When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in May 2019, they decided not to give him a royal title. Mountbatten-Windsor is the official last name used for members of the royal family who do not have the «royal highness» styling. But that officially changed in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death on Sept. 8, 2022. Archie is now considered a prince as the grandchild of King Charles III. Similarly, his younger sister, Lilibet, is now a princess.
On March 8, 2023, for the first time, Harry and Markle referred to their children using their new royal titles while announcing Lilibet’s recent christening. In a statement (via People), a spokesperson for the Sussexes said, «I can confirm that Princess Lilibet was christened on Friday, March 3, by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev. John Taylor.»
Since stepping away as senior members of the royal family in 2020 — a decision they detailed in their Netflix docuseries, «Harry & Meghan» — Markle and Harry have opted to give their children an even more normal upbringing in the United States. But their kids’ new titles are all thanks to the rules of peerage, which dictate the British royal titles.
Archie officially became a prince when his grandfather Charles III acceded to king on Sept. 8, 2022. The current rules, issued by King George V in 1917, state that the title of prince or princess goes to the sons and daughters of the sovereign, grandchildren born to the sovereign’s sons, and the eldest son of the Prince of Wales’s eldest son (who would be Prince George today). This is why Prince Andrew’s children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, are princesses, while Princess Anne’s children, Peter and Zara Phillips, are not. The queen reportedly offered a «courtesy» title to Zara and Peter, but Princess Anne apparently declined.
However, the queen did make a change in 2012, decreeing that all children born to the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (aka Prince William) would have the title prince or princess upon birth. Thus, we have Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Assuming no more changes to the rules are made, Archie is a prince — per the aforementioned 1917 rule. Archie could also inherit the Duke of Sussex and other titles from Harry one day. He’s already entitled to use one of Harry’s «lesser» titles, like the Earl of Dumbarton, but it appears they have decided not to use it yet.
According to People, Prince Archie and Princess Lili’s titles will be updated on the official royal website in due time, though Buckingham Palace did not respond to POPSUGAR’s request for confirmation.