Prince Harry turned down HRH titles for his children, claims expert

Archie and Lilibet: Commentator discusses titles

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Royal expert Roya Nikkhah has claimed that Prince Harry turned down the opportunity for his children to take on the HRH titles following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, telling his father that it “was not his decision to make for them”. Ms Nikkhah claimed King Charles asked his son whether he wanted the titles conferred on his children in a meeting between the pair but that the estranged royal dodged responsibility over the decision. This means that Archie and Lilibet could get the choice when they turn 18 either to take on, or turn down, the titles, though some have speculated that such a luxury could be removed before they come of age. 

The Sunday Times’ Royal correspondent told True Royalty’s The Royal Beat: “On the death of the Queen, Harry’s children, Archie and Lilibet automatically as grandchildren of the sovereign became HRH the Prince and Princess. 

“So they have got that now. But they have not been updated on the royal website with their new titles. They are still Master and Miss, whereas William and Kate’s new titles were instantly updated. 

“It is my understanding that this was discussed between father and son when Harry was over here. [King Charles] said, ‘What do you want, son?’ Harry said, ‘Well, I want my children to be able to decide about their titles when they come of age. It is not my decision to make for them. We can only do that if we keep the titles’. 

“Now they have the titles but it is up to Charles whether or not he allows them to keep them or he issues letters patent to remove them, and that is still unresolved.” 

As tensions between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear to remain strained with the rest of the Royal Family, there has been ample speculation about the titles that could be bestowed on Archie and Lilibet. 

King Charles III, even prior to his accession, had spoken about slimming down the Royal Family. 

It has been reported that the working royals will be reduced to seven or eight, limited to himself and the Queen Consort, two of his siblings, excluding Prince Andrew, and their spouses, as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

Though Harry and Meghan have not been working royals since leaving the UK in 2020, Charles’ announcement could still have a knock-on effect on Sussex’s royal titles. 

Royal expert Katie Nicholl, who recently wrote New Royals, told Palace Confidential that any titles conferred upon Archie and Lilibet would have to “come with a caveat”. 

She said: “If that does happen, it is going to come with a caveat. [Charles] is going to insist that Harry and Meghan are respectful of the institution if they are taking the titles of the institution. That is very important to him.”

Ms Nicholl added that “titles matter to Charles” and the new monarch takes very seriously the blessing, as well as the burden, of a royal moniker. 

But experts have claimed the possibility of HRH titles for Prince Harry’s children may be removed before they have the chance to accept them. 

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There has been speculation that King Charles could follow the model laid out by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, who recently stripped her grandchildren of their royal duties and titles.

Queen Margrethe stripped all those not in direct line of accession of HRH titles.

Ms Nicholl claimed constitutional experts, “who I spoke to for this book, the likes of Peter Hennessy and Doctor Ed Owens” all saw “this pattern of the British monarchy moving into a sort of European-style royalty”.

Ms Nicholl added: “And if that is the case, then possibly they’re not going to get these titles.”

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