Earl of Dumbarton: why did Prince Harry and Meghan ‘reject title for Archie’ - and where is it in Scotland?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly refused the title for their son because it contained the word ‘dumb’ and could lead to bullies nicknaming the two-year-old

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 12:35 pm

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rejected the title of Earl of Dumbarton for their son Archie over worries it could lead to bullying, it has been reported.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex refused the royal title for their two-year-old because it contained the word “dumb”, a source told the Telegraph.

It comes as Prince Charles reportedly denied claims that Harry was cut off financially when he stepped down as a senior member of the Royal Family - one of the explosive claims the duke made during the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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So, why are Harry and Meghan said to have rejected the Earl of Dumbarton title for Archie - and where is it in Scotland?

Here is everything you need to know.

Why did Harry and Meghan ‘reject Earl of Dumbarton title for Archie’?

Prince Harry is the Earl of Dumbarton himself, meaning that his son is eligible to inherit the title.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly refused the Earl of Dumbarton title for Archie (Getty Images/Shutterstock)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly refused the Earl of Dumbarton title for Archie (Getty Images/Shutterstock)

But the royals feared the moniker would lead to cruel nicknames for Archie, it has been reported.

The word “dumb” is commonly used as a slang word in the US, where Harry and Meghan are now based, meaning “stupid” or “daft”.

The couple feared Archie could be teased over the title.

A source told the Telegraph: “They didn’t like the idea of Archie being called the Earl of Dumbarton because it began with the word ‘dumb’.

“They were worried about how that might look.”

A second source said it was not just Meghan who had concerns, with the title also not sitting comfortably with Harry.

“It wasn’t just Meghan who pointed out the potential pitfalls, it also bothered Harry,” they said.

The couples reportedly don’t want any titles for their children.

Where is Dumbarton?

Dumbarton is a town situated near Glasgow, on the north bank of the River Clyde.

The area is steeped in history, and was founded in the fifth century, acting as the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.

It became a Royal Burgh in 1222.

Dumbarton Castle is the most well-known landmark in the town, having been used as a military fortress and royal living quarters.

In 1548, Mary Queen of Scots was kept at the castle for several months for protection before she travelled to France to be married.

Dumbarton became a hub for Scottish trade in the 19th century, including for shipbuilding, glassmaking and whisky-making.

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When was the Earl of Dumbarton title created?

The Earl of Dumbarton title is one of Scottish nobility, and has strong military connections.

It was first created in 1675 for Lord George Douglas, as thanks for his services fighting in the Franco-Dutch war.

But the title soon died out in 1749, when Lord Douglas’s only son died without marrying or having children.

After a period of extinction - 260 years to be precise - the title was brought back and presented to Harry by the Queen during his wedding to Meghan in 2018.

What has the reaction been?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly rejecting the title has caused a bit of a stir in Scotland, where people are used to hearing the place name.

Twitter users sprung to the defence of the ancient town, with one saying: “Most of the people in Dumbarton couldn’t care less about the landed gentry and cannot relate to them.”

Another simply said: “I’m from Dumbarton and proud of it.”

Other social media users, not from the town, also jumped to support the community, with someone writing: “Bet the inhabitants of Dumbarton and thanking their stars for their lucky escape.”

Another sarcastically wrote: “I’m sure those in Dumbarton are feeling the love tonight.”

And Dumbarton’s MSP Jackie Baillie responded to the reports that Harry and Meghan had turned down her local constituency in a light-hearted manner.

The Labour politician said in a Tweet she was reflecting on “this low blow” and joked she would issue a full statement in the morning.

She posted a meme of herself in the Scottish Parliament with the caption “‘Mon then”.