Harry and Meghan’s children ‘will still get prince and princess titles’ despite royal row
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Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, have made California their permanent base since quitting royal life last year. The couple are raising their son Archie-Harrison, one, in Montecito, Santa Barbara and are currently expecting their second child, a baby girl, who is due to be born this summer.
Despite turning their backs on the monarchy and firing parting shots at the Royal Family during their recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Sussexes offspring will not lose their right to HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) styles and Prince and Princess titles.
While Meghan and Harry’s son Archie was not granted a royal title at birth he and his little sister will automatically be made a prince and princess when their grandfather Prince Charles, 72, becomes king.
A George V Letter Patent means grandchildren of the presiding monarch are entitled to these privileges and despite Meghan and Harry airing their grievances against the royal household, the law is highly unlikely to be changed.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “As with any child of the Duke of Sussex, they will have, upon the accession of Prince Charles, and unless George V’s Letters Patent of 1917 have been amended, the right to use the style HRH and the title Princess or Prince.”
While critics have called for the Sussexes to lose their royal titles in the wake of Megxit, they are likely to stay the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for life.
The peerage was gifted to them by the Queen on their wedding day and as Harry was born a prince, he is expected to remain one until his death.
Mr MacMarthanne added: “Despite calls being made for the duke to be stripped of his titles, the fact remains he was born a Prince and it is by this fact that any children he may have will derive their own royal status.”
Harry could only lose his royal status through an act of Parliament, which is highly unlikely to happen, Mr MacMarthanne explained.
He said: “Unless changes are made through parliamentary statute, Letters Patent, or discretionary action this fact will remain unaltered as will the consequences of it.
“Presently there is no modern-day precedent for stripping a person born with royal style and title of same.”
Even when Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, he was not entirely stripped of his royal status.
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Mr MacMarthanne explained: “At the time of Edward VIII’s abdication it was determined that whilst he might abdicate as King-Emperor, it was not competent to conclude that he could ‘abdicate’ his royal status, this fact was evidenced in him reverting to being HRH Prince Edward, before being created Duke of Windsor.”
During her interview with Oprah, Meghan seemed to imply Archie may have been deprived of a title at birth because of his race.
However, this misunderstanding has since been exposed by royal experts who have highlighted only the grandchildren of the presiding monarch and not the great-grandchildren are automatically given titles at birth.
An exception was made in the case of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William’s offspring as they are in direct line to the throne.
Their eldest child Prince George, seven, will one day be king and it was therefore deemed appropriate for him and his subsequent siblings to have royal titles from birth.
Touching on Meghan’s misunderstanding over how royal titles work, Mr MacMarthanne said last month: “‘Setting all other considerations or concerns aside, the matter of who enjoys the style ‘HRH’ and the title ‘Princess’ and ‘Prince’ is clear cut and determined by Letters Patent issued by George V in 1917.”
Under the terms of these Letters Patent any children of the Duke of Sussex, as great-grandchildren of the sovereign, would not automatically enjoy either style or title as they fall outwith the established criteria.
“Upon the Prince of Wales succeeding to the throne, unless these Letters Patent are amended, then said children will automatically be able to assume both the style and title.”
Meghan and Harry’s son Archie is 7th in line to the throne and their daughter will be 8th in line when she is born.
Given their parents decision to quit royal life, neither of the Sussex children are expected to become working members of the monarchy.
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