Royals

Why The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby won’t be a prince or princess

Their children aren't automatically entitled to be HRH

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they are expecting their first child next year.

But their little boy or girl won’t automatically be given the title of prince or princess.

Even though Harry, 34, is a prince and his son or daughter will be seventh in line to the throne, that doesn’t necessarily mean his children will get the same title.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex And Prince Harry In Sussex
Meghan and Harry are expecting their first child! (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Read more: Meghan and Harry announce they’re expecting their first child!

It’s all because a Letters Patent issued by Harry’s great-great grandfather King George V in 1917 limited which members of the royal family could receive a title.

He said: “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 Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in Windsor
Meghan pictured at Princess Eugenie’s wedding on Friday (Credit: Splashnews)

It means that any children Harry and Meghan have won’t automatically get the title HRH unless The Queen steps in and issues a new Letters Patent to change that.

She did that for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children, Princess Charlotte, three, and Prince Louis, who was born in April.

(Photo by Brian Lawless - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
George was always entitled to be HRH because his dad William is the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (Credit: Brian Lawless – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The couple’s eldest son, Prince George, was always entitled to be HRH as he’s the eldest son of the eldest son (William) of the Prince of Wales (Charles).

But while Kate was pregnant with George, The Queen issued a Letters Patent declaring all of William and Kate’s future children were entitled to use HRH.

Bridesmaid Princess Charlotte of Cambridge waves as she arrives ahead of the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen issued a Letters Patent to ensure Charlotte and her brother Louis could be princess and prince (Credit: Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

If The Queen doesn’t step in this time, then Harry and Meghan’s first child will likely be known as the Earl of Dumbarton if it’s a boy or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor if it’s a girl.

Future sons would be known as Lord Mountbatten-Windsor.

Harry and Meghan may decide not to give their children titles like the Princess Royal did with her children, Peter and Zara, who were raised as Peter and Zara Phillips.

Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s pregnancy in a statement on Monday morning.

A spokesperson said: “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.”

It’s believed Meghan and Harry shared their baby news with the Royal Family at Princess Eugenie’s wedding on Friday.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives ahead of the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan sparked pregnancy speculation by wearing a loose coat to Eugenie’s wedding on Friday (Credit: Gareth Fuller – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Meghan’s mum Doria reacts to Royal Baby news

A palace rep said: “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.”

Speculation that Meghan could be expecting her first child arose when she wore a loose fitting navy coat to Eugenie’s nuptials and did not remove it throughout the ceremony.

The Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in Windsor
Meghan reportedly told the royal family at Eugenie’s wedding on Friday (Credit: Splash)

The confirmation came as she and Harry arrived in Sydney, Australia to start their first overseas tour as a married couple.

They will also visit New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji, with palace officials saying they had sought medical advice on their travel plans and would continue as they had planned despite the presence of Zika in Tonga and Fiji.

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