Prince Charles Might Get Full Custody of Meghan and Harry's Baby Archie and Other Weird Royal Baby Facts

On Monday, May 6, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Little Master Archie's birth has captivated the attention of social media and royal watchers across the world. What's more, due to being born as a member of the British monarchy, he's subject to some bizarre traditions and events that most babies wouldn't have to think about. Even royalty has its downsides.

Firstly, as the royal family's newest member, Master Archie already has a full-length Wikipedia entry, which primarily discusses the circumstances surrounding Master Archie's birth and reactions from his parents. Prince Harry is quoted as saying his birth was "a bit overdue."

Oddly, Harry might not *technically* have custody over his own newborn son in the future, that right is given to the reigning monarch, well if the royal child is a grandchild of the current sovereign. In accordance with a law enacted in 1717 by King George titled "The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family," the reigning monarch has all custody over every royal grandchild. This law only applies to grandchildren, meaning Harry still has custody over his newborn son, but if Archie's grandfather, Prince Charles ascended to the throne, Archie's custody would go to him. However, royal expert Marlene Koenig explained to Newsweek that it's currently more of a formality. No royal would ever use that law to their benefit.

It's fair to assume the Mountbatten-Windsor clan has many ornately titled staff members, like a "royal chef," "royal doctor," etc. There's even some unexpected, highly specialized roles like "royal gynecologist."

According to rules, the birth of a royal child requires at least one royal doctor to be present. This responsibility would often fall to either the current royal surgeon-gynecologist, Alan Farthing, or the royal consultant obstetrician, Guy Thorpe-Beeston. Meghan Markle reportedly gave birth to Archie in a local hospital, rather than at home. It's currently unknown if either Farthing or Thorpe-Beeston were present.

The baby is announced to the British people in a variety of ways. After being delivered, rules require that the queen is informed first. After she finds out, a framed typewritten memo is placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. The memo is verified with a signature from the royal medical team, and generally includes basic information about the newborn: gender, time of birth and information about the health of both parents post-delivery. The birth is later followed by a London-wide gun salute. When Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, she received a 41-shot salute from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, in addition to a 62-gun salute from The Honourable Artillery Company.

In more recent years, a Tony Appleton, the unofficial town crier, has also been responsible for announcing the birth to the people of London, while in full regalia. He's been spreading the good word since the birth of Prince George in 2013. Appleton has since returned to announce all sorts of royal news, like Meghan and Harry's wedding and the 2018 birth of Prince Louis. He'll likely be returning for Master Archie.

There's even rules and regulations governing the clothing worn by wee royals. Beginning with Prince Charles' birth in 1948, all babies have worn a blanket made by the Nottingham-based knitwear company G.H. Hurt & Sons for their first public appearance. Royal newborns are later required to wear a special lace robe known as the Honiton christening gown for, as you can imagine, their christening. The robe tradition began in 1841 with the birth of Queen Victoria's daughter: Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. The dress was inspired by Queen Victoria's own wedding dress. The original went on to be worn by 62 royal babies over 163 years, until being retired in 2004. After each use, it was washed in spring water then stored in a dark room until the next required use. Angela Kelly, the queen's personal wardrobe advisor, made a replica of the dress. The replica was first used by Viscount Severn in 2008 and has since been used for every royal baby christening.

Lastly, every royal baby has an extravagant number of godparents. Prince George has seven and Princess Charlotte has five. Royal godparents are usually selected from groups of close friends or favored cousins. Direct family members are ineligible to become godparents. It's currently unknown how many godparents Master Archie might accrue, but expect somewhere in the vicinity of half a dozen.

The birth of a royal baby is always quite a serious affair. Up until a few hours ago, there was an extended discussion about Master Archie's name.

Update May 11 11:30 p.m.: This piece originally linked to an article that said royal expert Marlene Koenig told The Independent every royal baby is under the reigning monarch's custody. However, Koenig later told Newsweek that only the sovereign's grandchildren are automatically under their custody.

Prince Charles Might Get Full Custody of Meghan and Harry's Baby Archie and Other Weird Royal Baby Facts | Culture