“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019,” the post read. “Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”
This baby news comes just five months after the couple said “I do” on May 19 — and just three days after his cousin Princess Eugenie got married as well.
The Line Of Succession
Prince Harry, conferred the title of Duke of Sussex on his wedding day by his grandmother, is sixth in line for the throne. He is in line behind his father, Prince Charles; his brother, Prince William; his nephew, Prince George; his niece, Princess Charlotte; and his nephew, Prince Louis. His child, regardless of its sex, will therefore be seventh in line for the throne.
The child’s title, however, gets a little more tricky. According to Mirror UK, Prince Harry and Markle’s child will not have a royal title unless the Queen steps in. King George V, who is Prince Harry’s great-great grandfather, placed a limit on the amount of “His/Her Royal Highness” titles that can be given out, and would exclude Prince Harry’s children from receiving such titles.
The titles “Princess” and “Prince” are conferred down the direct male line, which is why Prince George, who is Prince William’s son and Prince Charles’ grandson, is a prince. Therefore, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis technically should have had the titles “Lady” and “Lord” under this rule.
However, the Queen stepped in and permitted Prince William’s children to all have the same level of titles, allowing for Prince George’s siblings to be Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. (The Queen also stepped in for her third son Prince Andrew’s daughters, allowing them to be titled Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie instead of “Lady.”) There’s a chance the Queen would step in on behalf of her grandson Harry’s children, as well. In that case, his and Markle’s children would be called “His/Her Royal Highness ___ of Sussex.”
However, the Mirror UK reports, if the Queen doesn’t step in, a son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would become the Earl of Dumbarton, which is one of the “lesser titles” that Prince Harry was conferred on his wedding day. After Prince Harry’s death, the Earl of Dumbarton would be able to inherit his father’s title and be called the Duke of Sussex, according to William Bortrick, chairman of Burke’s Peerage, who spoke to People.
Prince Harry’s daughter would be called Lady Mountbatten-Windsor (the last name used by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip) and any other sons after the eldest would be called Lord Mountbatten-Windsor.
Prince Harry and Markle could also choose to forgo titles for their future children altogether.
Prince Harry and Markle seem excited to start a family together. It’s even something they hinted at soon after becoming engaged.
Around the 13 minute mark, you can see the couple is all smiles as they talk about their future plans:
When asked about growing a family together in their engagement interview with the BBC, Prince Harry said, “One step at a time, but we’ll start a family in the near future.”
They certainly haven’t wasted any time! There’s been no indication as to whether they’re expecting a boy or a girl, but come spring 2019, there will be yet another new addition to the royal family! Congratulations to the couple and may the royal baby watch officially begin!