Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan hold their son Archie at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2019. File Photo by Toby Melville/EPA-EFE
Sept. 10 (UPI) — The British royal family has updated its line of succession to the throne, raising questions about whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor will officially be named prince and princess.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the royal youngsters automatically receive the royal titles as grandchildren of a monarch under rules laid down by George V in 1917.
Archie and Lilibet, as great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth, did not immediately qualify for the title when she was alive.
But the royal family’s official website now lists Archie and Lilibet as “master” and “miss” respectively, placing them sixth and seventh in line after their father, rather than including their titles of prince and princess.
With the ascension of King Charles III, his son Prince William will be first in line to the throne, followed by his three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
In her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Meghan Markle suggested that the title of prince could be denied to Archie because of his mixed race.
“They didn’t want him to be a prince or a princess, which would be different from protocol,” Meghan said at the time.
She also said there were discussions when she was pregnant about whether the conventions would be changed if and when Charles ascended the throne.
Harry and Meghan cited harsh treatment by the British media in a manner reminiscent of the late Princess Diana, his mother, when they stepped down as working members of the British royal family in March 2020 and moved to Montecito, California.
Elizabeth’s death has also raised questions about whether Camilla, King Charles’ wife, will be known as “queen consort” or as “queen”.
In February, Queen Elizabeth backed a plan to name her son’s wife Queen Camilla in a decision that will affect the future of the British monarchy. It had long been questioned whether Camilla would take the title of Queen Consort or another title, such as Princess Consort.
“When my son Charles becomes king in due course, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support as you have given me,” Queen Elizabeth wrote in a letter at the time.
“It is my sincere wish that Camilla, when the time comes, will be known as Queen Gemalinde as she continues her own loyal service.”
Queen Elizabeth’s death came just after the 25th anniversary of the deaths of Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in a car crash in Paris after being chased by paparazzi.
Subsequent laws restricting such hunting by photographers in Europe and the United States, the birth of social media and COVID-19 lockdowns have combined to depress the value of such images since Diana’s death.
On Saturday, the royal family announced that the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth will take place in Westminster Abbey on 19 September and that she will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days before the funeral, so that the public can pay their respects.
William, the Prince of Wales, released his first official statement about his grandmother’s death on Saturday.
“While I mourn her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the Queen’s wisdom and reassurance in my fifth decade,” William said in the statement.
“I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grandma will truly feel real. I thank her for the kindness she showed my family and me.”