Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved across the pond to start a new life, but they’ve kept certain aspects of their royalty intact. The couple continues to refer to themselves as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And they’ve been open about wanting their children to have royal titles as well.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kept their own titles after stepping away from the royal family
When Prince Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step down as senior members of the British royal family in early 2020, the world was stunned. The couple, who had been married for less than two years at the time, cited their desire to become financially independent.
Harry and Meghan remained under intense media scrutiny since their engagement and were reportedly unhappy with the way they were being treated by the British press. In addition, they wanted to create a more private life for themselves and their family, away from the constant attention of the media.
Despite this decision, the couple still retained their royal titles — Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Earl and Countess of Dumbarton, and Baron and Baroness Kilkeel. They used the titles for various ventures, including their Archewell foundation. They did, however, give up their His and Her Royal Highness titles.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want Archie and Lilibet to carry royal titles
Prince Harry and Meghan welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019. Archie was not given a royal title at birth, as his parents wanted him to have a more normal life. However, he remained entitled to the title of Earl of Dumbarton, which was declined by his parents.
On June 4, 2021, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter they named Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. Her name is a tribute to both her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II (whose nickname is Lilibet), and her late grandmother, Princess Diana. Lilibet was also not given a royal title at birth.
Despite stepping down as working members of the royal family, Meghan, and Harry still wanted their children to have royal titles. This is because the monarchy is hereditary, and titles come with a certain level of security detail. As members of the royal family, Harry and Meghan were entitled to the security provided by the British government.
However, after they left their royal roles, they had to find their own security arrangements. By giving their children royal titles, they ensure that they receive the same level of security as other members of the royal family. “They were saying they didn’t want him to be a Prince or Princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Meghan explained when talking about Archie’s title in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“Well, he needs to be safe, so we’re not saying don’t make him a Prince or Princess,” she continued. “But if you’re saying the title is what’s going to affect that protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder; you’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed Archie and Lilibet’s Prince and Princess titles in March 2023
Meghan and Harry have used the royal titles for their children in formal settings, such as their Lilibet’s christening in March 2023. And now, under the reign of Harry’s father, King Charles III, the children will officially be known as Prince and Princess.
On March 9, 2023, the Buckingham Palace website updated its line of succession page, referring to Harry and Meghan’s kids as Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex. They are sixth and seventh in line for the throne, respectively, according to Newsweek.
“The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became Monarch,” a spokesperson for the Sussexes told Good Morning America. “This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace.”