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

With disagreement surrounding Archie’s title, will the same rules apply to the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ second child?

Joanna Whitehead
Sunday 06 June 2021 17:32 BST
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose with their first child, Archie, in May 2019
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 have welcomed a second child offered some welcome relief for fans of the couple. On Sunday, 6 June, the Sussexes announced that their daughter, Lilibet, had been born two days earlier.

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

Follow live: Harry and Meghan announce birth of daughter

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

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in March 2020
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in March 2020 (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?

The Queen and Prince Charles in March 2021
The Queen and Prince Charles in March 2021 (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.

Now Harry and Meghan’s new child has arrived, 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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