While Archie was born in London, his little sibling will likely be born in California

By Stephanie Petit
February 15, 2021 01:38 PM
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are preparing to welcome their second child — but after their move to California, will the baby be an American or a Brit?

The short answer is both. Since Meghan, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is an American citizen and Harry is a British citizen, their son or daughter can obtain dual citizenship for the U.S. and U.K. regardless of where the baby is born.

According to the U.K. government, "British citizenship is normally automatically passed down one generation to children born outside the U.K." But while Harry's child will automatically be a British citizen if he or she is born outside the U.K., the prince's grandchildren would have to apply for U.K. citizenship if born outside the country.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Misan Harriman

The palace previously said that Meghan had plans to become a U.K. citizen (which is known to be a lengthy process) after marrying Prince Harry in 2018. A spokesperson for the family said at the time that it was "too early to say" if she would retain her American citizenship after she became a British citizen. But while she's going through the process, she will remain an American citizen.

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Since the couple moved to California in summer 2020, they have not addressed if Meghan's bid to become a British citizen would continue or end.

It is believed that Meghan voted in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, making her the first modern royal to do so.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: COURTNEY AFRICA/AFP via Getty Images

Because Meghan was an American citizen and Harry was a British citizen at the time their son Archie was born at a London hospital in May 2019, he is also a dual citizen of both countries. A child born aboard to a married American and non-citizen gets automatic citizenship as long as the citizen parent had been in the U.S. for at least five years before the child was born.

Even though Archie was born in England, he could still technically become a U.S. president someday. Because Archie was born to a U.S. citizen, he is considered a "natural born citizen" and could run for the country's highest office — but he'd need to jump through some hoops. Archie would have to go through a naturalization proceeding and need special permission from Congress.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie in South Africa in September 2019.
| Credit: Henk Kruger/AP/Shutterstock

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While it's likely that Meghan, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, will welcome their second child in the U.S., he or she won't be the first royal baby born in the country — or even California! Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Queen Elizabeth's first cousin, and his wife Lady Frederick Windsor (Sophie Winkleman) welcomed their eldest daughter, Maud, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles in August 2013. Maud is now 51st in line to the British throne, although she will move down a spot upon the arrival of Meghan and Harry's child.