In a recent announcement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children, Archie and Lilibet, have been officially granted the titles of Prince and Princess. This development comes after much speculation and discussion surrounding their royal status. Let’s delve into the details and understand the significance of this decision.
Archie and Lilibet Granted Prince and Princess Titles
After the christening of Lilibet, it was revealed by the couple’s spokesperson that she would be referred to as “Princess Lilibet Diana.” This marks the first public use of her royal title. There had been ongoing conversations about whether both Archie and Lilibet would be bestowed with the Prince and Princess titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. Meghan had previously spoken about discussions held before Archie’s birth, where it was debated whether he would receive a royal title.
The current protocol, established in 1917 by King George V, grants HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles to the grandchildren of the monarch, excluding great-grandchildren. However, exceptions are made for the children of the heir’s eldest son. This explains why Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, the children of the Prince and Princess of Wales, were granted royal titles even during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. In line with this protocol, Harry and Meghan’s spokesperson confirmed that Archie and Lilibet will now officially be known as Prince and Princess. The Buckingham Palace website has also been updated to reflect their new titles, with Archie currently in the 6th position and Lilibet in the 7th position in the line of succession to the throne.
Styling as HRH and Exceptions
While it has been confirmed that Archie and Lilibet will hold the Prince and Princess titles, it is yet to be determined whether they will be styled as HRH (His/Her Royal Highness). The 1917 letter patent grants them the entitlement to use these titles, but the decision to adopt the styling remains unclear. It is noteworthy that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still retain their HRH titles, although they no longer actively use them since their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family in January 2020.
The use of HRH titles for grandchildren of the monarch is not mandatory. For instance, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, allowed their children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James Mountbatten-Windsor, to decide whether they would use these titles once they turned 18. Similarly, Princess Anne’s children, Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, were offered HRH titles at birth but chose not to use them. Thus, the decision to style Archie and Lilibet as HRH remains to be seen.
Details of Lilibet's Christening
Lilibet’s christening was held in an intimate ceremony at the family’s home in Montecito, California. The Right Reverend John Taylor, the Bishop of Los Angeles, conducted the ceremony. While it was reported that members of the royal family, including the King, Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, were invited, they did not attend the christening. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, was present, along with Lilibet’s godfather, Tyler Perry, as revealed in the Harry & Meghan documentary released on Netflix in December.
Meghan’s Decision Not to Attend the Coronation In recent news, it has been confirmed that Meghan Markle chose not to attend King Charles’ coronation in London. This decision was made to protect her peace and avoid drawing attention away from Charles duringthis significant event. According to sources close to the couple, Meghan expressed her desire to support Prince Harry from their home in California while allowing the focus to remain on the new monarch’s ascension to the throne. This decision aligns with their previous commitment to prioritize their mental health and well-being, as well as their desire for a more private life.
The Future for Archie and Lilibet
With their newly granted Prince and Princess titles, Archie and Lilibet’s role within the royal family is set to evolve as they grow older. As members of the younger generation, they will have the opportunity to contribute to charitable endeavors and represent the monarchy on select occasions, much like their older cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
However, it is important to note that Prince Harry and Meghan have consistently emphasized their intention to provide their children with a more independent upbringing away from the traditional constraints of royal life. The couple has spoken openly about their desire for Archie and Lilibet to have a childhood focused on normalcy, privacy, and the pursuit of their own passions and interests.
As Archie and Lilibet spend their early years in California, they are likely to experience a blend of royal traditions and American influences. Prince Harry and Meghan have shared their commitment to raising their children with an understanding of their heritage and the importance of philanthropy. It is expected that Archie and Lilibet will be exposed to both their British and American roots, fostering a diverse and multicultural upbringing.
The official granting of Prince and Princess titles to Archie and Lilibet marks an important milestone in their young lives. As they grow up, they will navigate the unique challenges and opportunities that come with their royal heritage. While Prince Harry and Meghan strive to provide their children with a more independent upbringing, their titles symbolize their place within the royal family and the potential roles they may play in the future.
As the world continues to watch Archie and Lilibet’s journey, their parents’ unwavering commitment to their well-being and personal choices will undoubtedly shape their experiences. Whether they choose to embrace royal duties, pursue their own passions, or strike a balance between the two, Archie and Lilibet will undoubtedly leave their own indelible mark on the British monarchy.