Baby Sussex Will Be the Closest American Citizen in Line for the British Throne

Could an American citizen ever become ruler of England? It’s unlikely, but now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are having a baby together, it’s also possible.

Baby Sussex isn’t even born yet and already he or she is breaking all kinds of records. First, an unprecedented number of Brits are placing bets on all sorts of details of the birth, from how big the baby will be to what name the royal couple will choose. People just can’t get enough of this tiny new addition to the British royal family.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children may have pushed Prince Harry further down the line of succession, but he’s still technically not that far from the throne – not that he even wants to be king. Currently, Prince Harry is sixth in line, meaning his son or daughter will be seventh. In a short while when Prince Charles becomes king, everyone will move up one place closer.

But the most interesting thing is that the new royal baby might technically be American and British, which would be a first for any British royal in the line of succession.

Will Baby Sussex be an American citizen?

There’s still some question over whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby will be an American citizen at all. In order to qualify for dual citizenship, Meghan will have to retain her current citizenship status when she gives birth, which will happen in a few weeks.

There’s no question that Markle is in the process of applying for British citizenship, too, but that process can take years and at a minimum, it can’t begin until Markle has been living in the U.K. for 12 months. That’s why most people assume the baby will be both American and British.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Even when an American gives birth to a baby abroad, that child is considered an American citizen so long as the parent meets citizenship requirements – which it appears Meghan Markle does. Only one parent must be a citizen for the baby to qualify. As for U.K. citizenship, the same rules apply – only one parent needs to hold that status for the child to automatically be British.

The New York Times reported that for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby to be considered a dual citizen, the couple would need to report the birth to the American consulate. It’s still anyone’s guess if they choose to do that, but most royal experts think they won’t bother.

Baby Sussex will be raised British

Prince Harry
Prince Harry | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

American born mom or no, Baby Sussex is being born in the United Kingdom and into a royal family who takes tradition, duty, and customs more seriously than most common folk. So even if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take a curious detour from common practice and given their child dual citizenship, make no mistake that the child will be raised 100% British. Accent and all.

Still, it’s pretty cool for Americans to think about having a potential citizen sitting so close to the British throne, both literally and figuratively. It’s history in the making for sure.