Prince Charles Unlikely to 'Make the Unpopular Move' to Strip Archie and Lili of Their Titles

Rather than disallowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's children to be a prince or princess, Charles is expected to focus on upgrading Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall from princess consort to Queen

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Meghan Markle, Prince Charles and Prince Harry. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Though Prince Charles has long been committed to streamlining the British royal family, a top royal expert doubts the future king's moves to minimize the number of working royals will impact his grandchildren Archie and Lili.

Though there is continued speculation as to the status and standing of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's two children within the royal family, royal historian Robert Lacey believes Charles will defer to tradition, which dictates that prince or princess titles are automatically granted to all his grandchildren when he ascends to the throne.

"I don't think he will make the unpopular and hostile move of removing the royal status of his grandchildren," says Lacey, who has recently added chapters to his book Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult.

Instead, Lacey tells PEOPLE in this week's issue that Charles is likely to be focused on upgrading his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall from princess consort to Queen.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, Duke of Sussex gives a speech next to <a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Charles</a>, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The rule Charles, 72, is expected to honor was established by King George V after he issued a Letters Patent in 1917 that read: "…the grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of these our realms."

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, previously told PEOPLE: "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. 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?"

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

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During Meghan and Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, the Duchess of Sussex revealed there had been conversation and consideration regarding titles ahead of Archie's birth.

"It's not our decision to make," she said. "Even though I have a lot of clarity of what comes with the titles good and bad ... that is their birthright to then make a choice about."

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