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Monday, November 29, 2021

Why does Harry and Meghan’s son Archie not have a royal title?

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Meghan suggested in her interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday that her and Prince Harry’s son Archie was denied the title of prince by Buckingham Palace and that the decision was “different from protocol.”

However, a royal decree suggests Archie doesn’t have the birthright to be a prince, yet.

In the sit-down interview, Meghan expressed her shock at being told Archie would not get police protection because he did not have a title, and suggested that the decision was made based on his mixed race.

Meghan said she was upset at the “idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.”

“In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we [had] the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also, concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan said during the interview.

Meghan and Harry declined to comment on who was involved in those conversations.

When asked if Archie being a prince was important to her, Meghan said she would have accepted a title for him if it “meant he was going to be safe,” but noted that it was “not our decision to make.”

Despite being seventh in line for the throne, the currently titled Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was not automatically made a prince when he was born on May 6, 2019 due to a more than century-old royal rule.

Thanks to King George V’s 1917 decree, only the oldest son of the Prince of Wales’ oldest son (Prince William) is entitled to be called His Royal Highness or Prince. That means that only Prince George, not his siblings or cousins, is supposed to be called a prince.

However, the Queen intervened on behalf of Prince George’s younger siblings in 2012 and issued a new Letters Patent, which gave all of the future monarch’s children the right to be called princes and princesses.

In Harry’s case, the Queen didn’t change the rules again to allow his children to be referred to as His or Her Royal Highness and a prince or princess. Since Archie is not the descendant of a direct heir to the throne, he therefore does not inherit a title, according to the 1917 patent.

CTV News Royal commentator Richard Berthelsen previously told CTVNews.ca that the only way Harry’s son would be called a prince is later in life when his father, Prince Charles, succeeds the throne.

“He’ll go from being a great-grandchild of a sovereign to a grandchild so he would be eligible to become a prince,” Berthelsen said.

However, this was prior to Buckingham Palace confirming last month that Harry and Meghan would not be returning to their duties and stripping them of their official royal titles and affiliations, making the couple’s split from the Royal Family official.

The couple still continue to use the titles granted to them on their wedding day, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

During the Oprah interview, Harry also revealed his strained relationship with his brother, Prince William, and said things got so bad with his father that at one point over the last year Prince Charles stopped taking his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through there,” Harry said when speaking about his father. “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like.”

The couple previously expected that Archie would be given a title after Prince Charles accedes the throne, but said in the interview that they’ve been told protocols will be changed to address the Prince of Wales’ plans for a “slimmed down” monarchy.

Archie is the first child of Harry and Meghan, who are expecting their second, a girl, this summer.

The Royal Family has not responded to any of the couple’s claims made in Sunday’s interview.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Jackie Dunham

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