Why Prince Archie will still have to follow this royal rule despite his parents stepping down as senior royals but Princess Lilibet won’t

The royal youngster likely won’t be too happy about it…

Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Prince Archie
(Image credit: Getty)

Despite the fact that his parents stepped down as senior royals back in 2020, Prince Archie will still be forced to follow one poignant royal rule - but his sister Princess Lilibet won’t.

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back as senior royals and relocated their family to Montecito in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, they likely thought they'd escaped many of The Firm's rules. But unfortunately, no matter how far they get from the Royal Family, their son Prince Archie will still be bound to follow at least one royal rule. 

The Royal Family have to follow many different royal rules, from the strict protocol that means King Charles can confiscate his grandchildren’s toys to the outdated rule that means Princess Charlotte may not get same royal titles as her brothers when they grow up. And while Prince Archie may not be all too involved with the Royal Family, he does still sit sixth in the royal line and succession and that means he's just hit the mark to follow one poignant royal rule, while Princess Lilibet has luckily escaped the protocol. 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie and Lilibet

(Image credit: Netflix)

Speaking to Newsweek, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams revealed that under the 'Succession to the Crown Act', the first six royals in line to the throne must 'ask permission from the monarch before they marry.' This means that Archie, as sixth in line to the throne, will have to consult his grandad King Charles III before proposing to anyone. 

As seventh in the royal line of succession, Lilibet just misses out on the rule. 

As the 'rule' is part of the Succession to the Crown Act, it means that not only is asking permission to marry protocol, it's actually the law. According to reports in Newsweek, if Archie does not follow this law and marries someone without first seeking permission, he would no longer be eligible to be King if that day ever came.

But there is a lot of time until the four-year-old ever even thinks about marriage and should one of his cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte or Prince Louis, have a child before he wishes to get hitched, he will be bumped down in the line of succession and no longer be bound to the law. 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Lilibet and Archie

(Image credit: NETFLIX)

However, while Lilibet currently is not bound by this rule, she could be one day. Should Prince William ascend to the throne before any of his children have their own kids, Archie will be bumped up to  fifth in line and Lilibet will take her brother's current place on sixth in line, meaning she too will have to play by this rule. 

However, Fitzwilliams explained that the rules may be bent as Archie and Lilibet are so removed from the Royal Family in America. She told Newsweek, "Archie is currently resident abroad and this is unlikely to change foreseeably. We obviously cannot be certain of what the relations between the royal family and his parents will be if and when he decides to marry. 

"However, the monarch's permission can, in this case as he is sixth in line to the throne, be taken for granted. It would simply be a technicality.”

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.