For the past six months following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, there has been speculation as to the royal line of succession, specifically where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children would be. Buckingham Palace has officially updated its website to reflect the new titles for Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana.
After King Charles III – Archie and Lilibet’s grandfather – became monarch in September 2022, the two received the titles of prince and princess, respectively. Archie is sixth in line for the throne while Lilibet, who was born in 2021, is seventh in line. The line of succession follows a ruling set out in a Letters Patent by King George V. The 1917 decree is outlined as, “The children of any sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such sovereign … shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of prince or princess prefixed to their respective Christian names.” Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is fifth in line for the throne just ahead of his two children.
In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex notoriously took a step back as senior members of the royal family. The couple moved their family to California prior to the arrival of their second child. At the time, the couple issued a statement on their royal Instagram page that read, “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
During the couple’s groundbreaking interview with Oprah in 2021, the former actress opened up about the discussion as to whether Archie would receive a royal title. At the time, Meghan was still pregnant with her first child. “They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess,” she recalled, “which would be different from protocol and that he wasn’t going to receive security. I was very scared of having to offer up our baby, knowing that they weren’t going to be kept safe.” She shared that there was “no explanation” as to why he wouldn’t receive a title.
Despite the previous discussions, the Letters Patent remained in effect and Prince Harry and Meghan’s children are now referred to as Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex.
Kate Fann (she/her) is the BabyNames.com celebrity blogger, as well as an established content writer, aspiring author, and social media expert. She has been featured in online publications such as Bolde, ManoByte, Medium, The Social Observer, and more. Kate has ghostwritten numerous romance novels and is currently working on publishing her own works in the Young Adult genre.
Kate lives in East Tennessee with her husband Casey and her two sons, Quinn and Noah. When she's not writing or scrolling Instagram, Kate can be found tasting delicious wines, playing with make-up, baking yummy treats, or hiking the beautiful Smoky Mountains.