Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s two children may be entitled to royal titles after King Charles became monarch under a 1917 rule, no name changes have been announced for Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana.
Following Queen Elizabeth’s death on September 8, her eldest son Charles became King and announced that his wife Camilla would be his Queen Consort. He also said that his son Prince William and daughter-in-law Kate Middleton would inherit the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales. The royal family’s website was updated to reflect these changes, but Prince Harry and Meghan’s children were still referred to as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor” and “Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.”
Behind the scenes, there have been arguments over titles for Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.
Under current guidelines, grandchildren of a monarch could be princes or princesses. A rule established by King George V after he issued a Letters Patent in 1917 read: “…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.”
As monarch, King Charles III could change that rule, but it’s unlikely he’ll choose to do so.
A spokesperson said that nothing would be decided or said about the issue while the family was in mourning, a period that lasts one week past the funeral.
A source previously told PEOPLE: “Archie will almost certainly become a prince one day. Charles isn’t going to disavow his grandson, so it’s hugely unlikely that he’ll change the rules to stop it happening. The Charles also isn’t going to say that Archie can’t use the title any time soon.”
When Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, were married in May 2018, the Queen gave them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Archie was entitled to the “courtesy title” of Earl of Dumbarton upon his birth. However, the couple announced that they had not given him a courtesy title and he would be known as Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Down the line, Archie could be given the secondary Sussex title, before inheriting the dukedom.
The couple relocated to California after stepping back as senior members of the royal family in 2020.