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Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Baby Won’t Be a Prince or Princess

Unless the Queen changes a law.


Let the royal baby fever begin! The palace announced that newlyweds Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are going to have a baby in spring 2019. But will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s child have the same titles as his or her cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis?

The answer is no, thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V’s Letters Patent, which was introduced in 1917: “…the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”

Basically, only Prince William and Kate Middleton’s son George is supposed to inherit the title of Prince of Wales and the right to be referred to as “his royal highness.” Queen Elizabeth changed this rule to give her beloved great-grandchildren Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis their titles.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s oldest boy will inherit one of the lower titles Harry had bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth at his wedding. His and Meghan’s oldest son will become the Earl of Dumbarton while his daughters and younger sons will be the Ladies and Lords of Mountbatten-Windsor, according to Debrett’s.

Although being earls, lords or ladies sure sounds better than no title at all. Plus, the Queen has been known to change her mind on titles before, so maybe she’ll allow her grandson’s child to receive titles after all.

Meghan and Harry’s future child will get a spot in the line of succession. He or she will be seventh in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and father Prince Harry.

Prince Harry has enjoyed being “the fun uncle” to his royal nephews and niece, so no doubt he will make an excellent father.