Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Decline Offer to Name Fire Service Plane That Fought Australia Wildfires After Archie

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have turned down a request to name an Australian bushfire plane after their son Archie.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex politely refused permission when asked by the New South Wales government.

They expressed gratitude for the "kind offer" but said Archie had "not yet entered public life," according to Australia's Sunday Telegraph.

The move re-enforces the couple's previous suggestion they are eager to protect the 11-month-old from the limelight.

However, the committed feminists may be pleased with the alternative, as the Rural Fire Service Large Air Tanker was last August named after Marie Bashir, the state's first female governor.

At the time, Bashir said: "Our emergency service members are world-class and I thank them for all they have done and continue to do, protecting the communities of NSW."

The request came after the duke and duchess toured Australia in 2018 and confirmed Meghan's pregnancy while there.

It is believed officials hoped Archie would visit the plane when older if it was named after him.
The 737 Large Air Tanker has since been used to fight the wildfires that ravaged Australia, destroying wildlife and endangering species.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Archie Sussex royal
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. Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Markle have worked to protect Archie's privacy from the day he was born, when the duke announced the arrival by himself, rather than with his wife and baby.

The move drew criticism from U.K. media but helped the couple to draw a line restricting access to their son.

They also declined requests to reveal which hospital he was born in and denied media access to his christening, again sparking a fierce response from sections of the British press.

Large Air Tanker Fights Australian Wildfires
A large air tanker (LAT) drops retardant near a property on January 10, 2020, in Penrose, Australia. At the time around 20 people had died in the bushfires across Australia and 1995 homes had been destroyed. Brook Mitchell/Getty

Buckingham Palace said at the time: "Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday July 6.

"The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private."

The couple also threatened legal action after paparazzi got pictures of Markle walking with Archie in a baby sling near their Canadian home in January.

In their new charitable foundation, they used the same Greek word that inspired Archie's name.
Archewell derives from the "arche," or "source of action" in Greek, and is intended to reflect their desire to pursue positive change.

The couple said when they announced the name this month: "Before SussexRoyal, came the idea of Arche – the Greek word meaning source of action.

"We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son's name.

"To do something of meaning, to do something that matters.

"Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon."