Royal Baby Archie Might Become a Prince One Day — Here’s How
It’s very tempting to call Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby by the title “Prince Archie,” but doing so would be inaccurate—at least for now.
The firstborn son for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived on Monday, May 6 after weeks of fervent speculation on when, where, and how the birth would take place. Prince Harry appeared outside Frogmore Cottage to announce his son’s birth and his excitement was palpable.
The world had to wait two long days to see the first photos of the newborn baby and learn his name. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world with their name choice; Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor wasn’t even on the list of most likely monikers. Then again, could we expect anything less from them?
Baby Archie has no royal title for now and royal experts believe that’s quite intentional. However, there is a chance he could become a Prince in the future. Here’s how it could happen.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want their son to have a normal life
Royal fans undoubtedly noticed that Archie Harrison’s name announcement was missing one obvious component: a title. Though most people understood that the couple wouldn’t want the Prince title even if Queen Elizabeth offered it (like she did for Prince William’s children), it was still slightly surprising that Archie wasn’t given a courtesy title such as Earl of Dumbarton, one of his father’s titles.
Royal experts believe that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intentionally turned down titles for their child in an attempt to provide him with a normal life. Queen Elizabeth’s daughter Princess Anne did the same for her children Peter and Zara even when they were offered titles.
Archie could become a Prince later in life
The main reason young Archie isn’t a Prince has to do with the 1917 Lord’s Patent which was decreed by King George V. The rule holds that only grandchildren of the reigning monarch automatically receive titles—not great-grandchildren.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth can overrule this law and bestow titles to her great-grandchildren if she wants. That’s why Prince William and Kate Middleton’s kids are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
The interesting bit is that Archie Harrison’s grandfather Prince Charles will ascend the throne soon, which could grant him automatic access to that Prince title as a result. As the grandchild of the King, Archie would be just as much a Prince as his cousins, even if he is far down the line of succession.
The law could change when Prince Charles becomes King
One royal historian believes that the law will change in the coming years when Prince Charles assumes the throne. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Marlene Koenig thinks that the new Letter’s Patent will only allow children of the monarch and heir apparent (in this case, Prince William) to automatically become Princes and Princesses.
Again, Prince Charles could override the rule as he saw fit. But since it’s clear Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren’t interested in giving their son a title anyway, it probably won’t ever happen.
“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,” Koenig told Bazaar.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if Archie is a Prince or not—he’ll always be a treasured member of the royal family, no matter what he’s called.