Fussy, ink-soaked King Charles III has retired to Highgrove for 24 hours as he finally gets a chance to reflect back on the hectic events of the past week. According to the Daily Mail, King Charles and Queen Camilla “landed” near Camilla’s estate, Ray Mill, where the king dropped off his wife and then headed to Highgrove solo. They left London shortly after the public procession yesterday. This “day of reflection” was built into Operation London Bridge. This was always the plan.
Meanwhile, it seems that somewhere in the chaos of the past week, King Charles has made a decision about his Sussex grandchildren’s titles. This was a discussion long before QEII’s passing, but it cropped up again when the royal.gov site was updated with the new line of succession, and Archie and Lilibet were not afforded prince and princess titles. While Charles has let it be known that he intends to change the Letters Patent, he has not done so yet, so technically Archie and Lilibet automatically became prince and princess when QEII died. Now the new King has apparently made a decision about that:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children will not get HRH status from King Charles III — but they will be prince and princess. The King is expected to anoint Prince Archie, three, and one-year-old Princess Lilibet, in the near future.
Tense discussions have taken place while Meghan and Prince Harry are in the UK for the Queen’s funeral. His Majesty has agreed to issue letters patent to confer the prince and princess titles on his two grandchildren — who live with their parents in Montecito, California.
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 41, agreed not to use their His and Her Royal Highness titles when they moved there two and a half years ago. But they moaned that it had left their family without adequate security. And they will now be bitter that Archie and Lilibet will also not be able to use the style of address. The Sussexes are said to have pointed out that princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have HRH status but they are not working royals.
A source said: “Harry and Meghan were worried about the security issue and being prince and princess brings them the right to have certain levels of royal security. There have been a lot of talks over the past week. They have been insistent that Archie and Lilibet are prince and princess. They have been relentless since the Queen died. But they have been left furious that Archie and Lilibet cannot take the title HRH. That is the agreement — they can be prince and princess but not HRH because they are not working royals.”
A spokesman for the King declined to comment.
Minus the sh-t about Harry and Meghan’s “fury” – which I’ll get to in a moment – I actually think this compromise is generally the right one? King Charles isn’t denying his mixed-race children their “birthright” as grandchildren of the monarch, they’ll still be prince and princess, but they won’t have the HRH style. Harry and Meghan have the HRH style but they “promised” not to use it. It’s asinine and needlessly fussy, but in general… I think this is a smart call.
As for the Sussexes “fury” – this keeps happening in royal reporting, where some Kensington Palace or (now) Buckingham Palace source makes assumptions about how Harry and Meghan “feel” and so those assumptions are ascribed to them as factual. While security and HRH styling was a big deal to H&M in 2019, they now have their whole lives in California, away from these terrible people. They know that “Archie and Lili becoming prince and princess” isn’t going to suddenly mean that the institution suddenly gives a sh-t, or that the institution will protect any of them.
I also seriously doubt that H&M have been “relentless” about anything to do with their kids’ titles. It’s very much like Harry’s military uniform – the Sussexes are sitting back and watching the new king make terrible decisions, knowing how sh-tty everything looks. If Harry hadn’t issued that statement about how little he cares about wearing a uniform at his grandmother’s funeral, the press would be eagerly telling us that Harry was “furious” behind the scenes and “relentlessly” trying to persuade Charles to change his decision.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.