Ainhoa BarcelonaWe take a look at how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are fantastic parents to their son Archie Harrison, from prioritising family time to allowing for date nights
Little Archie Harrison is 10 months old now and we've loved hearing about the special first year of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first child. From those sweet new-born photos to tales of teething and weaning, the royal couple have embraced parenthood like the rest of us. While Harry and Meghan have been getting to grips with their new role as parents, the couple have also laid down some important rules on how to raise their firstborn. From prioritising family time to allowing date nights, the pair are working hard to be the best mum and dad possible. Let's take a look at their guide to parenting…
Privacy is key
Harry and Meghan are determined to give their son as normal an upbringing as possible. This means protecting his privacy and hoping to keep certain details to themselves, such as Archie's christening, who his godparents are, which hospital he was born in (The Portland Hospital, London), and more. The couple also chose to forego a royal title for Archie, in accordance with their wish that he grows up as a private citizen.
Shower them with love
We can tell Archie is one very loved little boy from the way Harry and Meghan dote over him, and their celebrity friend, David Beckham confirmed so. Speaking to ET in February, David revealed: "I think he's enjoying being a young father for the first time and that's what we always spoke about."
He continued: "When you're a parent, it changes you. He (Harry) always needs to be happy. We love him and he's an amazing person - and that's the most important thing - but I'm proud to see him growing up as an individual and being that person that every father wants to be. Every father wants to be loving to their children and that's what I see with him."
Date night is important
Leaving your baby alone for the first time is daunting, but Harry and Meghan appreciate the importance of spending time together as a couple. Two months after Archie's birth, the couple enjoyed a day date at the cinema, attending the premiere of The Lion King. It was then that Beyoncé and Jay-Z also gave the new parents some invaluable advice. "The best advice I can give you, always find time for yourself," the rapper told Prince Harry.
In late June, the Sussexes also left baby Archie at home to attend the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees game in London, and the couple also travelled to the UK without him in March this year for their final royal engagements before stepping down from royal duties.
Spending time with the family is also important – and not just the immediate family. Archie was introduced to his relatives when he was just a few days old; he met the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince William and Kate within two weeks of the birth. Princess Diana's sister Lady Jane Fellowes was also one of the first family members to meet Archie.
Harry and Meghan are also keen for their son to build a close relationship with his royal cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. George was introduced to Archie in private, while Charlotte and Louis met their baby cousin for the first time during the Cambridges and the Sussexes' family day out at the polo in July 2019. Harry, Meghan and Archie are planning a visit to stay with the Queen in Balmoral in summer 2020.
It's ok to ask for help
Meghan's mother Doria Ragland was on hand to help the Duchess after she gave birth. She lived with the couple at Frogmore Cottage for the first few weeks of Archie's life, showing Meghan the ropes and helping her settle into motherhood. When Doria returned to Los Angeles, Meghan wasn't afraid to ask for extra help, enlisting a nanny to help her at home.
It's no secret that Meghan loves carbs – she's even joked that french fries are their own food group. But overall, the new mum is very health-conscious and tries to maintain a gluten-free and vegan diet during the week. Her clean-eating habits will be passed down to her children, her close friend Daniel Martin has said. Daniel told CBS presenter Gayle King: "I'm sure the baby's going to be raised clean and green. She loves to cook, eating organic whenever she can. I totally see her making her own food. Totally!"
Have an eco-conscious home
The royals spent millions renovating their former home, Frogmore Cottage, and part of their work included installing a £50,000 green energy unit, which provided them with heat, hot water and electricity. As for Archie's nursery, the natural and grey-toned room was reportedly decorated with vegan and organic paint from German brand Auro.
Harry, whose father Prince Charles is very environmentally conscious, has also spoken about his habit of turning off the lights at home. Speaking in BBC documentary, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, Harry said: "He's a stickler for turning lights off and that's now something that I'm obsessed with."
In her now-defunct blog The Tig, Meghan also once wrote: "It's important that we never forget the wellbeing of our good ol' Mama Earth."
Pets make a happy home
The more, the merrier! Harry and Meghan are dog-lovers and when the Duchess moved to London, she brought her rescue beagle Guy with her. The couple also adopted another pooch – a Labrador – in 2018. Now living in Canada, the couple took their dogs with them and we can see them expanding their family with a third pet in the future, maybe even a fourth and a fifth!
Their children will be feminists
Meghan's belief in feminism is one of the characteristics that define her and she's also encouraged Prince Harry to openly express feminist views. We can fully expect the couple's children to be raised feminists.
On International Women's Day in 2019, a heavily pregnant Meghan took part in a panel discussion about women's challenges and their hopes for the future. She revealed: "I had seen this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was 'I feel the embryonic kicking of feminism.' I loved that, so boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that that's the case with our little bump."
Carry out charity work
Archie was only a couple of days old when Prince Harry travelled to The Netherlands for his Invictus Games Foundation. He also flew to Rome to take part in a Sentebale charity polo match, spending a significant amount of time apart from his wife and son. The couple's joint devotion to their charitable institutions is clear, and while Archie will be raised a private citizen, the little boy will no doubt be instilled with the importance of charity work from his famous parents.