Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Family Have Royal Titles Now That Charles Is King?
Charles is king and Prince William is next in line—but what about Prince Harry, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet?
Now that the rule of the longest-reigning monarch in England’s history has ended, there are many questions about how titles will change in the royal family after Queen Elizabeth’s death. Royal fans know that now Charles is king and Prince William is next in line for the throne—but what about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s titles? And what about their kids’ titles? Read on to find out exactly what will happen.
What are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s titles?
Believe it or not, their titles haven’t changed. Currently, Harry and Meghan still officially hold the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which carry a sweet and meaningful significance.
Before marrying, Prince Harry was “HRH (His Royal Highness) Prince Henry of Wales,” matching the style of any male grandchildren of the reigning monarch. Ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle, he and his new wife became “HRH The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel” and “HRH The Duchess of Sussex,” respectively, though most people just referred to the pair as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Those titles weren’t automatic, though; the Queen had to bestow the titles on them.
However, back in 2020, a massive bit of British royal family news sent shockwaves around the globe: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whose extravagant wedding and first baby were among the biggest news of 2018 and 2019, announced they were stepping back from their royal duties.
After taking that step back as senior members of the royal family, the two were stripped of their “HRH” titles. Learn more here about how royals get their titles.
What are Archie and Lilibet’s titles now that Charles is king?
Technically, Harry and Meghan’s children, 3-year-old Archie and 1-year-old Lilibet, are now prince and princess, although no formal announcement has been made about their upgraded titles.
Royal reports allege, however, that they will not be getting the HRH status, though they are eligible, as they are the grandchildren of the English sovereign (more on that below). This is King Charles’s decision, and though he hasn’t made an official statement on it, news sources note that Archie and Lilibet will not get “HRH” titles because Harry and Meghan stepped back from their royal duties.
There have been other cases of titles changing. For one, after Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles’s divorce, Diana’s official title changed from “HRH The Princess of Wales” to “Diana, Princess of Wales.”
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Why are Archie and Lilibet prince and princess now?
Thanks to a 105-year-old rule, the two are now theoretically prince and princess.
In 1917, King George V issued a statement that “the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.” King Charles III is the current sovereign, so his grandchildren get royal titles: prince and princess.
This caused a bit of controversy years ago when Prince William’s kids—Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis—were given royal titles, though they were also Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandchildren (the same relation as Archie and Lilibet), which meant they weren’t owed a title. So why were Prince William and Kate Middleton’s kids lucky enough to get those royal titles? Because the queen said so, of course.
As a direct heir to the throne, George would have been a prince no matter what, but Charlotte and Louis wouldn’t have. But when Kate was first pregnant, Queen Elizabeth issued a letters patent giving the prince or princess title to any of William’s children. The prevailing reason for this is that they’re the children of the future monarch. But from Meghan’s perspective, her son “[was] not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.”
Some of the queen’s other grandchildren, such as Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, could also have been given royal titles when they were born, but their parents asked the queen not to so that they could live more “normal” lives. So if the youngest grandchildren of the new monarch don’t get the HRH title, it might not be a bad thing after all. Here’s more on the controversial legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.
- The Royal Household: “Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle: Announcement of Titles”
- The U.S. Sun: “Harry and Meghan ‘furious’ as Archie and Lilibet will NOT get HRH status – but will be called Prince and Princess”
- The Independent: “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding: Why their children won’t be princes or princesses”
- The Guardian: “Was Meghan’s son Archie denied the title ‘prince’ because he’s mixed race?”