What does Meghan Markle & Prince Harry losing their titles mean for their unborn baby & Archie & are they still royalty?

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have officially been stripped of their honorary titles and patronages, as they confirmed they won’t be returning as senior royals. 

Following their 12-month review of Megxit with the Queen, Buckingham Palace put out a statement saying the monarch was ‘saddened’ by the decision. 

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It said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.

"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

"The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.

"While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."

The titles Prince Harry, 36, is likely to be stripped of is Captain-General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command. 

As part of the couple's agreement with the Queen last year, Meghan and Harry retained their His/Her Highness titles but no longer use them, and they will still be officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Archie, currently seventh in line to the throne, remains a royal through his bloodline. 

Meghan, 39, and Harry chose not to give him a royal title when he was born. 

Archie could have been known as Archie, Earl of Dunbarton, using his father’s secondary title.

Royal patronages: what positions do Harry and Meghan still hold?

What have they lost and what have they retained?

Harry:

Former soldier Harry, who served on the frontline in Afghanistan, is no longer the Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, or Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands' Small Ships and Diving.

He has also had to relinquish his role as president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

The duke will no longer be patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League – roles which he took over from the Queen.

Harry is also no longer patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

The role was on a three-year term, which was renewed twice, covering nine years. It came to an end in January, and it was decided it would not be renewed.

He so far retains the following private patronages or presidencies: African Parks, Dolen Cymru, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, Invictus Games, MapAction, Rhino Conservation Botswana charity, Sentebale, and WellChild.

It is not yet known whether Harry will retain his two other rugby-related patronages of the Rugby Football Union All Schools Programme and the Rugby Football Union Injured Players Foundation.

Meghan:

The Queen handed Meghan two royal patronages in 2019, but the duchess loses these: The Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Meghan also has to give up her role as vice-president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

She keeps her two private patronages: Smart Works and animal charity Mayhew.

Royal historian, Marlene Koenig, pointed out: “By eschewing the courtesy title of Earl of Dumbarton, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are saying that their children will not be on the royal career path.

“Without the burden of a title – and no royal role to play – Archie will have a less constrained life, albeit with money and family connections, and with more opportunities outside the royal circle,” Town and Country reported. 

The Queen conferred the title to Prince Harry on his wedding day to Meghan Markle, along with Baron Kilkeel, which he is referred to when in Northern Ireland, and the former when in Scotland. 

But Archie is still the heir to all three titles, including the Duke of Sussex, and he could still become a prince one day. 

When his grandfather, Prince Charles, succeeds the throne, Archie, and his sibling, will move up a place in the line of succession. 

Archie will automatically become a Prince, although he may not wish to use the title, and when he’s 18 he can decide if he wishes to be styled at His Royal Highness. 

The same will apply to Archie’s little brother or sister, and they'll be eighth in line to the throne when they're born. 

Royal historian, Carolyn Harris, confirmed: “Archie will be able to use the title of HRH Prince when Charles becomes King, but it is possible that he will not use this title. 

“Archie will not be able to pass the title of Prince or Princess to his children as they will be another generation removed from the sovereign, but the title of Duke of Sussex will pass to Prince Harry's male line descendants,” Town and Country reported. 

Due to his proximity to the throne, if Archie wishes to wed before his three Cambridge cousins, he could need the Queen’s permission. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Iain MacMarthanne explained: "Prior to the Succession of the Crown Act 2013 all descendants of George II, under the terms of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, unless the issue of a princess who had married into a foreign royal family, had to obtain the sovereign’s permission to marry in order to retain their rights in succession.

"It might be anticipated that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, should he marry, will have to seek the sovereign’s permission unless one of his three cousins marry and have children first, as he will be sixth in line when his grandfather is king." 

Responding to the decision today to strip the Sussexes of their titles and patronages, the parents-to-be issued their own statement, saying they remained ‘committed’ to the UK. 

It said: "As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.

"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."

And Meghan Markle and Prince Harry become second couple to have royal baby abroad.

Plus this is how Meghan Markle kept her pregnancy a secret – from choreographed Zoom poses to limited public appearances.

And these are all the hidden meanings in Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s pregnancy announcement – including tree of life & Notting Hill.

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