Lilibet Diana: Nicholl discusses possible royal title
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their second child Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor on Friday, June 4. Despite being less than a week old, Lili has become eighth-in-line to the throne and her two-year-old brother, Archie, is seventh-in-line.
Archie is not currently a prince, nor is his newborn sister a princess, but they will both be entitled to a HRH title when their grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes King.
The royal tradition stems from Harry’s great-great-grandfather, George V, when he issued a Letters Patent in 1917.
George V declared the great-grandchildren of the monarch would no longer be princes or princesses, except for the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.
Only Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William, automatically became a prince.
Under the archaic rules, his younger siblings would not yet be entitled to a royal title from birth.
But, in December 2012, the Queen also issued a letters patent which said that all of Prince William’s children would be entitled to be princes or princesses and get the HRH title.
The Letters Patent in 1917 says: “The grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of these our realms.”
The children of Meghan and Harry will therefore become a prince or princess once the Prince of Wales becomes head of state.
Royal expert Joe Little said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have an important decision to make.
The managing editor of Majesty magazine told PEOPLE magazine: “As the grandchildren of the Sovereign, they have the right to be upgraded to the style of His or Her Royal Highness.
“But that begs a question of whether Harry and Meghan want that.”
Meghan and Harry could follow the route of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who did not choose to give HRH titles to their two children.
The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, also turned down royal titles for her children.
Mr Little added: “Do they prefer what Edward and Sophie have, and not have their children as Their Royal Highnesses with a view to them leading relatively normal lives?”
Meghan and Harry quit the Royal Family in the spring of 2020 and currently live in the US.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer use their HRH titles.
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Following a review earlier this year, the Queen also removed all military patronages from the couple after they confirmed they would not be returning to The Firm.
Katie Nicholl, royal editor of Vanity Fair, said it is “very unlikely” they will want royal titles for Archie and Lili.
She said: “Personally, I think it would be very unlikely that they will want titles for either Archie or Lilibet because they have left the Royal Family, they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.
“They don’t use royal titles so why would they want royal titles for their children.”
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