The children of Prince Harry and Meghan will use the royal titles

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As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the christening of their daughter Lilibet Diana on Wednesday, in a statement sent to the media that called her a “princess” – apparently indicating that the couple intend to use royal titles for their children.

Under British royal protocol, both Lilibet and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the couple’s 3-year-old son, are eligible for the titles of princess and prince as grandchildren of Britain’s sitting monarch. The children were entitled to the titles since Charles became king after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

Titles are automatically given to people born into high positions in the royal family. In 1917, King George V ordered that “the grandsons of such sovereigns in the direct male line (except the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and receive the style and title which they like at all times. the children of the dukes of those realms.” Queen Elizabeth II renewed the centuries-old rule in 2012 to make the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton “the prince and princess,” because only the Prince George was the first to receive the title as the eldest grandson.

But until now, it was still a question whether Harry and Meghan’s children, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would receive titles. Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the British royal family has long been strained, exacerbated by Harry’s memoir published in January. Harry and Meghan publicly stepped down from their royal duties in 2020 and moved to California, although they did not renounce their royal titles. They were recently told to leave their British home, which they used during tours, on the grounds of Buckingham Palace’s Windsor Castle estate.

When Archie was christened in 2019, he did not receive a royal title, but the reasons for that were not clear. Observers speculated that this was part of the couple’s planned departure from royal life, but Markle, a biracial American, told Oprah Winfrey in 2021 that she was denied a title because of hate- race The palace denied the allegations and insisted it was “protocol” not to attach a royal title to Archie.

After the Queen died in September 2022, the titles of Lilibet and Archie were up in the air while King Charles looked down on the British monarchy. By December 2022, Charles would still be unsure whether to bestow the titles of Prince and Princess on Archie and Lilibet, especially after Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series in November and the release of Harry’s book to come In addition. The titles of Lilibet and Archie are not yet visible on the Buckingham Palace website, but are reported to be “update in due course.” And Charles, as the sitting monarch, still retains the power to revoke those titles.

Giselle Bastin, a British royal expert at Flinders University in Adelaide, says that parents of eligible royal children will ultimately decide how and whether their children use a title. As for why now, Bastin tells TIME, “William and Catherine’s children have always known their Prince and Princess titles, and Harry may think that the time in one birthright for his children. The couple may wish to announce that their children’s connection to British royalty remains intact. Or it could be more practical than that: when Meghan previously spoke about Archie’s lack of a title, she had expressed their interest in getting one because of the security protections that came with it. .

Other members of the royal family of the same status as Prince Harry have made different choices over the years. Princess Anne and her husband Mark Phillips turned down offers to give their children Peter and Zara royal titles after their births in 1977 and 1981. Similarly, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie decided to simply “with permission” to give their children from Lady Louise and Lord Severn James rather than “Prince” and “Princess,” Bastin said.

Princess Lilibet was baptized by the Archbishop of Los Angeles last Friday, a spokesman for the couple said Wednesday. People magazine said that Harry and Meghan invited King Charles, Queen Consort Camila, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton – the Prince and Princess of Wales. They did not attend.

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