Archie Might Have to Follow One of the Most Restrictive Royal Rules When He Grows Up

Even though his parents opted not to give him a royal title, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son Archie might have to get permission from the monarch to marry.

cape town, south africa september 25 prince harry, duke of sussex, meghan, duchess of sussex and their baby son archie mountbatten windsor meet archbishop desmond tutu and his daughter thandeka tutu gxashe at the desmond leah tutu legacy foundation during their royal tour of south africa on september 25, 2019 in cape town, south africa photo by poolsamir husseinwireimage
(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein)
  • Even though his parents didn't opt to give him a royal title when he was born, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's son, Archie Harrison, might still have to follow one of strictest royal rules.
  • When Archie's grandfather, Prince Charles, takes the throne, Archie will become sixth in line for the British throne, which will force him to ask the monarch for permission to marry, according to the 2013 Succession of the Crown Act.
  • Archie will reportedly also become a prince automatically when Charles takes the throne and will have the option to decline the title again when he turns 18.

When Archie Harrison was bornPrince Harry and Meghan Markle opted against giving him a royal title, in the hopes of giving him the most normal life possible. Even though Archie won't grow up with the HRH title, however, he may still have to follow some of the strictest rules that govern royal life.

The rule in question was established by the 2013 Succession of the Crown Act and basically states that any royal sixth-in-line to the throne or above has to get the monarch's permission to marry. According to constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne, that rule is likely to apply to Archie, even if he doesn't take on the duties of a working royal or ever use his royal title. Because here's the thing: According to The Mirror, even though Harry and Meghan declined a royal title for Archie at the time of his birth, he'll automatically become a prince when his grandpa, Prince Charles, assumes the throne. Archie will then have to decide if he wants to keep the title when he turns 18.

"Prior to the Succession of the Crown Act 2013 all descendants of George II, under the terms of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, unless the issue of a princess who had married into a foreign royal family, had to obtain the sovereign’s permission to marry in order to retain their rights in succession," MacMarthanne explained to Express. "The 2013 Act sought to bring multiple pieces of outdated and discriminatory legislation relating to the monarchy up to date. Through this Act male primogeniture was abolished, allowing the first born child irrespective of gender to become heir apparent."

By the time Archie is interested in getting married, Prince Charles or Prince William are likely to be on the throne, meaning he'll need their permission if he's sixth in line or closer to the throne, which he almost definitely will be. Right now, Archie is seventh in line and his dad, Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince William's three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis. When Prince Charles takes the throne, Archie will move up one spot and will be sixth in line.

"Indeed, with this movement, as things presently stand, it might be anticipated that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, should he marry, will have to seek the sovereign’s permission unless one of his three cousins marry and have children first, as he will be sixth in line when his grandfather is king," MacMarthanne explained.

Another way Archie could move back in the line of succession, of course, would be if Prince William and Kate Middleton have more children, but that seems unlikely.


dubline, ireland july 10 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex attend a summer party at the british ambassador's residence at glencairn house during their visit to ireland on july 10, 2018 in dublin, ireland photo by poolsamir husseinwireimage

(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein)
Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.