Business Insider Edition

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son will get a royal title after all, but it's not what you think

Mikhaila Friel , Business Insider US
 May 13, 2019, 12:28 PM
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie.
Dominic Lipinski/ AFP/ Getty Images.
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry introduced their new son, Archie, to the world on Wednesday.
  • The newborn has not been given a royal title, however, he will become a prince when Prince Charles becomes king.
  • A 1917 decree made by Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, George V, entitles only the children and grandchildren on the direct male line of the monarch to gain HRH status.
  • While the queen is still monarch, this means Prince Harry, her grandchild, is entitled to a royal title, but his children are not.
  • An exception was made for Prince William's children in 2013 when the queen issued Letters Patent to ensure that all of his children would receive HRH status at birth.
  • It is not known whether the same offer was made to Harry and Markle's son.
  • If so, it's likely that the couple declined the offer, as they chose not to give Archie the "courtesy title" of Earl.
  • For more, go to Business Insider SA.

All eyes were on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry this week, as they introduced their son, Archie, to the world.

When the couple announced his name as "Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor" without a title in front of it, royal fans started to wonder whether the little one would go without HRH status.

It turns out the answer is, confusingly, both yes and no.

Harry and Markle's son wasn't given a title at birth, but that's not to say he won't have one in the future.

Archie will be given the chance to become a prince, but only when Charles succeeds to the throne.

This is due to an ancient decree written in 1917 by Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, George V, which states that only the children and great-grandchildren on the direct male line of the monarch will gain official royal titles.

This means that, because Queen Elizabeth II still reigns, Prince Harry, her grandson, is entitled to HRH status. His son, however, will not be entitled to this honor until his grandfather, Prince Charles, ascends to the throne.

An exception was made for Prince William's children when Prince George was born in 2013. The queen issued Letters Patent, which ensured that all of his future children would receive HRH status.

Prince George was born on July 22, 2013.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

It is not known whether the queen made this same offer to Harry for his children. It's likely that if she did, he declined the offer. That's because the couple already declined a "courtesy title" - the Earl of Dunbarton - for their son.

However, the child will follow in his father's footsteps and become a duke, according to Richard Fitzwilliams, royal commentator and former editor of "The International Who's Who."

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted their son to be as normal as possible to begin with, hence no use of the title Earl of Dumbarton," explained Fitzwilliams.

"He will, however, inherit Dukedom from Harry."

Although it has not yet been confirmed by the palace if this is the case, it would not be entirely surprising. The title of duke is often given to royal men when they reach adulthood or when they get married.

Prince Harry became the Duke of Sussex when he married Markle in 2018, as did Prince William when he became the Duke of Cambridge upon marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011.

So, it appears Archie could be given the titles of both prince and duke - but whether he will accept those titles or not are another matter entirely.

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