You've probably heard the good news by now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pregnant! (*Cue trumpets*)
And while we're having trouble trying to contain our excitement 'til April 2019, we wondered what this future royal baby would be called. Prince? Princess? Despite Harry and Meghan being bestowed their fancy titles from the queen herself, their future children may not receive the same honor.
Confused? Allow us to explain.
Per a royal family rule, the title of “prince” and “princess” (as well as “his or her royal highness”) are reserved for children or grandchildren of the monarch. This means that Harry and Meghan’s future children—let’s call them Arthur and Alice—would simply be Lord Arthur and Lady Alice Mountbatten-Windsor. (Not too shabby, but it’s no HRH.)
Wait, but what about George, Char and Louis? OK, here’s where it gets a little complicated. Thanks to another confusing (and um, sexist) rule, George was always entitled to be HRH Prince George, since he is the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. Charlotte, on the other hand, was not entitled to the same honor and would have been Lady Charlotte Mountbatten-Windsor had the queen not stepped in.
While Kate Middleton (aka the Duchess of Cambridge—still with us?) was pregnant with Charlotte, the queen issued a rule, stating: “All the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”
Now, back to Prince Harry and Meghan. One way for their baby to receive a “prince” or “princess” title would be if the queen made a similar rule change for them as she did for Charlotte. Alternatively, if Charles became king before Meghan gave birth, then baby Alice’s grandfather would sit on the throne, meaning that the royal title would be rightfully hers. (And you thought deciphering the Game of Thrones royal lineage was complicated.)
One thing we know for certain? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby is going to be adorable...
Additional reporting by Roberta Fiorito.