What Life Is Really Like for Royals Without Official Titles

Royals without official titles lead very different lives from their counterparts. Ahead, find out what it really means to be a royal without an official title. 

Being royalty without an official title means they won’t have an HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) before their name or any other titles we might commonly associate with royals including prince, princess, duke, or duchess. Royal titles can get confusing because one person might have a dozen titles they are called in different locations or on varying occasions but overall, not having a title means a variety of different things for royals.

Royals sometimes decline titles

It’s not exactly unheard of for royal family members to decline titles for their children. According to Town and Country. the British royal family’s Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips turned down Queen Elizabeth II’s offer of titles for their children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall (née Phillips). When Peter and Zara grew up and started families of their own, that meant their children didn’t get titles.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also decided against a title for their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, following his birth in May 2019.

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor held by his mother Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on Sept. 25, 2019, during a royal tour of South Africa
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor held by his mother Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on Sept. 25, 2019, during a royal tour of South Africa | Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Instead of a royal title making him a prince, the one-year-old is referred to as Master Archie.

More and more royals seem to be moving away from official titles for their children. In 2019, the King of Sweden stripped his five grandchildren of their royal titles. The kids’ parents, the king’s own children, made public statements saying they were happy with the decision because it meant their kids were free to lead normal lives. 

When royal parents have declined official titles for their children in the name of giving them the most normal life possible, what does that look like in their day-to-day lives? 

Those without titles aren’t required to perform royal duties

While Prince George, the oldest child of William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, might one day gripe about having to attend one too many royal engagements, his cousin Archie won’t have the same problem. That’s because those without royal titles aren’t required to perform royal duties e.g. attend national festivities, dignitaries’ funerals, and receptions among other activities. 

They have more freedom

Because royals sans titles aren’t bound to perform royal duties, they have more freedom to do other things such as attend school, maybe work a job outside the royal family, and have more options when it comes to where they choose to live. 

Royals without official titles have more privacy 

In theory, royals without titles have more privacy because they aren’t in the spotlight as a result of not having to regularly attend high-profile functions. They can lead relatively normal lives meaning they might be able to get away with walking down the street do some grocery shopping without drawing too much attention.

Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall with their daughters Mia Tindall and Lena Tindall on. Sept. 9, 2018
Mike Tindall and Zara Tindall with their daughters Mia Tindall and Lena Tindall on. Sept. 9, 2018 | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

While royals without titles certainly have more freedom and privacy, that isn’t to say those with official titles don’t also have some level of the same things. Princess Beatrice of York and her younger sister Princess Eugenie of York both have jobs outside of the British royal family. While they’re public figures, they’re certainly not in the royal spotlight as often as other senior members of the British royal family.