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Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Son Archie Will Only Become a Prince if This Happens

Here's an explainer on how the royal family's succession works.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Archie
Image: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx.

Long way to go. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son Archie will be a prince when Prince Charles becomes the king of England. According to Express, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 1-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, will become an official prince (just like his dad) when his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king after Queen Elizabeth II steps down.

Meghan and Harry chose not to give Archie, who is seventh in line for the British throne, when he was born in May 2019. The couple, who announced their decision to step down as senior members of the British royal family in January, have since moved to Santa Barbara, California, with Archie, where they’re living in a multi-million-dollar home in Montecito near celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. According to a Sunday, August 23, report by Express, it will be Archie’s decision whether he wants to keep the title and be called His Royal Highness when he turns 18 years old. Meghan and Harry, for their part, kept their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles when they left the United Kingdom but are no longer using His and Her Royal Highness as parts of their monikers.

After Charles, the current line of succession is Prince William and his three children—Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2—followed by Harry and then Archie.

Archie, like his cousins, will be subject to the 2013 Succession of the Crown Act, which requires him to seek permission from the monarch to marry. (By the time he’s old enough for marriage, Charles or William should be on the throne.) “Should the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wish to marry, they will be required to seek the sovereign’s permission,” royal expert Iain MacMarthanne told the Express.

Though Archie is seventh in line at the moment, his position could change if one of William and Kate Middleton’s three children get married before Archie. If that happens, Harry and Archie would be bumped down the line. The Duke of Sussex and his son could also be moved down the line of succession if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a fourth child. Though, it doesn’t seem like Harry is too worried about his place in line for the throne. In March, a source told Us Weekly that the Duke of Sussex is protective over his son when it comes to royal traditions.

“He wants to shield his son from the negativity and tension he would’ve been exposed to back in England,” the insider said. “[Harry] knows what it’s like to grow up in the spotlight, and he wants to give Archie the most normal upbringing possible.”

In January, Meghan and Harry promised to still support the Queen as they moved to North America to raise their son. “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the two wrote on their Instagram at the time. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

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