It's official: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's kids Archie and Lilibet have received the titles of prince and princess, respectively.
The news came subtly on Wednesday when the couple's spokesperson announced Lilibet's christening in a statement: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
Buckingham Palace updated their website early Thursday to reflect the new titles. Now the siblings are referred to as Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex, whereas before they were listed as Master Archie and Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
Archie, 3, and Lili, 1, became eligible for prince and princess titles when their grandfather Prince Charles became King Charles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September. However, the king had not yet made it publicly official.
A letters patent issued under George V in 1917 allows for the grandchildren of the sovereign and the children of the Prince of Wales to have prince and princess titles. Earlier, as great-grandchildren of the queen, they weren't yet eligible, though Archie received the courtesy title of Earl of Dumbarton.
Archie and Lili's prince and princess titles are only for formal purposes and not everyday use, according to People.
The announcement comes in the wake of heightened interest in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back from their royal roles in 2020 and recently openly discussed their life in the Palace, and the fallout of their exit, in a Netflix docuseries and memoir.
When Archie was born in 2019, Buckingham Palace announced that Harry and Meghan decided to opt out of using titles for their children. However, in the couple's 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan clarified that the choice was made for them. “It was not our decision to make,” she said.
She added that they had some interest in using titles, not for the prestige but because of the security and protections that come with it. “They said [he's not going to get security], because he's not going to be a Prince,” she explained. “Okay, well, he needs to be safe so we're not saying don't make him a Prince or Princess, but if you're saying the title is what's going to affect that protection, we haven't created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder you've allowed that to happen which means our son needs to be safe.”
Some members of the royal family have opted out of using royal titles. For example, Princess Anne, daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth, did not give titles to her children Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips.
Archie and Lili have not (yet) received HRH (his/her Royal highness) titles, and it's unclear if King Charles will allow it if they are not working royals. Meghan and Harry themselves who lost their HRH titles when they stepped back from royal duties. Still, this caused some friction with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, again for security reasons. A source told The Sun in September, “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.”
This story has been updated.2023-03-09T15:13:21Z dg43tfdfdgfd