One of the most shocking claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey was that their son was denied a royal title due to his skin color.
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is Harry and Meghan’s seventh-in-line to the British throne. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, on the other hand, are Harry’s older brother, Prince William’s children.
“They” — presumably the palace — “were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince… which would be different from protocol” while Meghan was pregnant, she said.
She speculated that it could be because “the first member of color in this family is not titled in the same way that other grandchildren are.”
WHERE DID ARCHIE GO?
Archie is one of the Queen Elizabeth II’s nine great-grandchildren. Apart from Prince William’s three children, who are second in line to the throne and are destined to become king one day, they are not princes and princesses.
The titles of prince and princess are only given to the monarch’s children, the monarch’s sons’ children, and “the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales” — William’s son Prince George — according to a decree issued by King George V in 1917.
The rule was drafted, according to Bob Morris of University College London’s Constitution Unit, to reduce the number of princely titles, which has become increasingly unwieldy.
“Queen Victoria had nine children, all princes and princesses, and then they had children and so on, and George V took the view… that something needed to be done to tidy up the situation,” he explained.
The queen has the authority to change the rules, and in 2012 she declared that all of Prince William and Catherine’s children would be princes and princesses, not just the eldest.
Archie is not a prince under the George V convention, but will be once current heir to the throne Prince Charles is king.
“They want to change the convention for Archie,” Meghan said in her interview.
It’s unclear what she was referring to, but Morris claims that Prince Charles has stated that he “favors a smaller royal family” when he ascends to the throne.
Coverage in Detail: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was one of Archie’s courtesy titles at birth. It was reported at the time that Harry and Meghan had decided against bestowing a title upon him.
“It wasn’t our decision to make,” Meghan told Winfrey.
ARCHIE’S SECURITY IS AFFECTED BY THE TITLE.
Archie “wasn’t going to receive security” without a title, Meghan feared.
However, having a royal title like prince or princess does not guarantee security. Taxpayer-funded police bodyguards are provided to full-time working royals, such as Meghan and Harry before they moved to America last year. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the daughters of Prince Andrew, do not have jobs outside the family.
WHAT DOES THE PALACE HAVE TO SAY ON THE MATTER?
The interview’s specific allegations were not addressed by Buckingham Palace. “The issues raised, particularly the issue of race, are concerning,” the group said in a statement. While some memories may differ, the family will discuss them privately.”