In what is perhaps the ultimate in first-world problems, King Charles is not expected to bestow an HRH honorific on Harry and Meghan Markle’s kids, but they will become prince and princess, it has been reported.
The Sun reports that the new arrangements, which will formalize the names of Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, are expected to be confirmed over the coming weeks.
According to a custom begun in 1917, the grandchildren of the king are given prince or princess titles. Great-grandchildren are not, but an exception is made for the grandchildren of the heir to the throne, which is why the Cambridge kids are known as Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
It’s why students of the unwritten British convention have declared that Meghan was wrong when she said in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that her children were denied a title unfairly.
However if they were not to be given the titles now that their grandfather is king, she would be proved quite right. And maybe, her supporters will say, this is what she meant all along.
There is no doubt that under the 1917 rules, their children should automatically become HRHs.
Equally, there is little denying that it would be very odd if Archie and Lilibet were publicly using the HRH title when their parents have been asked not to do so, and have agreed to that request.
King Charles’ office declined to comment on the report to The Daily Beast. The Sussexes’ office has been contacted for comment.
However the Sun says that the decision to not create Archie and Lilibet as His or Her Royal Highnesses (HRHs) has angered the children’s parents.
The Sun quotes a source as saying: “Harry and Meghan were worried about the security issue and being prince and princess brings them the right to have certain levels of royal security. There have been a lot of talks over the past week. They have been insistent that Archie and Lilibet are prince and princess. They have been relentless since the queen died. But they have been left furious that Archie and Lilibet cannot take the title HRH. That is the agreement—they can be prince and princess but not HRH because they are not working royals.”
There are plenty of other non-working royals who are HRHs, of course. Prince Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie spring to mind.
If the palace wants to now change the rules, going forward, to restrict the issuing of HRHs to “working royals” as opposed to grandchildren of the monarch, it is of course its right to do so. But that will represent a significant shift.
And the only people to lose out (at least until Louis and Charlotte have kids) will be Harry’s children.
Not a great look.