King Charles II 'playing hardball' with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over titles

In usual circumstances, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children, Archie, three, and Lilibet, one, would automatically become Prince and Princess under the 1917 George V Letters Patent. But there is still doubt and confusion over whether the new monarch will follow the precedent and grant the two youngsters with the senior royal titles. 

Earlier this week, royal expert Roya Nikkhah said: “Harry and his father had a ‘brief discussion’ in the days after the Queen’s death, when the King asked if it was something Harry wanted for his children.

“Harry is understood to have expressed his desire to let his children decide when they are older, and to have emphasised that would only be possible if they were allowed to retain their titles now.

“The conversation is understood to have ended unresolved, and to have left the Sussexes dismayed.”

Meanwhile, in his first national address as sovereign, Charles announced that he was immediately making his eldest son, William, the Prince of Wales.

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It comes after Harry and Meghan were “digitally demoted” on the royal website. 

Ms Elser said: “For years, the page on the royal website that details key members has remained largely unchanged, until now. Previously, Harry and Meghan, along with Prince Andrew, were positioned midway, underneath the remaining senior working members of the royal family but before the various elderly cousins of Queen Elizabeth who still open an occasional plaque.

“Now, after this week’s update, Harry and Meghan (and Andrew) have been shunted unceremoniously to the bottom of the page, with Harry now coming after 85-year-old Princess Alexandra, who is 56th in line to the throne”. 

Meanwhile, Archie and Lilibet remain listed on the line of succession page, with the titles ‘Master’ and ‘Miss’. 

King Charles could “rectify” the two youngsters’ names “any time he wants” as there’s no holdup over arcane rules or red tape, the royal expert added.

She said: “If the king wanted to settle this and to immediately quell the growing noise around the title question, all he would have to do is dictate a quick statement in between receiving the Ambassador from Albania and arranging for his prized begonias to be shipped to Buckingham Palace. 

“The very fact he has not done that would suggest he has little interest in currying favour with the Sussexes or even vaguely smoothing their ruffled feathers after the events of the last few weeks that saw the couple suffer through a series of public indignities, such as being seated in the second row during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral”.

She said Charles’ refusal to budge on mollifying his son and daughter-in-law is a “ballsy move”, especially with the upcoming release of Hary’s tell-all memoir, which he’s likely to amend to include the events following his beloved grandmother’s death. 

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