Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children will not be called “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness,” according to reports.
King Charles III has agreed to bestow the titles of “Prince” and “Princess” on Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, but has refused to allow them to be known as HRH.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were similarly stripped of the “HRH” after they moved to the US in 2020.
Here’s what you need to know about the title, and why it matters.
What does ‘HRH’ stand for and how are ‘HRH’ officials treated differently?
HRH stands for “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness.”
King George V declared in 1917 that both sons and daughters of the ruling monarch, as well as grandchildren from the sovereign’s male line, were entitled to be called HRH.
Queen Elizabeth II changed the rule in 2012, declaring that all children of the Prince of Wales’ eldest son — Prince William — would be entitled to HRH titles. The change did not mention Charles’ younger children, leaving Prince Harry in a gray area. The Queen made her announcement before William and Kate Middleton had their first child, meaning that their daughter would be granted the title as well.
An “HRH” title gives access to a salary as a working royal, and entitles one to official protection and security.
It also means people are supposed to bow or curtsy when an HRH approaches.
Who currently holds an ‘HRH’ title in the United Kingdom?
The title is currently held by King Charles III; Queen Consort Camilla; Princess Anne; Prince Edward; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Prince William; Princess Kate; their three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte; and Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Both Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York, were stripped of the titles when they divorced their respective husbands, Charles and Andrew.
Who is in line to receive the title?
Harry and Meghan believe their children have a right to the title, but it is becoming increasingly clear they likely won’t receive it.
In 2021, Meghan told Oprah Winfrey she learned while pregnant with her son that he wouldn’t get the HRH title, and said she was appalled by “the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that the other grandchildren [were].”
“All around this same time — we have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said at the time.
Archie and Lilibet, currently called “Master” and “Miss,” are expected to take the “Prince” and “Princess” titles without the HRH.
King Charles III has said he won’t reveal the new titles for Archie and Lilibet during the mourning period for Queen Elizabeth II.
Should William and Kate have another child, that child will automatically be given an HRH title.