While the world is anxious in waiting for the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first baby, here is a little something you probably didn’t know about this unborn child.
King George V published in 1917 Letters Patent, in which is stated that only the grandchildren of a monarch or those in a direct line to the throne can hold a title prince or princess. “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,” the decree states.
This means that only Prince George can hold the title His Royal Highness, as he is the oldest grandson of Prince Charles. That means that Harry and Meghan’s baby will be Lady or Lord Mountbatten-Windsor. The only way for their child to be a prince or a princess is if Queen Elizabeth II dies before the baby is born, and Prince Charles becomes the ruler.
On the other hand, Queen Elizabeth II can use her power to make Harry and Meghan’s child a prince or princess, which she did for all three children of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
Prince Harry and Meghan can decide to not give their child a title, which is something Prince Edward did when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. The palace representative stated in 1999 that their decision reflected “the clear personal wish of Prince Edward and Miss Rhys-Jones, aka Earl and Countess of Wessex, as being appropriate to the likely future circumstances of their children”. Two children are known as Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.