Meghan Markle, 39, aired her upset at her and Prince Harry’s son Archie Harrison, one, not receiving a royal title at birth during the Sussexes recent interview with Oprah Winfrey. The Duchess seemed to suggest their son had been unfairly deprived of royal status when his cousins Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, were not.
A constitutional expert has explained why Prince William, 38, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s children have had royal titles and HRH styles from the moment they were born when the Sussexes’ children will not.
The matter of who receives royal titles is outlined by George V’s 1917 Letters Patent which states children and grandchildren of the presiding sovereign automatically become a prince or princess and receive HRH styles at birth.
Given that Archie is the Queen and Prince Philip’s 8th great-grandchild he does not fall within the category of royals who get titles from the moment they are born but then neither do George, Charlotte and Louis.
George, Charlotte and Louis, like Archie are great-grandchildren of the Queen but unlike their little cousin, they are high up in the line of succession.
Mr MacMarthanne explained: “As with any child of the Duke of Sussex, they will have, upon the accession of Prince Charles, and unless George V’s Letters Patent of 1917 have been amended, the right to use the style HRH and the title Princess or Prince.
“Despite calls being made for the duke to be stripped of his titles, the fact remains he was born a Prince and it is by this fact that any children he may have will derive their own royal status.
“Unless changes are made through parliamentary statute, Letters Patent, or discretionary action this fact will remain unaltered as will the consequences of it.”
The expert added: “Presently there is no modern-day precedent for stripping a person born with royal style and title of same.”
Meghan and Harry quit life as senior royals last year and have since relocated to California.
The couple are likely to be based there for the foreseeable future and it remains unclear when they might return to the UK as a family.
Archie and his younger sister will be raised as private citizens and given that they will be based in the States it is not known how much contact they will have with their royal relatives growing up.