A constitutional expert has explained why Prince William, 38, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s children have had royal titles and HRH styles from the moment they were born when the Sussexes’ children will not.
The matter of who receives royal titles is outlined by George V’s 1917 Letters Patent which states children and grandchildren of the presiding sovereign automatically become a prince or princess and receive HRH styles at birth.
Given that Archie is the Queen and Prince Philip’s 8th great-grandchild he does not fall within the category of royals who get titles from the moment they are born but then neither do George, Charlotte and Louis.
George, Charlotte and Louis, like Archie are great-grandchildren of the Queen but unlike their little cousin, they are high up in the line of succession.
Prince George title: Why George has HRH from birth but Archie yet to get royal title
Prince George title: George is a direct heir to the throne while Archie is not
George is third in line to the throne and will be king after his father Prince William.
It was George’s royal ranking that prompted the Queen to change the law ahead of the birth of William and Kate’s first child so that any heir to the throne would not be born a commoner.
A similar move was made by her father who in 1948 issued new Letters Patent so that Princess Elizabeth’s children would have titles from birth too.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “The Queen herself was called upon to make a similar change when it came to the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.”
Prince George title: The Queen issued a Letters Patent to ensure the Cambridge children got titles at birth
“Just as her father had done it took the Queen issuing Letters Patent to remedy the situation.”
Meghan and Harry are currently expecting their second child, a baby girl who is due to be born this summer.
While their daughter will not have a title from birth, both she and Archie will receive titles and HRH styles when their grandfather Prince Charles becomes king.
Mr MacMarthanne explained: “As with any child of the Duke of Sussex, they will have, upon the accession of Prince Charles, and unless George V’s Letters Patent of 1917 have been amended, the right to use the style HRH and the title Princess or Prince.
“Despite calls being made for the duke to be stripped of his titles, the fact remains he was born a Prince and it is by this fact that any children he may have will derive their own royal status.
“Unless changes are made through parliamentary statute, Letters Patent, or discretionary action this fact will remain unaltered as will the consequences of it.”
Prince George title: Archie will only become an HRH once Prince Charles is king
The expert added: “Presently there is no modern-day precedent for stripping a person born with royal style and title of same.”
Meghan and Harry quit life as senior royals last year and have since relocated to California.
The couple are likely to be based there for the foreseeable future and it remains unclear when they might return to the UK as a family.
Archie and his younger sister will be raised as private citizens and given that they will be based in the States it is not known how much contact they will have with their royal relatives growing up.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK