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Archie's future: Rubbing shoulders with well-heeled expats at international school rather than Eton?

Jamie Johnson
Archie has been in Canada for the last two months - PA

When Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor was christened in a small, closed ceremony last year, his parents made it clear that they wanted to raise him as a “private citizen.”

He did not assume the title of Earl of Dumbarton and he is not a Prince. The seventh in line to the throne is simply ‘Master’ Archie. 

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to quit The Firm and relocate to Canada, questions have been raised about the young child’s future.

Already there is disquiet inside Buckingham Palace, with the Queen upset that Archie has not even been in the country for the last two months, missing out on his first Royal Christmas at Sandringham. 

“She will be very sad to have barely seen Archie, and that he will miss out on growing up with his cousins and wider family,” a source told the Sunday Times.

“Where will Archie’s heritage and roots be?” said another.

“The fact Archie isn't Earl of Dumbarton or styled HRH makes me wonder whether this wasn't already part of a wider masterplan,” said Majesty magazine’s Managing Editor, Joe Little.

Archie made his first Royal trip in September, visiting Cape Town, South Africa Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

In British Columbia there is a wealth of private schools and a strong British expat community.

“There are a number of boarding schools that exist in the area that draw students from around the world,” said Vancouver-based fundraising consultant Jeff Sodowsky.

"British Columbia and particularly the Lower Mainland is such an international population, definitely from around the world, but there's a history and culture of original British Columbia families that all invested as pioneers in making the city and the area better,” he added.

If Archie is to be educated in Canada, it would break a long tradition of British Royals at British schools.

The Duke of Sussex spent his pre-prep years at the private Wetherby School in Notting Hill, followed by Ludgrove School and then Eton College, where he boarded between the ages of 13 and 18.

Archie’s grandfather, Prince Charles was educated at Cheam and Gordonstoun schools, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had also attended as a child.

Canada has 91 independent schools, including the £41,000-a-year Lakefield College School, where Prince Andrew studied in 1978.

Cheshire-based education expert and author Edward Williams told the Daily Mail that the idea of having Archie in two separate schools - one in the UK and one in Canada - is “untenable”.

“Students of any age crave consistency, structure and discipline, he said.

“It's necessary not just for their academic growth but their social and emotional health.

“Canada is very well provided for in terms of education, but there are rather fundamental differences. Depending on where they settle, there can be issues regarding which age they start; in the UK it's four but in Canada it is five or six, meaning practically that when Archie started he would be persistently either a year ahead or behind his peers.”