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As Archie turns one, what his year of outfits has taught us about Meghan and Harry's parenting style

The couple are surprisingly down-to-earth parents.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex baby Archie
Archie with Harry and Meghan in South Africa last September in an H&M onesie Credit: Reuters

This Wednesday, 6th May, will mark the first birthday of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the young son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and seventh in line to the British throne.

Of course, much has changed since that public debut at Windsor Castle, when Archie was hailed the most influential baby in the world with the potential to boost the British economy by over £1 billion.

2020欧洲杯网站Harry and Meghan have since quit their roles as working royals and, after a stint in Canada, moved to Los Angeles where Meghan was raised and her mother continues to reside.

Archie wearing a Boden coat in a New Year Instagram post on the Sussexes' Instagram Credit: PA

As for Archie, we haven’t seen a great deal of him. The infant made an appearance during the Sussex royal tour of South Africa, but otherwise we’ve only been treated to rare glimpses on the couple’s Instagram feed.

Even so, we can learn a lot about Harry and Meghan as parents from those snapshots. Though Archie has been born into unquestionable privilege, the couple’s taste in baby clothes indicates a very normal middle class life.

Take the £12.99 H&M onesie2020欧洲杯网站 Archie was wearing to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. The dungarees-style outfit, with striped shorts, shoulder straps and a white vest, had a traditional childrenswear look, making it ideal for photos that would be shared around the world.

Archie in Boden again in the family's official Christmas card Credit: PA

2020欧洲杯网站But it was practical too, being cool and lightweight for the hot climate, machine-washable and critically, for a couple who want to be seen as relatable, inexpensive. It was also from the high street giant’s sustainably-focused Conscious Collection, reflecting the couple’s much-spoken-about desire to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle.

We then saw Archie in Meghan and Harry’s official Christmas card, for which he was dressed in a knit with a polar bear on the front, from the British high street stalwart Boden. We saw him in Boden again in the couple’s New Year Instagram post; the heart-melting snap of Harry with his son, taken during their extended Christmas break in Canada, showed Archie wrapped up warm in a brown coat with bear ears on the hood - proof that the Sussexes are as eager as the rest of us to dress their kids in animal-inspired outfits that attract likes on social media.

Archie made his public debut in a handmade shawl by G.H. Hurt & Son Credit: Getty Images

Boden is well-established as a favourite for young middle class mothers in the UK, thanks to its quality clothes at relatively affordable price points. The Duchess of Cambridge is also a fan2020欧洲杯网站, dressing Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the brand regularly. 

For more formal occasions, it’s a different story. Archie was presented to the world in a Merino wool baby shawl and cashmere hat by Nottingham-based G.H. Hurt & Son2020欧洲杯网站. The £105 blanket was handmade by eight craftspeople over three days. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also wrapped their children in shawls from the same company for their public debuts, as it is a Royal family tradition stretching back to the birth of Prince Charles.

Archie’s christening, too, called for something more grand, so he was baptised in a replica of the royal christening gown, which has been worn for every royal christening since 1841. The replica was made by the Queen’s personal dressmaker, Angela Kelly, in 2004, after the original was deemed too fragile for use.

Archie in a replica of the royal christening gown, which has been worn by every royal baby since 2004 Credit: PA

2020欧洲杯网站Whether we’ll see a new photo of Archie marking his first birthday on Wednesday remains to be seen. It is a tradition for other members of the Royal family - we saw adorable new photos of Princess Charlotte marking her fifth birthday last week. But now that Meghan and Harry have carved a life as independent citizens, they are not obligated to do so.

2020欧洲杯网站Meghan and Harry could have chosen to dress Archie in baby clothes by any designer from around the world during his first year of life. But instead of swaddling him in Stella McCartney kidswear, or taking cues from celebrity new-parent friends such as Serena Williams (who dresses her two-year-old in bespoke designer sportswear and mini diva sunglasses), the couple has decided to stick with high street brands that anyone could shop with. That, perhaps, makes an even bigger statement in these times than if they had spent a small fortune on a flash designer onesie.

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