“Her children will not have titles because the royal titles go down the male line,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty, tells PEOPLE. Charlotte inherited her title because she was born as Prince William‘s daughter.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions to the rule. Queen Elizabeth has offered new titles other royal offspring in the past, including the children of her daughter, Princess Anne.
“The same [rule] applied to Princess Anne when she had her children,” Little continues. “When she married Mark Phillips and they had children, they were given the option of a peerage for Mark. But they chose not to and Peter and Zara were brought up without titles.
“So history could repeat itself with Charlotte.”
Princess Margaret‘s children would not have titles either had it not been for a special change made by her sister the Queen. Since Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, their children would have been Mr. or Miss., but just before their son was born, “the Queen made Tony an earl (of Snowdon), so that Margaret’s children would have a title,” says Little.
“We were in a transitional period between the traditional times and the modern one and I think it would have felt inappropriate for the nephew and niece of the Queen to be Mr. and Miss.”
And when it comes to Prince Harry’s future children, they will not be given the title of prince or princess either. They will likely be given the title of Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor — the family name — because Harry’s offspring would be great-grandchildren of the Sovereign. They will only be upgraded to prince and princess when they are grandchildren of the Sovereign — which will occur when Prince Charles succeeds his mother as King.
“And then they would only be eligible to be known as prince or princess if their parents choose to style them that way,” says Little.
Even if Harry was given a dukedom at his wedding, “the children would still be Lord first name or Lady first name Mountbatten-Windsor, unless the Queen issues letters patent to say they should be given the full style and title,” Little adds.
- With reporting by Simon Perry