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Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter have a royal title?

Joanna Whitehead
·3-min read
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose with their first child, Archie, in May 2019 (Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose with their first child, Archie, in May 2019 (Getty Images)

After a turbulent year, the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting a second child offered some welcome relief for fans of the couple.

The pair released a statement in mid-February announcing that their first child, Archie, was “going to be a big brother”, accompanied by a black-and-white photograph of them underneath a tree.

The news was particularly poignant, as Meghan had previously revealed in a moving essay for the New York Times that she had suffered a miscarriage in summer 2020. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote.

During their sensational interview with Ophrah Winfrey in March, the couple confirmed that their second child would be a girl and was due in the summer but gave no fixed date or further details.

But what title, if any, will their second child have?

Will Harry and Meghan’s second child have a royal title?

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

As a child of the Duke of Sussex, the new baby would normally take the title of Lord or Lady. However, revelations from the couple during their interview with Oprah Winfrey mean this could not be the case.

Controversially, Meghan claimed that rather than choosing to forgo a title for their first child, Archie, as was widely reported, the couple were actually told by “the firm” that Archie would not receive a title.

“They were saying they didn’t want him [Archie] to be a prince or princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” said Meghan.

As a result, the Duke and Duchesses’ first daughter is likely to take the name Miss “First and Middle Name” Mountbatten-Windsor, as per her older brother Archie.

Will this situation change when Prince Charles takes the throne?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Yes. Once Prince Charles ascends the throne, Harry and Meghan’s two children will become grandchildren of the reigning monarch and become eligible for HRH titles. So, Archie could become His Royal Highness Prince Archie, for example.

This is because male-line grandchildren of a monarch are currently entitled to be His or Her Royal Highness due to a Letters Patent issued in 1917 by King George V. As Charles only has sons - William and Harry - this applies to all grandchildren.

However, it’s possible that Prince Charles may issue a new Letters Patent which would limit the HRH title to the heir to the throne and their immediate family to reflect that the duties of the royal family have evolved.

Raising Royalty author and royal historian Carolyn Harris told Town & Country magazine: “The trend in the 21st century royal family is toward fewer members of the monarch's family holding royal titles and becoming full time working members of the royal family so it's unlikely that we will see either of the Sussex children undertaking official royal duties or holding royal titles.”

Is Harry still in the line of succession for the British throne?

Despite Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement in January 2020 that they would be officially stepping away from royal duties, Prince Harry has retained his place in the line of succession, despite dropping his HRH title.

When Harry and Meghan’s new child arrives, the Duke of York, who was born second in line in 1960, will move down to ninth place.

The first seven places will remain unchanged – the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Harry, and Archie.

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