(CNN) When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their first child, Archie, he didn’t get a royal title. It’s unclear whether Queen Elizabeth II offered one and turned it down, or not at all. But it raised eyebrows.
This is because the custom would have been for the monarch to gift a title such as earl to someone so high in the line of succession. The assumption many made was that Prince Harry and Meghan turned down a title to allow their new son to live a more normal life away from the limelight and official duties.
A royal source at the time did not elaborate but pointed out to CNN that Archie would automatically become a prince when his grandfather assumed the throne. Our assumption at the time was that all the Sussex children would take their royal titles when the time came.
So when Lilibet Diana was born in 2021, little noise was made about her lack of an official title. But, over time, as tensions escalated between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family, it was unclear whether they would still want to align their children with the institution or, perhaps, leave. it was up to the children to decide when they were older.
This week we found out. Confirmation that the two Sussex children will use their royal titles was subtly inserted into a short statement from a spokesperson for the couple which read: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday March 3 by (l ‘bishop) of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor.”
Buckingham Palace made no official comment amid the ensuing media frenzy, questioning why the titles were being reaffirmed now. Some have questioned why the Sussexes would want their young children to win the titles when they have been so critical of the monarchy since moving to the United States.
A spokesperson for the couple told CNN on Thursday that the titles were the children’s “birthright”, adding that “the matter has been settled for some time in agreement with Buckingham Palace.”
Meanwhile, a palace source tells us that Lilibet’s new title is in line with the precedent set by the 1917 Letters Patent issued by George V, which confers the title of Prince or Princess on male-line grandchildren. of the sovereign.
The implication here is that King Charles III was fully aware and approved of his grandchildren using their titles. Theoretically, if he hadn’t approved the decision, the king could have taken away their titles – even if it would have required him to issue new letters patent to replace the historical directives. Despite some previous reports, the palace has never hinted that it intends to do so and, frankly, it would have only exacerbated already strained family relations.
Archie and Lilibet’s titles were later updated on the Royal Family’s website. Below the line of succession to the throne, the references “Master” and “Miss” have been replaced with “Prince Archie of Sussex” and “Princess Lilibet of Sussex” in the summary at numbers six and seven, respectively, confirming the United States is home to the world’s newest prince and princess.
Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet’s headlines weren’t the only updates from the monarchy’s website this week. On Friday morning, Buckingham Palace announced that the King had conferred the title of Duke of Edinburgh on his youngest brother, Prince Edward, on the prince’s 59th birthday.
The title – which was previously given to their father, Prince Philip – will remain with Edward throughout his life and revert to the Crown upon his death. Although he is still technically the Earl of Forfar as well, Edward will now use the title Duke of Edinburgh as he is more senior.
Edward’s wife, Sophie, now becomes Duchess of Edinburgh, while their son, James, Viscount Severn takes his father’s other previous title of Earl of Wessex. There is no change for the couple’s daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, due to the centuries-old law of primogeniture, which puts male heirs ahead of females.
Like the recognition of the Sussex children’s titles, Prince Edward’s new title isn’t entirely unexpected. At the time he and Sophie married in 1999, it was announced that the duchy would pass to her after Philip’s death. However, the lack of movement in the two years since his father’s death has sparked speculation as to whether it would actually happen.
Prince Edward reflected on his father’s legacy during a conversation with us at St. James’s Palace in 2021. Take a look.
In the royal journal
The Royal Family will visit Westminster Abbey on Monday for the annual Commonwealth Day service. As head of the Commonwealth, the King will be joined by the Queen Consort as well as other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne and her husband , Vice Admiral Tim Laurence.
After the service, the Royal Family will return to Buckingham Palace to welcome the Commonwealth Secretary General, High Commissioners, Foreign Ministers and other members of the Commonwealth community for the traditional Commonwealth Day reception.
What else is going on?
The holy coronation oil consecrated in Jerusalem.
The holy oil that will be used to anoint King Charles III at his coronation on May 6 has been consecrated at a Christian holy site in Jerusalem. “Chrism Oil” was created from olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge east of Jerusalem’s Old City that holds religious significance for Christians. According to Buckingham Palace, the olives from the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension were pressed just outside Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born. Read more about this story here.
Picture of the week
Catherine, Princess of Wales helps Lance Corporal Jodie Newell treat an ‘injured soldier’ during a drill during her visit to the Irish Guards on Salisbury Plain in southern England on Wednesday. The Princess of Wales visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards for the first time since becoming the regiment’s colonel, to learn more about working at the Salisbury Plain training area.
View this interactive content on CNN.com
The Duke of Sussex sent a message to mark the 40th anniversary of the Terrence Higgins Trust – an HIV and sexual health charity he has been involved with for several years and which Princess Diana previously worked closely with. Harry added: “Although my mother did not live to see the success of today’s treatments, I feel immense pride in being able to continue her advocacy with you.”