Harry and Meghan's Children May Actually Not Have Their Royal Titles
A couple of months ago, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the blessed news that they were expecting their first child, to be born in the spring of 2019. With this new birth, a bunch of questions have surfaced regarding its title, the baby’s last name, and more. Luckily, we are here to clear things up for our readers.
In October 2018, Kensington Palace issued a statement revealing that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were expecting their first baby.
“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
This new baby will immediately become the seventh in line to the throne, above Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, but his or her title has yet to be revealed. Let’s talk about everything we know so far.
The rules about titles
In 2011, when Kate married William, her official title became “Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales", while Meghan’s title is now "Her Royal Highness, Princess Harry of Wales". They cannot be referred to as Princess Kate or Princess Meghan because they were not born as royalty. This is one of the rules instated by King George V.
The Independent revealed that the letters patent made by King George V in 1917 said, “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 these Our Realms."
This means that Prince George, Prince William’s eldest son, is the only one entitled to the official title of “prince”, and he is the only grandchild of the Queen who can have it. But, what does this mean for Harry and Meghan’s children? Their kids will be given the title of Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor, which is a surname picked by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, in 1960.
However, we know that Princess Charlotte and newborn Prince Louis were given their titles by the Queen herself, who has the right to do so at their births. The monarch issued letters patent, just like King George V, so that William and Kate’s kids would enjoy the title and benefits of prince or princess. This applies to any future children of theirs as well.
"All the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honor.”
The Queen could decide to take the same action regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children, but we do not think it is likely because they will not be direct heirs to the British throne like their cousins. Furthermore, a less prestigious title might give them the freedom to live their lives more normally, especially because they have an American mother.
Their last name
Regarding their last name, as we mentioned earlier, they might be getting something different from the rest of the royal family. But do not start thinking of something like “Windsor-Markle”, because they are still noble, and there is no way the palace would allow that Americanism. Most British royals do not use their last name because their title defines them.
However, if Harry and Meghan’s children are expecting to grow up more normally than their cousins, then they will need them just like anybody else. For example, most of the nobles have used their surnames when applying to school or going to the military. First, let’s talk about Prince George’s last name.
As the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at school, he is known as “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge”, and most of his friends know him as George Cambridge. The staff even placed that name in his personal backpack at school for his first day at Thomas Battersea in September 2017. This same strategy was used by William and Harry at school.
Since their father is Charles, Princes of Wales, they were known as William Wales and Harry Wales, when they went to the military academy. Therefore, even though Harry and Meghan's kids might take the title of Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor, they could also use surname Sussex for school or anything else that they need.
Mountbatten-Windsor is technically the last name of all of Queen Elizabeth II's children. It was chosen in 1960, combining the royal family name with Prince Philip’s surname from his maternal grandparents. They wanted it to mark their lineage of future heirs, but it’s unclear whether anyone actually uses it anymore.
Meghan Markle was supposed to take that surname after she married Prince Harry, but it seems that no one calls her Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor, as they have decided to keep calling her the Duchess of Sussex. In our opinion, it’s better that way, especially because her children are going to use “Sussex” as their last name most of their lives. Unless the rules change in the future.
What did you think of these interesting facts regarding the titles and the surnames of royals? Is it a bit complicated? We hoped this article cleared things up for you. We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment below and share this with all your friends who need to understand this distinction.
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