Meghan Markle ‘may have been wrong’ in interpretation of protocol around Archie’s title, biographer claims

Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that Archie not receiving a royal title was ‘different from protocol’

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Saturday 01 May 2021 19:33 BST
(Getty Images)
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Meghan Markle’s biographer has suggested that the Duchess of Sussex may have been “wrong” about whether her son Archie would receive a title under royal protocol, according to reports.

The Duchess of Sussex spoke candidly about the reason her and Prince Harry’s son is not a prince during the couple’s two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS in March.

During the interview, Meghan, who is currently pregnant with the couple’s second child, said that there were conversations among the royal family about whether the child would receive a title, telling Winfrey: “They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security.”

According to the duchess, the conversation around whether Archie would receive a title, and the security that goes with it, was in tandem with “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born”.

Unlike his cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, Archie does not have a title, but rather goes by the full name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

However, according to Omid Scobie, the co-author of Finding Freedom, the duchess may have misinterpreted the royal protocol which dictates who receives a title.

Speaking during the new Discovery+ documentary Harry and Meghan: Recollections May Vary, Scobie said: “If we are only going by what Meghan said to Oprah and what the palace have said so far about the situation with Archie, perhaps one can assume that Meghan was wrong in her interpretation of it,” according to the Daily Mail.

But the royal biographer also noted that there may be much more to the story, adding: “But we also know that there is much more to this story that we don’t know about.”

In 1917, King George V declared in a Letters Patent that only the offspring of the monarch in the direct line of succession would be entitled to use the style of prince or princess and HRH, as would the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

However, in 2012, the Queen issued a new Letters Patent which declared that all of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children would be entitled to the title of prince or princess.

According to the 1917 letter, Archie is entitled to a prince title when Prince Charles, Prince Harry’s father, becomes king, as he would then be a grandchild of the monarch. At this time, the couple’s daughter would also be entitled to the title princess.

During Meghan’s conversation with Winfrey, however, the duchess claimed that the royal family wanted to change the convention so that Archie never receives a title, telling the TV host: “They want to change the convention for Archie.”

While Scobie suggested in the new film that the duchess may have misinterpreted the royal rules, he also spoke out against the documentary, which recruited “body language, linguistics and forensic psychology experts” to analyse key moments from the couple’s CBS documentary on Twitter on Saturday.

“If you’ve been here long enough you’ll know how I feel about body language experts and the like being used in royal news (TLDR: ridiculous), so you can imagine how disappointed and surprised I was to see myself tonight on a documentary centred around that exact style of analysis,” he wrote. 

In a follow-up tweet, the royal biographer continued: “I try to be careful with interviews I agree to do, so when a production company pitched a considered doc on the impact of the Oprah interview for a network I respect (featuring a diverse lineup of voices), it sounded good. Had I known the truth, my answer would have been no.”

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