By now chances are that you’ve already heard all about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby. The pregnancy turned heads internationally and the much-anticipated royal baby bump watch has officially begun. Well now that we know it’s true, we have have a new questions, such as “Will their baby have an official royal title?”
And the answer is…um, it’s complicated. Seriously complicated. So unless you’re already well-versed on the laws of royal lineage, get ready for our crash course on British royal titles!
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Are They Having a Boy or a Girl?
This is, of course, a biggie when it comes to the baby’s name. Given that Markle is reportedly at the end of her first trimester, it’s a pretty safe bet that nobody (not even the mum and dad-to-be) yet knows the answer to this question. That means we’ll have to wait to find out if they’re having a little prince or princess.
Prince or Princess?
Okay, so maybe they’re not actually having a prince or princess. If you’re thinking, “Huh?” Here it goes. If you’re wondering if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will ever ascend to the throne—um, probably not. The path to becoming King or Queen is kind of complicated.
Even though the new baby-to-be is Prince Harry’s child, and Prince Harry is obviously a prince, there are several royals ahead of his firstborn. As of now, Markle and Harry’s baby is set to become the seventh in line for the crown. That’s right, the seventh. And that moves newlywed Princess Eugenie even further down the line, to number 10.
But all this “who is in front of whom for the throne” stuff aside, the real question here is whether Markle and Harry’s baby will have title of prince or princess. We already know that Prince William and Kate Middleton have two princes and a princess. But that’s only by royal decree. The whole royal naming thing is…well, more than confusing.
As it turns out only the children or grandchildren of the monarch are given the prince/princess title—and that’s where Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie get their titles. So now you’re probably wondering why George, Charlotte and Louis also have their prince/princess titles. While Kate and William’s tots aren’t the children or grandchildren of the monarch, the Queen issued a Letters Patent giving George, Charlotte and Louis their titles before birth.
Whew! And, even though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby-to-be isn’t technically a prince or princess, the Queen can issue the same decree again—giving their tot a title.
Possible Official Royal Titles
What happens if the Queen decides not to make the newest royal a prince/princess? Prince Harry’s first son would have the title Earl of Dumbarton. The Dumbarton name comes from one of the subsidiary titles given to the Prince by the Queen on his wedding day.
Additional sons would become Lords, with the title Lord First Name Mounbatten-Windsor. If the happy couple has a girl, she’ll become Lady First Name Mounbatten-Windsor.
Possible Royal Baby Names
And what about the baby’s first name? Again, this is complicated. The royals have a long history of choosing very specific names. Prince George (technically, Prince George Alexander Louis) got his first name from the Queen’s father, King George VI. His middle name comes from Queen Elizabeth II’s middle name (Alexandra). And the last middle name, Louis, comes from Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten.
With this type of pattern in mind, it’s likely that the newest royal baby will have several (three) names that all come with ancestral meaning. But then again, maybe Markle will want to shake things up and choose one of her family’s names or go with something totally different.
Um, is that even allowed? Princes, princesses, lords, ladies… We can hardly keep up with the royal name game! We’ll all just have to wait and see.
Featured Photo: Kensington Royal via Instagram