When Prince Harry and Meghan
Markle revealed that they were expecting a second baby, it raised a host
of questions for royal watchers—not least among them, whether the newest royal
baby will hold the title of an HRH.
This query became even more
salient after Harry and Meghan’s primetime interview with Oprah Winfrey, in
which Meghan claimed that—contrary to the widely held belief that the Sussexes
had chosen to forgo a title for their first born, Archie Harrison
Mountbatten-Windsor—it was the Firm (the institution of the royal family) that
hadn’t wanted Archie to have a title.
While the Duchess of Sussex
was pregnant with Archie, “they were saying they didn’t want him to be a
Prince or Princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t
going to receive security,” Meghan said. She added, “This went on for
the last few months of our pregnancy where I was going, hold on for a
She explained that her primary
concern was for her child’s security. “They said [he’s not going to get
security], because he’s not going to be a Prince. Okay, well, he needs to be
safe so we’re not saying don’t make him a Prince or Princess, but if you’re
saying the title is what’s going to affect that protection, we haven’t created
this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder you’ve
allowed that to happen which means our son needs to be safe.”
As the rules are now,
Archie was eligible to use Harry’s subsidiary title, the Earl of
Dumbarton, from birth—and once Prince Charles became King, Archie would
have automatically become a Prince. But, Meghan said, “Even with that
convention [that automatically makes all grandchildren of the monarch a prince
or princess], they said, ‘I want to change the convention for Archie.’ Well,
She added that it was
particularly concerning that “the first member of color in this family
isn’t being titled in the same way as other grandchildren would be.”
Compounding this concern, “concerns and conversations about how dark
[Archie’s] skin might be when he was born” had been raised to Harry by a
member of the family, Meghan said.
Assuming it’s true that the
royal family did not want Archie to have a title, it stands to reason that they
wouldn’t want any of the Sussexes’ future children to have a title, either.
Theoretically, “As a younger child of the Duke of Sussex, the new baby
would normally have the title of Lord or Lady,” Raising Royalty author
and royal historian Carolyn Harris told T&C, prior to the revelations
in the Sussexes’ Oprah interview.
But since it’s unlikely that
the child will have title, “the new baby will be Master or Miss ‘First and
Middle Name’ Mountbatten-Windsor.
As the rules stand now, for
both Archie and his sister, the situation will change once Prince Charles
ascends the throne. The Sussex kids will graduate from being the
great-grandchildren to the grandchild of the reigning monarch, and will become
eligible for HRH titles.