Archie Harrison and his sister Lili may still be prince and princess after all. And they could have Camilla Parker Bowles to thank for it.
Prominent royal historian Robert Lacey has told U.K. paper The Times that the issue has been discussed at the “highest level” and that the queen will not change existing rules, which would ultimately see Archie and Lili named prince and princess, in her lifetime. Any move to deprive the children of their titles would likely have to be made by Charles in the first hours of his reign, when, Lacey expects, he will be too busily focused on getting Camilla elevated to queen to be distracted by such peripheral projects.
Lacey has previously told The Daily Beast that he expects Charles to unilaterally declare Camilla queen the moment he is named king, disregarding a long-standing agreement for her to be known as “princess consort.”
It was reported Sunday that Harry was angered at the time of the Oprah interview because Prince Charles had allegedly made moves to ensure Harry and Meghan’s children could never officially be princes or princesses.
It was reported that a source told the Mail on Sunday: “Harry and Meghan were told Archie would never be a prince, even when Charles becomes king.” The couple were said to have been told this just before they filmed their interview with Winfrey.
The source was quoted as saying: “This is what nobody realized from the interview. The real thing was that Charles was going to take active steps to strip Archie of his ultimate birthright.”
However, now Lacey, whose newly updated book Battle of Brothers is being serialized by The Times in the U.K., told that paper he believes such an outcome is unlikely.
Who will or will not be a prince or princess is essentially in the gift of the reigning monarch, meaning that while Charles could change the rules the moment he becomes king, as things stand right now it would be down to the queen to change the “letters patent,” laid down by George V in 1917, which currently dictate that Archie and his sister Lili will become prince and princess when their grandfather is monarch.
Lacey told The Times, “It is clear to me that the queen and her advisers have discussed this issue at the highest level, and that the future royal status of Archie and Lili is not in jeopardy in her lifetime.
“It is possible that Prince Charles may try to remove royal status from the Sussex children when he comes to the throne but that does not seem likely.
“His priority then will be to gain popular support for upgrading the status of Camilla from princess consort to queen consort, and he is not likely to court unpopularity by removing HRH status from Archie and Lili.”
Hugo Vickers, another constitutional expert, told The Times, “When the queen dies, Archie and Lilibet become prince and princess.”
The interventions come after it was reported on Sunday that Harry and Meghan’s children were set to be denied their “birthright” titles owing to an anticipated intervention by Prince Charles to change the rules.
An infuriated Prince Harry reportedly agreed to do his explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey just 24 hours after being told that part of the price he would pay for leaving the royal family would be to lose his beloved military titles, roles, and associations.
Harry is known to have been dismayed by the removal of his ceremonial army titles, which included Captain General of the Royal Marines, which he was gifted by Prince Philip. The affront was particularly acute as Harry is one of only two living members of the royal family, along with Prince Andrew, to have seen active service. Harry served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
A source told the Sun, “There was a bust-up just before Oprah, but it wasn’t to do with Archie’s title.
“That had been known and discussed for quite a while.
“Harry and Meghan were very cross before Oprah because the final Megxit separation had just been signed off, which included Harry not keeping military roles.
“That was what made him so angry. He’s very emotional and his military roles were very important to him given that he served.”
The interview caused shockwaves after Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed member of the royal family of making racist queries about the likely color of their future children’s skin.
The Sun lays out a timeline, saying that the queen acted to unilaterally remove Harry’s military roles on Friday 12 February and that over the ensuing weekend, the couple signed up to do the interview, which was recorded on Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week.
Because Harry no longer has an active role within the military, he is not permitted to wear a military uniform, even at ceremonial or family events. This situation prompted the queen to order all the men to wear dark suits at the funeral of her husband to avoid embarrassing Harry, who would otherwise have been the only royal male not in uniform.
William and Harry are due to come face to face on July 1 when they will unveil a statue of their mother in Kensington Gardens. The Sun on Sunday quoted a source saying, “The boys will walk out together out of respect for their mum but there’s been no reconciliation.”