British Royal Family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Children Become ‘Prince' and ‘Princess' After Queen's Death

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor are now entitled to the titles of "prince" and "princess" — unless King Charles III changes protocols

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is now technically a prince, a title the Duchess of Sussex previously alleged was denied because of his skin color. Archie is seventh in line to the British throne.

Their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, eighth in line in the order of succession, is now also entitled to the title of princess.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Markle said that while she was pregnant “they” — presumably the palace — “were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince … which would be different from protocol.”

She implied it might be a case of “the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.”

Meghan Markle is speaking out. During the Duchess of Sussex's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan claimed that there were "concerns" within the royal family about the skin color of her son with Prince Harry, Archie. "In those months when I was pregnant, all around the same time, so we have in tandem 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 was born," she said.

However, the only great-grandchildren of the late Queen Elizabeth II with royal titles were Prince William's three kids — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The other nine great-grandchildren, including Archie and Lilibet, are not princes and princesses.

That's because of a decree issued by King George V in 1917 limiting the titles of prince and princess to the children of the monarch, children of the monarch’s sons and “the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales” — that’s William’s son Prince George.

Bob Morris from the Constitution Unit at University College London, said the rule was drawn up to trim the increasingly unwieldy number of princely titles.

“Queen Victoria had nine children who were all princes and princesses, and then they had children and so forth, and George V took the view ... that something needed to be done to tidy up the situation,” he said.

The queen has the power to amend the rules, and in 2012 Queen Elizabeth decreed that all the children of Prince William and his wife, Catherine, not just the eldest, would be princes and princesses.

Under the George V convention, Archie would become a prince as the grandchild of a monarch once Charles is king, a post he ascended to on Thursday upon the Queen's death at the age of 96.

In her interview, Markle said she was told that “they want to change the convention for Archie.” It is unclear what she was referring to, but Morris said King Charles III has let it be known that he favored "a smaller royal family" for the monarchy, suggesting the Sussexes children could be excluded from the receiving titles.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are finally introducing their daughter, Lilibet, to the world through their holiday card. The festive card, which was released on Thursday, shows the family of four beaming with excitement as baby Lili giggles in the air while Meghan holds her up. This is the first time the Duke and Duchess have released a photo with their little girl.
NBC/The Associated Press
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