Meghan Markle Explains Why Son Archie Isn't a Prince in Oprah Interview

Archie is entitled to a courtesy title, Earl of Dumbarton

Meghan Markle says her son Archie was denied a royal title.

In her sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Meghan addressed the issue when Oprah asked, "How did they explain to you that your son, the great-grandson of the Queen, wasn't going to be a prince?"

The TV host added, "You certainly must have had some conversations with Harry about it and had your own suspicions as to why they didn't want to make Archie a prince. Why do you think that is?"

For more on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

Meghan said the palace decreed that Archie — who turns 2 in May — would not have any title, a move she says was "different from protocol."

"They didn't want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," she told Oprah.

What's more, she said, "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."

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a> and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie in South Africa in September 2019. Henk Kruger/AP/Shutterstock

When Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, were married in May 2018, Queen Elizabeth gave them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Archie, who will turn 2 in May, was entitled to the "courtesy title," Earl of Dumbarton. However, the couple announced shortly after his birth that they had not given him a courtesy title and he would be known as Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Under current guidelines, great-grandchildren of the monarch are not princes or princesses, except for children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton's children are Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Kate Middleton</a>, <a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince William</a>, family
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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It is possible that Archie could receive a royal title later in life. When his grandfather, Prince Charles becomes king (in the event of Queen Elizabeth's death), the title of "prince" will be automatically given to him as the child of a son of the king. However, Meghan and Harry can also choose not to use the title that would be conferred to Archie after Charles becomes king.

Down the line, Archie could be given the secondary Sussex title before inheriting the dukedom.

Harry, Duke of Sussex; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with son Archie in 2019. DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The Queen granted Prince Andrew's request that his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, receive the title of "princess" rather than "lady." In 2016, Andrew refuted reports that he had demanded titles for "any future husbands" of his daughters, stating he simply wanted his children to be considered "modern, working young women who happen to be members of the royal family."

Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank did not receive any titles following their royal wedding in October 2018, meaning their newborn son August and any future children will not inherit any titles.

Princess Anne's children, Peter and Zara, were not entitled to royal status by birth since titles can only be given to a monarch's grandchildren through sons, not daughters. However, the Queen extended a courtesy title to Anne's children, which she declined.

Their father, Captain Mark Phillips, was a commoner and also turned down a title that would have been given to him as a wedding gift from the Queen when he wed Princess Anne.

"I'm very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do," Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall, said in 2015.

Lady Louise, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12, are grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth, but they are unlikely to use their Her/His Royal Highness titles when they are adults, their mother Sophie, Countess of Wessex said last year.

"We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living," she told The Sunday Times. "Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but it's highly unlikely."

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Despite not having a royal title, Archie is still seventh in the line of succession to the British throne, just behind dad Prince Harry. Meghan and Harry's baby on the way will be eighth in line, just behind his big brother. That means Prince Andrew, the Queen's second eldest son, will move down a spot to ninth in line to the throne. Like Archie, the new addition is unlikely to receive a royal title.

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