Why Harry and Meghan's daughter, Lilibet Diana, doesn't have a title

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·5-min read

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have welcomed their second child, a daughter, into the world and revealed that they've decided to name her Lilibet Diana. 

While she's been born into the royal family, Lilibet won't be given a princess title, just like her brother, Archie, isn't known as a prince. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak with Oprah Winfrey during their CBS special interview
Meghan said her son Archie was denied a royal title by the Palace in an interview with Oprah. Photo: CBS.

Making the announcement on their Archewell website, the couple said Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on Friday, 4 June at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, was "more than we could have ever imagined" and is now "settling in at home".

In a message of thanks from Meghan and Harry on the Archewell website, they said: "On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili.

"She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe.

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"Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”

The couple asked anyone wishing to send a present to support organisations working for women and girls.

What title with Lilibet Diana use?

Despite being seventh-in-line to the British throne, the Sussex's firstborn, two-year-old Archie, does not have a title. He is known as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

The reason why Archie doesn't have a title isn't wholly clear, with Meghan telling Oprah Winfrey in March that her son was denied the title of 'prince' by the Palace, a move that she says goes against royal protocol.

The Palace, however, refuted the duchess' claims and instead referred to an old royal rule put into place over 100 years ago by King George V as the reason Archie isn't an HRH like his cousins the Cambridges.

So, with all that drama fresh in our minds, the big question is: will the same happen for their daughter?

Will Harry and Meghan's daughter get a title?

The short answer is, no.

It's widely believed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby girl, Lilibet Diana, will not be given a royal title such a 'princess' as was the case with her older brother, Archie.

But that doesn't mean she has to miss out on some form of fancy title, as Raising Royalty author and royal historian Carolyn Harris told Town and Country.

"As a younger child of the Duke of Sussex, the new baby would normally have the title of Lord or Lady."

That also means that technically speaking, Archie could go by the title of Earl of Dumbarton because he is the heir to his father's Dukedom of Sussex, Earldom of Dumbarton and Barony of Kilkeel.

The longer and more complicated answer is, maybe — in the future. A 'Letters Patent' issued by Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, King George V, in 1917 could see both of Harry and Meghan's children gain the title of 'prince' and 'princess'.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019.
Will Archie's new little sister miss out on a royal title as well? Photo: Getty Images.

King George V's 'Letters Patent'

With the royal family rapidly expanding at the turn of the century, King George V's Letters Patent restricted the His/Her Royal Highness titles to specific members only.

They are: the current monarch's children, any grandchildren born to the monarch's sons and the children of the eldest son of the heir apparent.

Following these rules, all four of the Queen's children are either princes (Charles, Andrew and Edward) or princesses (Anne).

As grandchildren of the monarch through the male line, Prince Charles' sons Harry and William as well as Prince Andrew's daughters Beatrice and Eugenie were entitled to be known as prince or princess.

As grandchildren of the monarch through the female line, Princess Anne's children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, were not eligible for HRH titles. 

As the eldest son of the heir apparent, Prince Charles, Prince William's children — George, Charlotte and Louis — were all given titles unlike their cousin Archie, who is the child of Charles' younger son, Prince Harry.

That all might change when Prince Charles takes the throne.

Whenever that happens, Archie and his younger sister will graduate from being the great-grandchildren of the outgoing monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) to the grandchildren of the reigning monarch (King Charles), meaning they'll be eligible for HRH titles.

In that case, Archie will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Archie and his sister will be a princess.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex laughs with Prince Charles as Prince Harry chats with his brother, Prince William at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth day service on March 11, 2019 in London, England
Charles (pictured with Meghan and Harry in 2019) is rumoured to have plans to 'streamline' the royal family when he becomes king. Photo: Getty Images.

Charles' 'streamlined' monarchy

Just because the Sussex's children are entitled to royal titles doesn't mean they'll receive them.

Prince Charles is rumoured to have plans to 'streamline' the monarchy when he takes the throne, says Angela Levin, royal biographer and author of Harry: Conversations with the Prince.

"Prince Charles has wanted for a very long time to cut the monarchy down to save costs and to make people be worth the money that they get from the taxpayer," she told UK broadcaster talkRadio in April.

Angela theorised that Harry and Meghan — who now live in California after stepping back as senior royals in January 2020 — might be 'ditched' from the family altogether.

On top of that, several royals have already opted against Prince or Princess titles despite being eligible, as Carolyn Harris told Town and Country.

"There have been recent trends away from all male-line grandchildren of a monarch holding these titles.

"For example, the two children of the Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, are eligible to have the titles of His or Her Royal Highness but they are instead styled as the children of an Earl—Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn—rather than holding royal titles."

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