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Baby Archie Has Been Bestowed With A Traditional African Name With A Special Meaning

by Morgan Brinlee

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kicked off their first official royal tour as a family of three on Monday with a visit to Cape Town, South Africa. And while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were greeted warmly, it's their son who is proving to be a hit with locals. In fact, baby Archie was given an African name with a very sweet and special meaning by locals in Cape Town's Nyanga township.

"When your beautiful boy was born you gave him the name Archie," Justice Desk CEO and founder Jessica Dewhurst told the royal couple, according to People. "The name Archie means 'bravery and strength.' So, to welcome Archie home, your family at the Justice Desk has given him the traditional South African name Ntsika." Dewhurst went on to explain that Ntsika was a name of Xhosa African origin that means "pillar of strength." Dewhurst added, "May you always be a pillar of strength for those who need you."

For the first stop in their 10-day, multi-country tour, Markle and Prince Harry met locals in Nyanga and attended a workshop organized by Justice Desk, a human rights non-profit that operates in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to empower ordinary people to better understand and defend their own human rights. ​

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Dewhurst said that most visitors who engage with locals in the township communities are typically bestowed with a traditional name. "It's quite traditional for foreign visitors to township communities to be given a South African name," Dewhurst told Harper's Bazaar. "South Africa is the cradle of mankind, this is where the human race began, so we are all children of this country."

That being said, baby Archie's name wasn't selected at random. Dewhurst told Town & Country that they had looked for a name that would be fitting for the young royal. "The reason we chose [Ntsika] was mostly because Archie means the same thing that Ntsika does," the magazine reported Dewhurst said. "So Archie means strength, it means bravery and the South African equivalent of that is Ntsika." Indeed, Baby Center and Name Berry claim that Archie is a name that means "very bold" or "truly brave," so Markle and Prince Harry's son will grow up with a truly powerful name.

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According to Dewhurst, traditional names are meant to serve as a wish for the individual they are gifted to. "When you get your traditional name it's what you will look up to be," Dewhurst told Town & Country. "So when they give you a name it's your wish for you and your future."

While Markle and Prince Harry both spent time mingling with locals, workers, and volunteers, baby Archie unfortunately wasn't on hand to receive his name gift personally. According to People, the 4-month-old royal was left with a nanny during the Duke and Duchess' first tour stop.

While it's unclear how Archie feels about his new moniker, his parents were reportedly thrilled with it. "They said they absolutely loved it," Dewhurst told The Daily Express. "They said thank you so much ... They loved the fact that our presents were for Archie ... They love the fact that they've brought him here and they can’t wait for him to experience the country."

Markle and Prince Harry are expected to visit with non-profit organizations in Monwabisi Beach and visit a South African Heritage Protection Site in the Bo Kaap area as their tour continues Tuesday. But while the schedule for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has been made fairly public, baby Archie's itinerary is being largely kept under wraps for now. But hopefully more moments like this will follow.