As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcome their first child into the world, we take a look at what title Baby Sussex is set to receive upon his birth
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have kept many details of their pregnancy tightly under wraps.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harrywelcomed their first child into the world today (May 6, 2019) and speculation about the birth and the baby’s name is still running wild.
However there is one thing that we know for sure – the little one will not be a prince unless the Queen steps in.
That’s because King George V – Harry’s great great grandfather – limited titles within the royal family in 1917.
This means Harry and Meghan’s first born, as a great-grandchild of the Queen, is too far down the line of succession to be an HRH.
The baby is seventh in the line, pushing Princess Eugenie to 10th place.
George V declared that: “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 eldest son and heir apparent of a duke can use one of his father’s lesser grade peerage titles by courtesy, according to Debrett’s.
So Harry’s first song would become Earl of Dumbarton – one of the subsidiary titles Harry received from the Queen on the morning of his wedding.
A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor, and any subsequent sons Lord (first name) Mounbatten-Windsor.
Sometimes the Queen does make changes to allow children to be HRHs and princes and princesses.
Ahead of Prince George’s birth, the monarch issued a Letters Patent to ensure the Cambridge children had fitting titles.
Without this Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would have been a Lady and a Lord instead, but Prince George, as the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, would still have been a prince.
The Queen could decide to do the same for Harry and Meghan’s baby boy, but has not yet done so.
The duke may choose to heed the words of his cousin Zara Tindall when discussing such matters with the Queen, and deciding which titles his child should use.
Zara, who was born Miss Zara Phillips, has spoken of how not having a title was a blessing.
“I’ve been very lucky. My parents didn’t give us titles, so we’ve been able to have a slightly more normal upbringing. As soon as you’ve got a title, it’s very difficult to shed it,” she said.
Harry too has told of the pressures of being a prince and has always stressed the importance of being seen as ‘normal’.
He confessed in 2017 that he once “wanted out” of the Royal Family.
Harry said the time he spent in the Army – when he was “just Harry” – was “the best escape I’ve ever had” and he once considered giving up his title.