Exclusive: King Charles and Prince Harry agreed on royal titles for Archie and Lilibet before Spare was published
King Charles agreed that the Duke of Sussex's children should use their royal titles at the end of 2022, HELLO! can exclusively reveal.
The decision that Prince Harry's children would be known as Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet of Sussex was settled between father and son the month before Prince Harry’s memoir Spare was published. Harry and Meghan’s children automatically became a Prince and Princess when their grandfather became King Charles III, but it was not known whether they would take the titles, amid reports that the monarch could issue letters patent to remove them.
WATCH: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hint that Lilibet has already been christened
An intervention by the King could have ended the precedent of conferring the titles on male line grandchildren of the Sovereign. But the issue was resolved between both sides before the New Year and came to light this week when a spokeswoman for the Duke and Duchess officially confirmed that the christening of Princess Lilibet Diana had taken place.
"I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor," she said.
The King, Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales are all said to have been invited, but chose not to attend.
HELLO! understands that the Duke and Duchess had always wanted their children to have the option of using their titles if they chose to in future, as their birthright.
DISCOVER: Why royal family did NOT attend Lilibet's intimate christening
Harry and Charles came to the decision in 2022
For now, they plan to use them only on formal occasions – it is not thought that they will use their titles at school for example – but Archie and Lili will have the choice in future of whether to lean into royal tradition or renounce it.
The new titles also give them the same Sussex name as their parents; until now Archie and Lilibet took the Mountbatten-Windsor surname.
Buckingham Palace said they would update the children’s titles on the royal.uk website "in due course" now that the Duke and Duchess had made their decision public.
Meghan and Harry left the royal family in 2020
Friends of the couple, who moved to California in 2020, were surprised that the website had not been updated some months ago, when changes were made to reflect the new titles of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.
Harry and Meghan’s son and daughter have been listed in sixth and seventh place in the line of succession as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Miss Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry's relationship with his father and brother has become strained in recent years
As the children of a son of the King, they would also have been entitled to be styled His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness upon his accession, but the style comes from their father and Harry’s HRH status has been in abeyance since his departure from royal life.
The Duke of York’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have not lost their HRH styling, despite his own departure from public life, as they have used it since birth.
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to The Royal Explainer newsletter to receive your weekly dose of royal features and other exclusive content straight to your inbox.