While Archie and Lilibet, children of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were legally entitled to be styled Prince and Princess when Prince Charles became King, they have not been used – until now.
An announcement from Montecito, where the family live, shared that Lili, as she is known, had been christened in a private ceremony at their home last week. A spokesman for the couple used the title, saying: ‘I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.’
A report from The Telegraph says The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the decision to use the styles for their children last year, but they were only informed that the Royal Family site would be updated at the beginning of this month.
Clearing up what had been a source of confusion, since Harry and Meghan were no longer using their HRH styles, it is thought the couple want to offer their children the chance to use their titles, if they wish, when older, instead of making the decision for them.
This therefore means that while a Prince and Princess, Archie and Lilibet will not be styled as His and Her Royal Highness.
A spokesman for the couple said of the issue: ‘The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became Monarch. This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace.’
The rules were set by George V in 1917, which meant the children and grandchildren of the Sovereign (via sons only) were automatically styled as His/Her Royal Highness and Prince or Princess.
There had previously been some speculation that The King would issue Letters Patent to limit the styles and titles further, excluding the young Sussexes as part of his long-expected plan to slim down the Monarchy – especially in light of Harry and Meghan stepping down from their roles.
In the couple’s interview with Oprah in 2021, Meghan explained she believed her son had not been made a Prince due to his race, and was therefore worried about his security – however the rules were set a century ago: ‘They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and [said] that he wasn’t going to receive security’.
‘The most important title I will ever have is Mom but the idea of our son not being safe and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.’
The palace has now updated the royal site’s line of succession list to reflect the change after yesterday’s announcement; Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, had previously been styled as Master and Miss on the site, as Harry and Meghan chose not to use his subsidiary title (The Earl of Dumbarton) for their son.
This could mean that the door has been left open for Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet to one day become working Royals.
People reports that The King, Queen and Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to Lilibet’s christening, but did not attend.