Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s children may be given the titles of Prince and Princess when Prince Charles accedes to the throne, leading royal author Andrew Morton has claimed. The biographer, who famously penned Diana: Her Own Story while being secretly helped by the Princess of Wales, is convinced one of the first items on King Charles’s agenda will be the issue of Lili and Archie’s titles.
And these titles could be handed out during the next King’s reign while Prince Harry is further relegated to the sidelines of the Royal Family.
Mr Morton said that, unless the Duke of Sussex bridges the gap between himself and Prince Charles and Prince William over the next few years, he may lose his “chief ally” within the Firm when the Queen dies, as Harry is believed to have remained very close to the monarch even after stepping down as a working member of the Royal Family.
The author told Express.co.uk: “The big irony in all of this is that when Prince Charles comes to the throne, one of the first things he will be asked to do is to make Lilibet a Princess and Archie a Prince.
“So whilst Harry will be cast in the darkness, his children will have royal titles.”
Stressing how close the Duke of Sussex currently is to the sovereign and how the situation may change for him if the relationship with Charles remains fractured in the future, Mr Morton also said: “You could have Prince Harry distanced from the head of state, unable to get an appointment unlike now when he can just jump the queue.”
Mr Morton added when Prince Charles becomes King, he will be the “fount of all honours” and will be able to grant titles as gifts, much like the Queen has done during her reign. He added: “It’s going to be interesting to see which title they will get. “And Lilibet will be the first American-born princess.”
While the sovereign is indeed the source of all honours, the Letters Patent issued in 1917 during the reign of King George V established only the grandchildren of the monarch in the male line should receive titles.
The act provided an exception for one of the great-grandchildren of the monarch in the male line, saying the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales – who currently is Prince George – should also receive a title. The Queen amended her grandfather’s decision by including all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales among the great-grandchildren she could provide with a title.
The issue of titles for the children of Prince Harry and Meghan was raised during the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey, aired in March 2021.
Speaking about conversations happening behind closed doors, Meghan claimed unnamed people at the palace were “saying they didn’t want [Archie] to be a prince” and that “he wasn’t going to receive security”.
Meghan added she didn’t care much about the title itself, but rather wanted for her son the protection coming with the honour. She then seemed to acknowledge the Letters Patent by King George V, saying: “The idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be…
“You know, the other piece of that conversation is, there’s a convention — I forget if it was George V or George VI convention — that when you’re the grandchild of the monarch, so when Harry’s dad becomes king, automatically Archie and our next baby would become prince or princess, or whatever they were going to be.”
After saying it’s “not their right to take” the title away from her children, the Duchess added: “And so, I think even with that convention I’m talking about, while I was pregnant, they said they want to change the convention for Archie.” Following his birth, Archie would have been entitled to the courtesy title of Earl of Dumbarton, deriving from the title Harry holds in Scotland, but reports that emerged at the time of his birth claimed the Sussexes had decided against using it.
Speaking to Ms Winfrey, Meghan said it was “not our decision to make” when asked about having her son styled as a Prince. Archie was born on May 6 2019 at a London hospital and lived his first six months at Frogmore Cottage, the Sussexes’ official residence in the UK.
In mid-November that year, he flew with his parents to Canada for an announced six-week break from royal duties.
In March 2020, he crossed the Canadian border with Meghan and Harry and relocated to California as his parents were bowing out of the Firm as its senior members. Lili was born on June 4 last year and, alongside the rest of her family, paid her first visit to England earlier this month, during the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
She is believed to have been introduced to the Queen during the Sussexes’ stay in the UK, and celebrated her first birthday with a garden party attended by close friends and family of Meghan and Harry.