Is Meghan Markle a British Citizen?

Things are changing in Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry married actress and activist Meghan Markle, the two had a baby, Archie, together, and now the two are allegedly planning a move to Africa. One thing still hasn’t changed, however. Find out why Meghan Markle is not yet a British citizen and how her child was born a United States citizen.

Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle was born in the United States

When American-born Meghan Markle started acting in shows like General Hospital, Fringe, and Suits, no one knew she would one day become the Duchess of Sussex.

Yet, even after giving birth to Archie, Meghan Markle is not yet a British citizen. Now about a year after their wedding, the couple has their sights set on parenthood and improving the British Commonwealth in Africa.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Karwai Tang/WireImage

She married Prince Harry, a British citizen

Some countries do not allow their residents to have dual citizenship with another country. According to The Legal Beagle, the United States, as a policy, does allow dual citizenship. However, it generally does not endorse the program and instead approves on a case-by-case basis. Meghan Markle, the now-Duchess of Sussex, is definitely a special case.

According to The Cheat Sheet, before attaining citizenship, Meghan Markle needed a visa to temporarily stay in the United Kingdom. For that, Prince Harry had to make a minimum of $20,000 a year or have over $21,000 for her to be eligible. This, of course, was no problem for a member of the royal family.

After five years of having a family visa, citizens outside of Britain can be granted citizenship, according to BBC. The website says, “if someone comes to the country as the fiancee of a British citizen, they must marry within six months.” Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were wed on May 19, 2018, fulfilling this part of the citizenship requirement.

Recently, rumors speculate that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may head to Africa to “build on their work for the Commonwealth.” Their stay could extend for a few years and because the Duchess of Sussex is not a British citizen, this could delay the process. According to the BBC, the new mother cannot apply for citizenship if she has spent more than 270 days outside of Britain in the last three years.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor | DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Is baby Archie a British citizen?

The couple’s baby, Archie, was born in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2019, making him a British citizen. According to The Cheat Sheet, because Archie was born to an American mother, he was born with a United States citizenship.

Until the child is 18, he will most likely have to pay United States taxes. That also means the IRS will have the right to see notoriously private royal family accounts. After turning 18, Archie has a right to give up his citizenship. However, even his mother has not retracted her United States citizenship after a year of living in the United Kingdom.

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