Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they’re expecting a baby, but the newest member of their family will not be given a royal title.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed their exciting news to the Royal family on Friday (October 12), before sharing it with the world today (October 15).
Meghan, who married Prince Harry in May, is due to have the baby in Spring 2019.
Kensington Palace announced the news in a statement, writing:
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.
Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted for the couple and were able to congratulate them on Friday at the wedding in person.
However, due to limitations put in place by Harry’s great great grandfather, King George V, Meghan and Harry’s baby will not have a Prince or Princess title like Prince William’s children.
According to the Mirror, King George declared:
The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.
In other words, Harry and Meghan’s baby, who will be a great-grandchild of the Queen, will be too far down the line of succession to be given a HRH title.
The child will be seventh in line to the throne, behind Prince Charles, Prince William and his three children, and the newborn’s father Prince Harry.
However, the Queen could change the limitations to allow Harry and Meghan’s firstborn to be a Prince or Princess. She did this for Prince William’s children ahead of Prince George’s birth, when the monarch issued a Letters Patent to allow William’s children to have fitting titles.
Although Prince George, as the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, would have been titled a Prince anyway, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would have instead been a Lady and Lord.
However, the Queen could make the same alterations for Meghan and Harry’s child.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently in Sydney at the start of their first tour outside of the UK and Ireland, which will see them visit Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga over 16 days.
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, issued a statement about the good news via Kensington Palace:
Ms. Ragland is very happy about this lovely news and she looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Queen lifts the restrictions on the child’s title…
Congratulations, Harry and Meghan!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.