Why York children don’t have titles like Harry and Meghan’s kids?


Eugenie of York Mother for the Second Time: Ernest George Ronnie is Born

The latest royal baby, little Ernest George Ronnie Brooksbank, the second child of Eugenia of York and Jack Brooksbank, is rightfully in line to the British throne as the thirteenth descendant. Yet, just like his older brother August, twelfth in line of succession, he will not have a royal title.

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Why is this so? Considering that Harry and Meghan Markle’s children, little Archie and Lilibet Diana, recently officially received the title of prince, one might think of a royal injustice. But this is not the case. It is enough to investigate the (complicated) laws that regulate the transmission of titles in the English royal family. According to the Letters Patent of 1917 (an act signed by King George V), only “the children of the sovereign, the grandsons of the sovereign in the male line and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales” are entitled to the title of prince. Queen Elizabeth, at the time, changed the last clause so that the title of prince would not only belong to George, the eldest son of William (the eldest son of the then Prince of Wales), but also to Charlotte and Louis. Who would have become automatically prince and princess with the ascent to the throne of Charles. Because they would have been the grandchildren of the new king in the male line. Just what happened to Archie and Lilibet Diana.

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When they were born, the children were not grandchildren but great-grandchildren of Elizabeth II. And they were the sons of Charles, the second son of the then Prince of Wales. So they had no right to the title. And no exception was granted to them by Queen Elizabeth. But when the sovereign died and Charles ascended the throne, things changed. As grandchildren of the king, according to the Letters Patent of 1917, Archie and Lilibet automatically became prince and princess. Charles could have prevented the children from using the title, but he did not. Different is the case of Ernest George Ronnie Brooksbank: the little one, according to the old royal decree signed by George V, has no right to the title of prince. So he will simply be Master, just like his brother August. King Charles, if he wants, could offer the title of prince to both Ernest and August. But considering that he has in mind a slimmer and less expensive monarchy, it seems highly unlikely that he will do so. And anyway, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack, from what we know, do not want titles for their children. Because they want them to have “as normal a life as possible and to work to earn a living”. Certainly fewer privileges, but also more freedom. So they can live the life they want.


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