A BESPOKE sledge made for Royal baby Archie has been given to a delighted ‘working class prince’ who shares his name.

County Durham craftsman Malcolm Rolling, who has made sledges for future King Prince George and Princess Charlotte, had hoped to get his creation to Harry and Meghan, but was unable to do so after their move across the pond.

So the sledge remained gathering dust in his garage in Carrville, Durham, as he looked for another lucky recipient with the name Archie.

The Northern Echo: Malcolm Rolling and Archie with his new sledge Picture: RACHEL SWEENEYMalcolm Rolling and Archie with his new sledge Picture: RACHEL SWEENEY

Read more: Royal invitation for Prince’s sledge maker

Step forward mum Rachel Sweeney, whose son was named Archie before the birth of the Royal.

Rachel, who is better known in her role as North East of England reporter for GB News said: “I am absolutely delighted and so is Archie.

“The idea this sledge could have been pulled by the Queen and been in historic photographs - but instead it will be in my garage in Meadowfield."

The Northern Echo: Archie with his plastic sledge Picture: RACHEL SWEENEYArchie with his plastic sledge Picture: RACHEL SWEENEY

Rachel said her Archie had been given his name long before Harry and Meghan announced their baby to the world.

She said : “On May 8 2019, I was nine months pregnant, extremely hormonal and stuck in bed with SPD and Piriformis Syndrome. I was at the end of my tether when a ‘breaking news’ alert pinged on my phone.

Read more: Malcolm offers Princess Charlotte a toy to match her brother's

“Harry and Meghan had named their baby Archie. I burst into tears.

The Northern Echo: Newborn Archie Picture: RACHEL SWEENEYNewborn Archie Picture: RACHEL SWEENEY

“I had given my son the same name just after our gender scan at 12 weeks. ARCHIE was embroidered onto his clothes and blankets – AND I had just had a massive mural of his name painted on his nursery wall.”

Rachel and husband Chris Kitching had briefly discussed changing his name when the news broke.

But, Rachel added: “My baby was due any day and I had been singing to him, talking to him, loving MY Archie. I couldn’t change it now. It was his name.”

The Northern Echo: Archie and dad Chris Kitching Archie and dad Chris Kitching

“The new mother in me snapped every time someone said, “Oh, did you name him after the royal baby?”.

“As the months passed by, my little working class prince developed a personality and shook off this royal connection to his namesake.

“My son is now almost three years old, and I had just about forgotten about this name disaster when my phone rang. It was one of the mams from my NCT group.

“She told me that Malcolm was looking for an Archie.

The Northern Echo: Rachel Sweeney expecting her 'working class prince'Rachel Sweeney expecting her 'working class prince'

“I remember seeing Malcolm on the news when he made a bespoke sledge for our future King, Prince George. So this was a real honour for us."

Malcolm has made hundreds of sledges for children in his garage at his home in Carrville, Durham.

Mr Rolling said: “I just get so much pleasure from it. Prince George has a Malcolm sledge, as well as Charlotte."

The Northern Echo: Archie on day one Picture: RACHEL SWEENEYArchie on day one Picture: RACHEL SWEENEY

A former chief technician at Durham University, where he worked for 47 years, Mr Rolling started making the sledges following a request from a neighbour.

Mr Rolling, who turned 79 recently, had to retire, aged 61, when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. 

He started making sledges nine years ago to keep himself fit and busy and has since made more than 1,070 of them, raising thousands of pounds for charity.

He said: "I am delighted I have found and Archie to give it to. Rachel is going to make a donation to St Cuthbert's Hospice."

The Northern Echo: Malcolm Rolling, Archie and Rachel SweeneyMalcolm Rolling, Archie and Rachel Sweeney

The Northern Echo: Malcolm Rolling and Archie Malcolm Rolling and Archie

The Northern Echo: 'Working class prince' Archie gets his new sledge 'Working class prince' Archie gets his new sledge

The Northern Echo: Archie and his sledge Archie and his sledge

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