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The children of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now Princes and Princess respectively thanks to a little-known edict issued by King George V, the Queen’s own grandfather, more than a century ago. The revelation directly contradicts remarks by Meghan in her explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. Specifically, Meghan spoke of her “pain” at Archie being denied a Royal title.
However, her suggestion that Archie had been deliberately excluded is not borne out by the facts as set out in a legal instrument known as a letters patent, issued by George V on November 30, 1917.
Specifically, this states that “the children of any Sovereign of these Realms and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales 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 or with their other titles of honour”.
In effect with the Queen’s son becoming King Charles III, his grandchildren, including Archie and baby sister Lilibet automatically became Princes or Princesses.
Queen Elizabeth II and (inset) Meghan Markle and Lilibet
Lilibet will be a Princess in accordance with the letters patent of 1917
The proclamation also says the “grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line … shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms’ (ie, Lord or Lady before their Christian name)”.
Furthermore “save as aforesaid the style title or attribute of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess shall not henceforth be assumed or borne by any descendant of any Sovereign of these Realms”.
Speaking to the talk show host in an interview screened by CBS on March 7, 2021, and on ITV in the UK the following day, Meghan denied any attachment to what she called the “grandeur” of Royal titles.
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However, she said her concern was related to “the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be”.
The only way Meghan and Harry’s children could be prevented from having Royal titles would be if King Charles III was to amend the letters patent to stop them from doing so.
Meghan and Harry stopped using their own HRH styles after stepping back as frontline Royals and moving to the United States at the start of 2020.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markel with Archie in 2019
When Archie was born, he could have been afforded the honorary title of Earl of Dumbarton or Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Instead, the Royal couple opted for plain Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry himself has spoken in the past of the “burden” of having a Royal title, claiming his time in the British Army, during which he was known simply as “Harry”, was “the best escape I’ve ever had”.
Also during the Oprah interview, aired when the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh was unwell in hospital, Harry spoke of his respect for his grandmother.
Meghan said “The Queen has always been wonderful to me” and said she would phone her “just to check in”.
She said the Queen gave her some “beautiful” pearl earrings and a matching necklace on their first engagement together and shared a blanket with her in a car.
However, Harry later appeared to suggest, in a mental health podcast, that his father, the Prince of Wales, and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had failed as parents, while the family was still mourning Philip’s death.
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He explained: “If I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.
“It’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Sussexes for comment via Archewell.