Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son Archie isn't a prince and doesn't have a royal title, but why not?
In Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, details about the discussion surrounding Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor‘s royal title and security were broached.
The tell-all chat saw Meghan open up on the struggles she faced marrying into the royal family and the fall-out that came from the way The Firm dealt with press attention. The couple also discussed their decision to step back as senior royals and their new life and home in LA.
Meghan claimed that royal family discussions about how Archie would not be a prince or have a royal title began while she was pregnant with him.
The duchess also alleged that there was a racist comment about the colour of Archie’s skin, made before he was born by an unnamed member of the royal family, and hinted that she feels her son’s race may have been a factor in him not being made a prince.
During a conversation about Archie not being given a HRH title, Oprah asked Meghan, “Do you think it’s because of his race? I know that’s a loaded question.”
“In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we had the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title and, also, concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan told Oprah.
“They were concerned that if he were too brown that that would be a problem?,” Oprah later asked.
“If that’s the assumption you’re making…that would be a safe one,” Meghan responded.
Why is Archie not a prince and was he entitled to a royal title?
Meghan claimed that protocol was broken when Archie, who is seventh in the royal line of succession, wasn’t made a prince, adding that it was ‘denying him his birthright’ of a title.
However, royal protocol brought in by George V in 1917 states that only children and grandchildren of a sovereign have the automatic right to the title HRH and prince or princess.
“The grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of this realm,” the declaration states.
At the time of his birth, Archie was, and still is, a great-grandchild of the sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. Because he is not a grandchild of the Queen, he is not automatically entitled to a royal title.
And while his father, Prince Harry, is still a prince and could technically still be king one day, he is not the direct heir to the throne.
This means that when Archie’s grandfather Prince Charles becomes king, he will be entitled to a prince title.
Why do George, Charlotte and Louis have royal titles?
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all have HRH titles because they are in the direct line of succession and children of future king Prince Charles’ first-born son, Prince William, who is also the heir to the throne.
They are also the only three of the Queen’s nine great-grandchildren to have royal titles – so Archie isn’t the only one without one.
Prince George is likely to be king one day, after his father Prince William and his grandfather Prince Charles, so was automatically entitled to a prince title at birth.
The Queen did change the rules after George’s birth so that his siblings could be given prince and princess titles too.
Is Archie in line to the throne?
Yes, Archie is seventh in line to the throne.
His father Prince Harry is sixth in the royal line of succession behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – however he and Archie will be bumped up if William and Duchess Catherine have more children.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter, who is due to be born in the summer, will take her place as eighth in line to the throne, but likely won’t have a title either.