King Charles III is reportedly waiting for his son Prince Harry’s memoir to be released before he decides whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children will inherit titles, a new book claims.
The New Royals book, by Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, claimed that Charles is waiting for the release of Harry’s memoir to decide if the duke’s children will receive their royal titles in an excerpt published byVanity Fair.
In the excerpt, Nicholl noted that, when Charles became King following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s two children inherited the right to be a HRH, with three-year-old Archie a prince and one-year-old Lilibet a princess.
However, she also noted that Archie and Lilibet’s royal titles haven’t been updated on the royal family’s website, and that the King has reportedly been “reluctant” to make any title changes in general.
“We know titles matter to Charles, and he reportedly wants to limit them to the top tier of royals. He is also reportedly reluctant for his brother Prince Edward to take the title Duke of Edinburgh, even though it was their late father’s wish,” she wrote in the excerpt.
The author also claimed that Charles “lobbied” for his wife Camilla’s title to be changed, as she became known as the Queen Consort after the Queen’s death.
According to a source that spoke to Nicholl, Charles is waiting to see what Harry writes about the royal family in his upcoming memoir, which is expected to be published in 2023.
“Would Charles go as far as barring Archie and Lilibet from becoming a prince and a princess now that the Sussexes are no longer working royals?” she wrote. “According to a source close to the King, ‘it depends a lot on what happens in the coming months, particularly with Harry’s book and their TV show.’”
Once Charles became King, Archie and Lilibet fell into the 1917 Letters Patent, the ruling that means all grandchildren of the monarch can inherit her His/Her Royal Highness (HRH) titles.
Although Meghan and Harry ultimately decide if their children will use these titles, Archie and Lilibet can still be styled with the titles. However, royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter told The Independent that it is still unknown if the King’s grandchildren’s titles will become official or not.
“[Archie and Lilibet] automatically become prince and princess, simply because that’s how the rules are laid out,” she said. “It remains to be seen whether Harry and Meghan will want it and the pressure that comes with that. Charles could change the Letters Patent, and, if he does change the Letters Patent, it’s not a slight to Harry and Meghan.”
Arbiter also noted that Charles might still address Lilibet and Archie’s title changes following Harry and Meghan’s highly criticised interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, in which the couple spoke candidly about their negative experiences as working royals.
“Public perception is everything,” she said. “At the end of the day, Charles wants to do whatever is favourable with the public.”
In the excerpt, Nicholl also claimed that, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to step down from their royal duties in 2020, the Queen was not happy.
She allegedly spoke to a source about Meghan and Harry’s decision, who claimed: “[The Queen] was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore.”
Elsewhere in the book, Nicholl acknowledged the tension between Harry and his brother, Prince William, after the duke officially left the UK in 2020. According to a source close to Charles, the King wants to mend the relationship between his two sons.
“He is hurt and disappointed but he has always said his love for Harry is unconditional,” the source said, before adding that Charles still wants to be a grandparent to Archie and Lilibet.
The Independent has contacted the Palace and a representative for the Sussexes for comment.