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How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Californian lifestyle will shape Archie's future

We spoke to Parent Coach and Early Years Expert Sophie Pickles

meghan harry archie
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
21 April 2021
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Prince Harry has returned to California following his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday, reuniting with his wife Meghan Markle – who is heavily pregnant with a baby girl – and their son Archie Harrison, 23 months. The couple's relaxed lifestyle in Montecito, Santa Barbara is worlds apart from their old life in the UK, but what benefits will it have for their children?

RELATED: What Archie Harrison's first word says about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's parenting

HELLO! spoke to Parent Coach and Early Years Expert Sophie Pickles, who believes key details about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's parenting style became apparent after their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.

During the rare insight into their private lives, fans discovered that Archie was learning to take care of pet chickens and spends hours outside in the sunshine with his parents, regularly going "down to the beach, which is so close".

WATCH: Archie Harrison makes rare appearance during Oprah Winfrey interview

Sophie explained: "From an educational point of view, it appears Harry and Meghan really do have their priorities in the right place. Lots of talking and time spent in nature are some of the very best things that you can do in those early years to aid cognitive and physical development.

PHOTOS: Archie's cutest outfits! See sweet photos of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's son

"Keeping chickens will teach Archie the important skill of learning where his food comes from (eggs) as well as an awareness of ethical/welfare issues from a young age, and will allow him to develop important social and relationship skills."

The freedom to explore the great outdoors at leisure will have amazing benefits for Archie, too - especially his long bike rides with dad Harry. 

archie smiling meghan lap© Photo: Getty Images

Archie's relaxed LA lifestyle has so many educational benefits 

"Exploring the great outdoors whether on foot or on the back of a bike will also be giving Archie a fantastic start to life. Harry obviously enjoys pointing out landmarks to Archie as they ride along and feels pride in Archie's ability to recognise and repeat these", Sophie said.

While Archie and his future baby sister might lead a very different childhood from their cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis growing up at Kensington Palace, it's clear to see what fantastic parents Meghan and Harry are.

meghan markle oprah© Photo: ITV

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke candidly about Archie to Oprah

The parenting expert concluded: "Parenting is a difficult job. There are so many ways to raise children and so much judgment around the ways in which we choose to do so. Harry and Meghan are proud of the way they parent Archie - it's obvious in the way they talk about his achievements and the opportunities they give him.

MORE: Princess Eugenie's baby son August's special connection with Archie Harrison

"They are making choices to suit their family, ones that are clearly paying off in spades and setting up Archie and his new sibling to build strong foundations for life. The Sussex family are happy and for Archie that is the most important thing."

You can follow Early Years expert Sophie Pickles for free parenting help and advice on Instagram @mummypickles.

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