Meghan Markle and Prince Harry decided not to give their baby son a royal title, but it could happen later in his life
After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry debuted their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world on Wednesday, a royal source told PEOPLE that, unlike his royal cousins, Archie will not receive a royal title.
While there are courtesy titles that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could apply to their son, they have chosen not to give him a “courtesy titles” at this time, the source said.
However, it’s 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.
But just as his parents have chosen not to give Archie a courtesy title upon his birth, they can also choose not to use the title that would be conferred to him after Charles becomes king.
“As the grandchildren of the Sovereign they have the right to be upgraded to the style of His or Her Royal Highness. But that begs a question of whether Harry and Meghan want that,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, previously told PEOPLE.
Little continued: “Do they prefer what [Prince] Edward and Sophie have, and not have their children as Their Royal Highnesses with a view to them leading relatively normal lives?”
“I don’t think that Baby Sussex will be a Royal Highness at any time in his or her life,” he added. “And why do they need to be? With the immediate core of working royals this child or children are not going to be working members of the Royal Family, so why lumber them with the HRH.”
Harry and Meghan were named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day, and it is traditional for the eldest son of a duke to eventually inherit his father’s title. Down the line, Archie could be given the secondary Sussex title, before inheriting the dukedom.
Royal titles are decided by Queen Elizabeth. After his birth in 2013, Prince George was officially named: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. Siblings Charlotte and Louis were named: Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.
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.”
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.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletterto get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
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.