Harry and Meghan’s children can be known as prince and princess

Lilibet (left) and Archie (in Meghan’s arms) are entitled to the titles unless the new King Charles changes the rules (Picture: Getty Images/PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children are now entitled to be known as a prince and princess following the Queen’s death.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, is now technically a prince – a title which Meghan had controversially claimed was previously denied to him because of his race.

His younger sister, Lilibet – named after her late great-grandmother the Queen and known as ‘Lili’ – is also entitled to be a princess.

Last year it was suggested that the new King Charles intended to prevent Archie, three, from becoming a prince when he ascended to the throne, in a bid to limit the number of key royals.

The current rules, as set out in 1917 by King George V, mean Archie and Lili, one, also have a HRH title if they would like to use it, since they are children of a son of a sovereign.

If Charles wishes to change those rules, he will have to issue a Letters Patent amending Archie’s right to be a prince and Lili’s right to be a princess.

Until that happens, Archie and Lili will remain a prince and princess, whether their parents choose to use the titles or not.

Queen Elizabeth II dead: Key details

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after 70 years on the throne, with her death announced by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022.

She died at the age of 96 surrounded by her family at her home in Balmoral, including her son and heir to the throne Charles, the Prince of Wales, and her grandsons, the Duke Of Cambridge, Prince William and the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry.

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The Sussexes stopped using their own HRH styles after stepping down as senior working royals for a life in the USA, and there were later calls for their duke and duchess titles to be removed.

Prince Harry, with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in 2019 (Picture: WireImage)
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor is one (Picture: PA)

If Harry and Meghan decide that Archie and Lili will be known as a prince and a princess, the move will be in stark contrast to how Harry has spoken about the burden of having a title.

Harry, who sadly arrived at the Queen’s bedside after she died, repeatedly stressed the importance of wanting to be seen as normal and confessed in 2017 that he once ‘wanted out’ of the royal family – which became a reality in 2020.

The former soldier said the time he spent in the Army, when he was ‘just Harry’, was ‘the best escape I’ve ever had’.

In the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan has claimed that Archie was not given the title of prince because of his race.

However, when Archie was born seventh in line to the throne in May 2019, he was too far down the line of succession.

Prince Harry arrives at Balmoral shortly after his grandmother died (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Although he was a great-grandchild of the monarch, he was not a first-born son of a future king, so was not automatically a prince.

He could have previously used the courtesy title Earl of Dumbarton, or been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

But Buckingham Palace said the duke and duchess made a personal decision that he should be Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor instead.

A royal source said following Archie’s arrival that the couple had chosen not to give him a courtesy title ‘at this time’.

Prince Harry is close to his cousins, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, and may have taken their experiences on board.

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Royal author Penny Junor explained: ‘(Harry) looked at Zara and Peter and it was so much easier for them than for him.

‘He was constantly the centre of attention. His friends were targeted whenever he did anything wrong or misbehaved in any way.

‘We knew nothing about Zara or Peter when they were growing up because they were ordinary children going to ordinary schools and were not being treated in any special way.’

Zara, who grew up as Miss Zara Phillips, was not entitled to be an HRH because she was born in the female line as the offspring of the daughter of a sovereign.

She has spoken of how not having a title was a blessing.

‘I’ve been very lucky. My parents didn’t give us titles, so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s very difficult to shed it,’ she said.

Meghan said she and Harry wanted Archie to be a prince so he would have security and be protected.

But being a prince or princess does not automatically mean royals have police bodyguards paid for by the taxpayer, and the Sussexes have chosen to live in the US.

Archie is technically history’s first Prince of Sussex and Lili the first Princess of Sussex.

The previous 19th century Duke of Sussex – an eccentric son of King George III – had both his marriages deemed illegal.

Eventually Archie will be entitled to succeed Harry as the Duke of Sussex.

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