King Charles III Still Hasn’t Decided on Whether to Give Archie and Lilibet Titles

He’s willing, royal experts say, but it all comes down to trusting the children’s parents, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

King Charles III
(Image credit: Getty)

As of this morning, the official line of succession lists one “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor” as number six in line to the throne, and “Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor” right behind him at number seven. (Archie and Lilibet, of course, are the son and daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.) When Archie was born in May 2019 and Lili was born in June 2021, they were the great-grandchildren of the monarch, thereby not affording them prince and princess titles. But now, as their grandfather King Charles III is on the throne, that has changed—yet their titles (or lack thereof) have not.

So what’s going on? According to The Sun, Charles hasn’t made his mind up on titles for Archie and Lili, which is only serving to ramp up friction between he and his son and daughter-in-law.

Many expected the change in Archie and Lili’s titles to be automatic after Charles took the throne. According to Roya Nikkhah, royal editor at The Times, the delay is “heightening tensions” between Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are “understood to fear the King may strip Archie and Lilibet of their titles after his reluctance immediately to recognize their elevated status after the Queen’s death,” Nikkhah says.

Fellow royal expert Katie Nicholl tells True Royalty TV that Archie and Lili will likely receive titles if Harry and Meghan can rebuild trust with Charles. Since stepping back as working royals in January 2020, the couple has appeared in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey and signed lucrative deals with Netflix, Spotify, and Penguin Random House, who will publish Harry’s tell-all memoir by the end of the year—all of which, no doubt, have made Charles uneasy.

“I’m told that that is a very clear signal from the King,” she says. “He’s willing to give those titles, but it comes with a caveat, and that caveat is trust.”

Harry’s book in particular may be the linchpin of the decision, its contents of which are still unknown to the royal family.

For their part, The Sun reports that Harry and Meghan are “said to be furious that their children would not be given HRH titles, even though they were still set to be called prince and princess.”

Charles’ spokesperson said earlier this month that the official line of succession would be updated “as and when we get information.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.