The birth of the newest royal baby will mark the first time in history that a senior member of the British royal family’s child will have both a British parent and an American-born parent.
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That means that the baby, which will be born in England and hold British citizenship through father Prince Harry, will be eligible for dual citizenship, depending on mom Meghan Markle’s citizenship status.
At the moment, Markle is in the midst of applying for British citizenship, which can take years to come through.
A spokesperson for the couple previously said that the California-born duchess will be “compliant with immigration requirements at all times.”
If Meghan obtains dual citizenship and doesn’t give up her American citizenship, that would leave the door open for her child to also apply for a U.S. passport.
While it’s not clear whether the baby will be a dual citizen, it’s widely expected that when the baby is born, he or she will not be referred to as “His or Her Royal Highness (HRH),” and, unlike cousins George, Charlotte and Louis, won’t be called “prince” or “princess.”
History of royal titles
In 1917, George V limited titles within the royal family so prince and princess titles and the HRH status are now only reserved for children or grandchildren of the monarch.
Prince George was the exception, as his father, Prince William, is in line to be king.
The queen then issued a new Letters Patent when Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were born to give them the same title as their older brother.
If she hadn’t, the now princess and prince would have been known as Lady Charlotte Mountbatten-Windsor and Earl Louis Mountbatten-Windsor.
Now that Prince Harry has been pushed down to sixth in the line of succession, it’s highly unlikely his child (who will be seventh in line to the throne) will one day be the monarch.
However, the rule also means that should Prince Charles take over from his mother, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan’s future kids could eventually become a prince or princess, as their grandfather would be king.
And at the end of the day, the queen has the final say and can intervene where titles are concerned.
So, what will Harry and Meghan’s children’s royal titles be?
Given Prince Harry was gifted a dukedom on his wedding day, and he and Meghan are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their children will likely be given lord, earl or lady titles.
If this first baby is a boy, he will likely be known as Earl of Dumbarton, because the first son of a duke is allowed to use one of his father’s other lesser titles as a courtesy title.
Harry was also made the Earl of Dumbarton on the morning of his wedding, as well as being given a dukedom.
However, if the baby is a girl, she would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.
What surname will they have?
Although Harry and Meghan’s child will be George, Charlotte and Louis’s cousin on their father’s side, the royal kids will not share the same last name.
It was announced that Prince George would be known officially as George Cambridge when he started school at Thomas’s Battersea in London — a name which stems from his father being the Duke of Cambridge.
It mirrored the announcement made years ago when Prince William and Prince Harry started school and revealed they would be known as William Wales and Harry Wales, due to their father, Prince Charles, being known as the Prince of Wales.
The royal brothers kept the Wales name as they moved into adulthood, with Prince William using William Wales during his career as an air ambulance pilot and Prince Harry going by Harry Wales when he served in the army.
Likewise, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice reportedly go by the names Eugenie York and Beatrice York on occasion.
Therefore, if Harry and Meghan’s child so wished, he or she could use the last name of Sussex instead of Windsor or Mountbatten-Windsor.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby fits within the royal family line of succession
- Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth II melt hearts by sharing a blanket on their joint royal outing: ‘Cutest thing ever’
- The cutest royal baby photos of all time