Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan debuted their precious, two-day-old son to the world with a short photo shoot and interview inside Windsor Castle today (May 8). Afterward, they took the baby, named Archie Harrison Mounbatten-Windsor, to meet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, by their sides.
The palace also confirmed the Sussexes decided not to use a royal title for Archie. As a courtesy title, Archie could’ve taken Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s own titles and what he’s known as in Scotland, or, as the BBC reports, simply Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. But royal reporter Omid Scobie points out that the lack of an official title for Baby Sussex indicates his parents’ hope for “as normal a life as possible” for him.
That’s because technically, Archie isn’t a titled royal by birth. According to the 1917 Letter’s Patent decreed by King George V, only grandchildren of the sovereign receive royal titles—not great-grandchildren. This is why Queen Elizabeth had to issue a Letter’s Patent declaring all children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge royals titled “prince” or “princess” in 2012. In fact, Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, had to do the same thing before the birth of her first two children, Charles and Anne, to give them royal titles. Otherwise, they would’ve been styled as children of a duke, after their father, the Duke of Edinburgh.
But when Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, ascends to the throne, Archie could receive a title. As ITV News royal editor Chris Ship points out on Twitter, Archie, as the grandchild of a sovereign, could become His Royal Highness Prince Archie.
However, Marlene Koenig, royal historian and founder of the Royal Musings blog, theorizes that a new Letter’s Patent will be released around the time Charles ascends to the throne that declares only “children of the sovereign and children of the heir apparent” as royal.
If this were to happen, Archie would not take a title. In this case, Koenig tells BAZAAR.com, “Archie will never be a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He will live a privileged life, but … will never have official engagements or royal patronages. There will be constraints on his life, but not the same ones that will keep the Cambridge kids, [who are] being raised as children of a future king.”
It’s unclear exactly what the future will hold, but for now, it’s evident Harry, Meghan, and both of their extended families couldn’t be happier to welcome Archie home.
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