Prince William & Kate Middleton’s Titles Change After Queen’s Death
Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave up their respective His and Her Highness titles when they stepped back from their royal duties in 2020, their children—3-year-old son Archie Harrison and 15-month-old Lilibet Diana—are officially entitled to be called prince and princess now that their grandfather, King Charles III, ascended the throne as the Queen’s heir and their father moved up in the line of succession.
Guidelines set forth by Harry’s great-great-grandfather King George V back in 1917 permitted royal titles to be given to children of the sovereign’s sons (a.k.a. their grandchildren descended from males). When the Queen was in power, Harry’s children were her great-grandchildren. Now that King Charles has taken the throne, Harry’s kids are officially grandchildren to the monarch and therefore qualify.
The 1917 rule additionally reserved royal titles to children of the sovereign and the eldest son of the sovereign’s eldest son (which would have meant Prince William’s son Prince George, even before the Queen’s death).
What about Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis? All of William’s children have actually had their titles all along, because of a new guideline passed 10 years ago. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II changed the rule so that any children of the Prince of Wales’ eldest son (meaning William’s kids, before her death) would receive royal titles, allowing his younger kids with Kate to be called Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while Her Majesty was still alive.
Though Archie and Lili are now able to use royal titles, whether they’d want to use it is another story.
After all, it’s been rumored that Harry and Meghan opted not to give Archie the title of Earl of Dumbarton—even though he is entitled—when he was born because they worry he’ll be bullied for it. And when the couple spoke with Oprah Winfrey in a tell-all special last year, Meghan said that some people in the palace weren’t thrilled with the idea of Archie receiving a prince title when the line of succession moved.
“They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince…which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Meghan said, adding that there were also “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born” while she was pregnant with Archie.
When asked if she would like Archie to have a royal title, Meghan replied, “If it meant he was going to be safe, then, of course.”
Following the Queen’s death, Harry is now fifth in line to the throne, while Archie and Lili are sixth and seventh, respectively.
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