09 May 2019

Jewels for Baby Sussex

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On Wednesday, we got to meet the newest member of the British royal family, along with his proud parents. In today's post, I've got a look at the brand-new baby, the jewelry worn by his mother for his first public appearance, and some fantastic bejeweled royal baby presents to inspire his father!




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Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born on Monday, May 6, was introduced to the world by his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. The baby, who slept peacefully as he met with the press, is reportedly doing very well, as is his mother.


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You might be surprised to see the way little Archie's name is rendered above, as traditional rules of British royal and aristocratic titles would suggest that he should rightfully be called the Earl of Dumbarton, using his father's second title as a courtesy. But the press release from the palace firmly noted that he "will be known as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor," and royal reporters confirmed that the Sussexes have chosen not to style the baby as Lord Dumbarton "at this time."

The strategy seems to echo that of the Wessexes, who chose to have their children titled as the daughter and son of an earl rather than using the pricely titles they're legally entitled to use. Meghan and Harry have gone a step further, ensuring that no title will be used for the baby for the foreseeable future (well, except for "Master Archie," I suppose). Regardless, they'll have to revisit the matter when Prince Charles eventually becomes king, as Archie will then be entitled to be styled HRH Prince Archie of Sussex. And, even further down the road, he'll inherit the Sussex dukedom from his father. But it seems that will all be settled and decided when it happens, and for now, we've got just plain Archie living with his parents at Frogmore Cottage.


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It's also interesting (to me, anyway) that Harry and Meghan presented Archie to the world in St. George's Hall, one of the grandest spaces in Windsor Castle. The walls and ceiling of the hall are lined with the coats of arms of the Knights of the Garter. Little Archie is the great-grandson of the Queen, and he will one day be the grandson, nephew, and first cousin of a series of kings. It's very likely that, regardless of the title used for him at birth, his coat of arms will one day be installed in that very room. The Sussexes may not have fully settled the question of their son's future title and style, but there's no doubt that he's part of a very royal family.


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For baby Archie's debut, Meghan wore pieces of jewelry already in her collection. She paired tiny diamond and gold earrings with a necklace featuring a trio of miniature turquoise pendants.


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She also wore her wedding and engagement rings. (This is the first time we've seen the engagement ring in a bit -- she didn't wear it during her last few appearances before Archie's birth.)


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With the birth of a new royal baby often comes new pieces of jewelry, too. I'm loathe to use the phrase "push present," but there is a tradition within the royal family of presenting a new mother with jewels to mark the birth of a child. One of the most familiar examples is the Queen's Flower Basket Brooch. The gem-studded brooch was a gift from her parents to mark the birth of Prince Charles in November 1948. The Queen wore her new brooch in December 1948 for Charles's first official photograph, and she's still wearing it today. (Learn more about it here!)


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Looking a few generations back, you'll also find the grand Teck Emperor of Austria Brooch as another baby gift example. This magnificent diamond and pearl brooch was presented to Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck by Emperor Franz Josef of Austria to mark the christening of her third child, Prince Francis Joseph of Teck. The emperor was one of the baby prince's godparents, and the brooch recognized that honor. The Queen inherited the brooch from Queen Mary, and in June 1964, she wore it for the first official photographs of her fourth child, Prince Edward. (Much more on the brooch over here!)


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More recently, the Duchess of Cambridge has also worn jewelry linked to a royal birth. These green amethyst and green tourmaline earrings were made for Kate by a favorite jeweler, Kiki McDonough, after the birth of Princess Charlotte in May 2015. It's said that Prince William likes to give his wife colorful jewelry from the firm. (More on the earrings here!)


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So, here's hoping that Prince Harry is similarly inspired to offer his wife a new piece of jewelry to mark the birth of their son -- or Prince Charles gives a gift to mark the birth of his fourth grandchild. What sort of jewel would you like to see added to Meghan's jewelry box?