Ever since the royal family gained its newest member, the world has been obsessed with all things Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. And now that Archie’s private christening is complete, fans are circling back to a seemingly ubiquitous question about the royal title of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archie. Is he a prince? A lord? Inquiring minds need to know what to call His Royal Adorableness.
As it turns out, this is a complicated topic defined largely by speculation. However, here’s what we know for certain. On May 17, Buckingham Palace released baby Archie’s birth certificate, which revealed he had not been given a title. Since Archie is seventh in line to the throne and the son of a prince — not to mention Archie’s cousins George, Charlotte and Louis were all given the title of prince or princess — this confounded fans. There’s a perfectly logical explanation, though. Two, actually.
First, per the UK’s Express, the Queen’s grandfather, King George V., issued a decree limiting the use of royal titles only to the kids and grandkids of the sovereign and to the eldest son of the eldest son of the heir. So, as far as royal great-grandkids go, that covers Prince George. In 2013, though, the Queen made an exception to include Charlotte and Lois, who are fifth and sixth in line to the throne. While the fact that the Queen’s unlikeliness to make the same exception for Harry and Meghan’s children might seem like a snub, the reality is that Harry and Meghan have reportedly opted not to give baby Archie a title.
“This is a deliberate choice from his parents, as they wish to keep Archie’s upbringing as normal as possible,” the Express explained. In fact, the surname given to baby Archie was the first major hint that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be going title-free. Victoria Arbiter, a royal expert and commentator for CNN, told the Express, “What happens is Mountbatten-Windsor is used by the members of the family who don’t have a technical surname when a surname is required.”
If Harry and Meghan had so chosen, baby Archie could have had at least one title: Earl of Dumbarton, a subsidiary of his father’s titles. Their subsequent children can also be Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would like. And, finally, if and when Prince Charles becomes king, baby Archie will automatically have the right to use the title of “Prince” (due to that decree made by King George V. about titles going to the kids and grandkids of the sovereign).
It remains to be seen how, at that point, Harry and Meghan will decide to handle the addition of such a title. For now, however, baby Archie remains title-less.
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