keeping up with the royals

What Is Prince George Hiding?

Photo: Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

Oh dear. It seems something is amiss. Prince George of Cambridge, a royal 5-year-old, the eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, an innocent thrust into a blinding spotlight by way of his birth, has told a fib.

— Or has he?

According to a story in The Sun, a British tabloid, Prince George (or, should I say, “Prince George”) came across a dog walker who was out on a dog walk, while he (“Prince George”) was playing outside near the Middleton family home in Berkshire, England. The dog walker was told not to take a photograph of him by one of his handlers, and she abided by this rule. What she could not control, however, was Prince George’s desire to pet her dog. Of course, she let the tiny boy pet her dog.

“Just to be friendly I engaged in a bit of small talk,” she told The Sun about the undoubtedly tense moments she had to spend very close to an incredibly famous baby and a dog. “I asked George what his name was, even though obviously I knew it.” She obviously knew it. She was just being polite. He’s famous!

— Or did she know it?

“To my astonishment,” she said, “he said ‘I’m called Archie’ with a big smile on his face.”

Wait, what? Is he Prince George or is he Archie? Or is he neither? Or is he both? And why? I’ve taken some time and constructed a few guesses:

1) He is neither. The child whom the dog walker came across in Berkshire is a dupe; not exactly a robot, but not exactly human. The Royals all have these, and they make all of their public appearances. This solves the question of why anyone would want to live the no-doubt hellish life of a royal instead of having an enjoyable, normal, private life. They, in fact, are having enjoyable lives (with royal money) elsewhere; their nameless dupes are doing the work of public appearances.

The dupe, though he is a “Prince George” dupe, says he is “Archie” because one would assume a royal baby would be told, as a precaution, to not give a stranger his actual information. Thus, the dupe says he is “Archie,” when in fact he is neither Archie nor Prince George. It’s all very tricky.

2) He is both. Like in the movie Split or, also, like in the movie Glass.

3) He is Prince George. It’s maybe a situation similar to how I once requested my name be changed to “Strawberry Shortcake” or how, for a week, my younger brother would only answer to “Sonic.” I assume Prince George is a fan of Alvvays.

4) He is Archie. It, in fact, wasn’t Prince George. It was just Archie. :)

As for the dog walker’s guess, she said, “I don’t know why he calls himself Archie but kids often play with their names and I think it’s lovely.” I, too, think it is lovely, particularly if my dupes theory is correct.

Strawberry Shortcake

Why Is Prince George Claiming His Name Is Archie?