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Fact check: why isn’t Archie a prince?

Fact check: why isn't Archie a prince?
(Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Viewers watching Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah last night were treated to a host of bombshells on everything from the couple’s secret marriage to the gender of their new baby. Allegations levelled by the pair include claims that a member of the royal family made racist comments about Archie’s skin colour and that the firm stopped Meghan from getting help for her mental health.

One claim that can be rebutted however is the issue of why Harry and Meghan’s son Archie does not have the title of prince like Prince George or Princess Charlotte. In her interview, Oprah Winfrey asked Meghan if her son was denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race amid Palace concerns that Archie would be 'too brown'. Meghan replied: 

In those months when I was pregnant, 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 was born.

She added: 'They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security.'

The style and title of a royal family member is a matter strictly governed by rules and letters patent. The rules governing this were written in 1917 and updated in 2012 under which the titles of ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ are restricted to the children of the sovereign e.g. Prince Charles, the children of the sovereign’s sons e.g. Prince Harry and the eldest son of the eldest son of the sovereign’s sons e.g. Prince George.

But since Prince Harry is the second son of Prince Charles, his kids are not guaranteed the title of ‘prince’ or ‘princess.’ The reason why Princess Charlotte got to be called ‘princess’ despite not being the ‘eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales’ is due to the Queen issuing a letters patent in 2012 that removed the first child only decree.