Why Meghan and Harry’s baby won’t be a prince or princess

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you will have heard the wonderful news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, ie Meghan and Harry, are expecting a baby.


For those who aren’t up on their trans-hemisphere season calculations, spring in the UK equates to March through to May with the baby probably due some time in April 2019.

“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.” Royal Family UK

Baby won’t be a prince or princess

Although dad-to-be is a Prince, due to the complexities of the British Royal Family, the new baby will not have the title of Prince or Princess. In 1917 King George V limited the titles in the Royal Family. As such, grandchildren of the ruling monarch are not automatically given the title Prince or Princess. Although, the Queen made an amendment in 2012 so that the children of William and Kate, who are higher in the line of succession, would all be called Prince or Princess.

If the couple have a boy, he will likely take one of Harry’s titles that he was given on his wedding day, ie Earl of Dumbarton or Baron Kilkeel. If the baby is a girl, she will be known as Lady Mountbatten-Windsor.

To make it even more confusing, senior royals don’t often use a last name. Before 1917 they had no last name at all – after all, when you’re the “King of England” everyone knows who you are! King George V (he was a busy guy!) then decreed that the surname would be Windsor, which has become Mountbatten-Windsor since the marriage of the Queen and Prince Phillip.

The new baby may be given the surname Sussex, referring to Harry’s title of Duke of Sussex. The children of Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) use the name Cambridge for school.

The line of succession

As for taking the throne, the new baby will be quite a way down the list, taking eighth place.

  1. Prince Charles
  2. Prince William
  3. Prince George
  4. Princess Charlotte
  5. Prince Louis
  6. Prince Harry
  7. Harry and Meghan’s baby
  8. Prince Andrew
  9. Princess Beatrice
  10. Princess Eugenie

This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.

Read more on Kidspot:

9 Comments

  1. Alezandra 03/11/2018 at 9:25 pm

    Like reading about this ever since watching The Crown on Netflix, I’ve been following some of the royals now. I especially love the Harry and Meghan love story coz I’m a fan of Meghan too (from Suits).

  2. felicity beets 01/11/2018 at 7:40 pm

    Interesting that they did not have a last name a hundred years ago. I also did not know about the rule of grandchildren not being called prince or princess – it is all so confusing 🙂

  3. SarahBlair 31/10/2018 at 9:14 pm

    Wow!! That is really complex, so is that grandchildren of the Monarch or great grandchildren? And the last name thing… Im glad its not me!! I hope that everything goes well with her pregnancy and I think that they will be great parents!!

  4. Shelz69 31/10/2018 at 2:39 pm

    That is interesting, I wonder why they can’t be all the princess and princess. Keep the line to the throne the same but make them all princes and princess after all I am sure the world could do with more Princes and Princess.

    I can’t wait for Megan and Harry to have their baby and many more to come hopefully.

  5. dawnblyth 31/10/2018 at 12:02 pm

    It is a complicated situation becoming a royal! I would get completely lost in the tos and throughs on naming alone! It is interesting to know that George and his siblings will use Cambridge as the surname at school and Harry’s future children may use Sussex. I wonder where Mountbatten come from? And what happens if there is more the one baby girl born to Harry and Meghan?

  6. MuddledUpMolly 23/10/2018 at 9:41 pm

    I am not a royalist in the least but I do really like this lovely couple and have always thought Harry was great! Exciting times ahead for the royals and great to see current footage of their tour in our part of the world.

  7. kymmage 23/10/2018 at 4:00 pm

    Wow. I always thought the royal surname was Windsor. Didn’t realise it was a double barrel. I also thought all the grandkids were prince or princess unless their parents opted out. I can’t wait for the new royal baby. Cluck cluck!!

  8. Mands1980 23/10/2018 at 11:53 am

    Wow I never knew how complex the rural family was and they didn’t all get called prince or princess so this was interesting to read. The whole surname thing seems odd too but I guess they know what they are doing.

  9. Bevik1971 19/10/2018 at 10:53 am

    Far out! Oh the complexities of the Royal Family!!! As long as the baby/s are happy and healthy it doesn’t really matter 🙂

Leave A Comment