Will Meghan and Harry’s daughter be a British or American citizen?

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on on Friday, 4 June

Joanna Whitehead
Sunday 06 June 2021 17:23 BST
Harry and Meghan: A timeline

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Louise Thomas

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The news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were expecting a second child was met with jubilation by fans of the royal family.

The couple 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 the pair.

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.

On Sunday, 6 June, the Sussexes announced that their daughter, Lilibet, had been born two days earlier.

But what citizenship will she have? Here’s everything you need to know.

Will Meghan and Harry’s second child be an American citizen or a British citizen?

Prince Harry and Meghan in March 2019
Prince Harry and Meghan in March 2019 (Shutterstock)

Although the couple announced in 2018 that Meghan intended to become a British citizen, it’s unclear what the current status of this is now that the pair have stepped back from royal duties and moved to California, not least because the process of applying for citizenship can take several years to complete.

Meghan will give birth to her daughter in the US and still retains her American citizenship (she voted in the 2020 presidential election), meaning that her child will automatically qualify for American citizenship.

As Prince Harry remains a British citizen, and British citizenship can be passed down one generation under British law (depending on certain conditions he meets), a child of his would automatically qualify for British citizenship.

Lilibet, therefore, is likely to possess dual British and American citizenship.

What about Archie?

Harry and Meghan with baby Archie
Harry and Meghan with baby Archie (Shutterstock)

As Meghan and Harry’s first child Archie was born in the UK, he automatically became a British citizen. And as Meghan is an American citizen, he also qualified for American citizenship. Archie, therefore has dual British and American citizenship.

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