Archie and Lilibet won’t use HRH after becoming Prince and Princess
Archie and Lilibet: Commentator discusses titles
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While Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana became Prince and Princess when their grandfather, King Charles III, acceded to the throne, they have not officially been referred to using their new titles in public. That is until a spokesperson for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced that one-year-old Lilibet had been christened. A statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex read: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
However, while the Sussex children have now taken on the titles of Prince and Princess, they will not be given HRH status.
When Harry and Meghan stepped down as working royals, it was decided that the couple would no longer be allowed to use their HRH titles.
This effectively means their children are unlikely to inherit the coveted titles. As Katie Nicholl, Royal Correspondent at Vanity Fair, told Palace Confidential in October: “They wouldn’t get the HRH anyway because they wouldn’t be able to use it. Because Harry and Meghan can’t.
“But Prince and Princess are going to carry a lot more weight, of course, in America with what they do. And then, there’s the security issue attached to it.”
She added: “I think it is one of the legitimate reasons for wanting those titles. And Duke is the title that is owed to Harry because he’s son of the sovereign. And the rules at the moment are that the son of sovereign’s children will also take that title.”
The expert referred to a 1917 Letters Patent, which stated: “The children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign (as per the above Letters Patent of 1864) and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (a modification of the Letters Patent of 1898) shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess.”
However, as it was pointed out following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Archie and Lilibet remained styled as Master and Miss on the official Royal Family website, while their cousins — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — saw their titles change.
The late Queen had previously “issued a Letters Patent which gave the HRH Prince or Princess titles to all of the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales,” according to historian Marlene Koenig.
However, notably, she did not issue a Letters Patent to include Harry’s future children.
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Ms Koenig told Express.co.uk in September: “If there were plans for Harry’s children to hold the same titles before Charles became King, the Queen could have put in that Letters Patent: ‘The children of all sons of the Prince of Wales.’ She didn’t, she didn’t do it then. So the assumption was that they would be styled as children of a Duke.”
Similarly, royal commentator Victoria Arbiter described this as a “grey area” but argued Her Majesty’s 2012 Letters Patent “suggests Harry’s children were never destined to be burdened with an HRH”.
Writing for Australian outlet 9Honey last year, she noted: “Though many have cited the Queen’s 2012 decision to amend the 1917 Letters Patent to include all children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales as ample reason for him to follow suit, it’s important to note she only did so in response to the changes in the Laws to Succession.
“Knowing Harry would one day marry and have children of his own she could have altered the ruling to include all grandchildren of the Prince of Wales, but she didn’t, which suggests Harry’s children were never destined to be burdened with an HRH.”
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It is understood that both Archie and Lilibet’s royal titles will be used in formal settings, but not everyday use by the couple. Reports have previously claimed that both Harry and Meghan want the decision to be their children’s.
Last year, The Times reported: “Harry is understood to have expressed his desire to let his children decide when they are older, and to have emphasised that would only be possible if they were allowed to retain their titles now.
“The conversation is understood to have ended unresolved, and to have left the Sussexes dismayed.”
Members of the Royal Family, who are yet to refer to the Sussex children as Prince and Princess publicly, reportedly snubbed Lilibet’s christening.
The ceremony took place privately at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, last week.
A source told People magazine King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to the ceremony but did not attend.
However, it is understood that Buckingham Palace will respect the wishes of Harry and Meghan to use Prince and Princess titles for Archie and Lilibet. The royal website will also be updated to reflect their new titles.
According to an insider, there were 20-30 guests at Lilibet’s christening, including the Duchess’s mother Doria Ragland, close family friend and godfather to the one-year-old Tyler Perry and an unnamed godmother.
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