Following protocol? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s children are now eligible to receive royal titles — but no official decisions have been made about the potential new prince and princess.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex became parents in May 2019, welcoming son Archie one year after their royal wedding in London. Before the little one’s arrival, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the couple wanted him to lead as “quiet” a life as possible, which included not giving him a title like cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
When the Suits alum gave birth, royal commentator Omid Scobie confirmed that she and Harry had “forgone a courtesy title for their child,” tweeting that the move was “all part of giving him as normal a life as possible.”
Despite not being called a prince, Archie was seventh in line for the British throne when he was born.
In January 2020, the royal family was thrown into disarray when Harry and his wife announced their plans to step down from their senior roles. The decision caused them to officially lose their HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles and any public funding for their royal duties.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” Queen Elizabeth II declared in a statement at the time. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of the family. I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
A separate statement from Buckingham Palace added: “The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home. Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.”
The couple eventually moved to California, where they welcomed daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana in June 2021. She was named after Harry’s grandmother, who died in September 2022 at age 96. Her middle name is an homage to the late Princess Diana.
Following the queen’s death, King Charles III ascended to the throne, causing Harry, Archie, Lili and more to rise in the line of succession. Protocols put in place by King George V in 1917 assert that the children and grandchildren of a monarch are automatically able to earn HRH titles — but neither the palace nor the Sussexes immediately revealed whether Archie and Lili would accept their prince and princess titles.
Royal expert Craig Prescott previously told Us that the choice was in Charles’ hands. “It’s essentially up to the Monarch who gets royal titles and who doesn’t,” he explained in March 2021. “And it’s open to the monarch to change the rules so that Archie doesn’t become a prince.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Scroll down for a breakdown of the royal family drama: