great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II delivered her four children at Buckingham Palace or Clarence House between 1948 and 1964.
But prior to 1977, all senior royal births took place at home (meaning a palace or royal estate).
The Buckingham Palace pre-birth media planning went awry:
In recent years, palace media planning for royal births, specifically the Cambridge children, was meticulous and followed to the letter. That didn't happen this time.
Weeks before the birth, the palace said it would alert the media when Meghan was in labor. But the first announcement that labor had begun in the "early hours" of Monday came at around 2 p.m. local time in Britain.
About an hour later came the announcement that the baby, a boy weighing 7lbs 3oz, had been safely delivered at 5.26 a.m. local time – meaning the baby had already been born when the palace said she had gone into labor.
Explanation? Not yet from the palace. However, some of the confusion and delay may have resulted from the fact that the birth was overdue by at least a few days.
Harry and Meghan's plan to keep the birth "private" changed dramatically:
Weeks before the birth, Harry and Meghan announced that they intended to keep the birth "private" at least initially, and would pose for photos with the baby a few days after the birth on the Windsor Castle grounds.
So it was a dramatic surprise when Harry appeared at Windsor Castle before TV cameras and reporters, with a horse stable in the background, to excitedly announce the birth and even answer questions.
He was gushing about his newborn son. "It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined," said the beaming prince, 34.
"How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so I just wanted to share this with everybody."
He added that being present for the birth was "amazing" and that he was "incredibly proud" of Meghan.
"As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing," he said. "This little thing is absolutely to die for. So I’m just over the moon."
Harry is not a fan of the media, and he's known to resent media intrusions since he and Meghan announced their engagement in 2017 and their marriage in May 2018.
So it was a break with traditional royal discretion for him to speak so emotionally on camera about his happiness at being a new father.
For all three of their children's births, Will and Kate emerged from St. Mary's within hours to face a crowd of well-wishers and media (some of whom had been there for days), and to pose briefly with the baby. For their first child they answered a few questions from reporters but neither said much let alone gushed like Harry.
Was this spontaneous on Harry's part or organized in advance by his press team? The palace has not said.
Harry promised the baby would make his public debut two days after birth
Royal babies' names are typically not announced for at least a few days, in part because the queen has to be informed first.
On Monday, Harry said he and Meghan had not decided on a name yet, but he promised he and Meghan and baby would be back before cameras on Wednesday.
"The baby’s a little bit overdue so we’ve had a little bit of time to think about (the name), that’s the next bit," he told reporters. "For us, we’ll be seeing you guys in probably two days' time as planned."
This is not the way the Cambridge children were introduced to the world: First as infants bundled in blankets, and then not seen again for months until their christenings.
Harry and Meghan kept one antique tradition:
The British royals have embraced modern communications and social media like everyone else. In fact, the video of Harry's media gaggle appeared on the Sussexroyal Instagram account, which now has more than 6 million followers.
But about 11 hours after the baby was born, a couple of liveried footmen came out of Buckingham Palace carrying a gold-painted wooden easel and set it up just inside the palace front gates facing The Mall.
On it, they placed a wood-framed paper announcement of the news the world had been waiting for, increasingly impatiently, for days: The Duchess of Sussex had safely delivered her son at 5.26 a.m.
Once upon a time, this was how Londoners first learned of a royal birth. Now it's an afterthought – but beloved nonetheless.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harry and Meghan's baby Archie: How his birth – and name – break with tradition