Fans of the Royal Family learned a few things about Prince George this week: that he likes dogs, and that he sometimes goes by Archie.
Yes, you read that right. The future king of England — named after George V who founded the house of Windsor, not to mention the patron saint of England who famously defeated a dragon — introduced himself to a stranger as Archie. Archie!
The story was first reported by the British tabloid The Sun, who spoke to a dog walker who spotted George and Charlotte taking a walk with their grandmother, Carole Middleton.
“I was asked by a police minder not to take a photo of the children, which I didn’t, but George started stroking my dog,” the woman, who didn’t want to be named, told the paper. “Just to be friendly I engaged in a bit of small talk and I asked George what his name was, even though obviously I knew it.”
“To my astonishment he said ‘I’m called Archie’ with a big smile on his face.”
There are several possible explanations here. “I don’t know why he calls himself Archie but kids often play with their names and I think it’s lovely,” the dog walker told The Sun. Maybe Prince George recently heard the name and likes it. Maybe he is a fan of “Riverdale.”
Or maybe, at age five, he’s starting to understand his role in the world. Perhaps he was just trying to go incognito. Maybe he knew the woman recognized him, and wanted to mess with her to see if she’d admit it.
And then, of course, we can’t forget that monarchs are allowed to choose their name once they accede to the throne. Queen Elizabeth kept her own name, but her father George VI was actually named Albert. Maybe we’re in stage one of the reign of the future King Archie.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to King George V as Prince George’s great-grandfather. As the Queen’s grandfather, George V is the great-great-great-grandfather of Prince George.