The Major Ways Baby Girl Sussex Could Change the Royal Family Forever
Harry and Meghan's soon-to-be-born daughter will be "breaking down barriers," a source says.
When Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's second child makes her entrance into the world (which could be any day now), she will make history the moment she is born. Like her older brother, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the Sussexes' daughter will dramatically alter the line of succession and change the face of the Royal Family forever. From her place in line to the throne to the one requirement she will never have to follow, Harry and Meghan's daughter will be a royal rule breaker from day one.
"Harry and Meghan have made history in most everything they have done like no one in the Royal Family has ever done before, so it seems fitting that their soon-to-be-born daughter will continue on that path, breaking down barriers," one royal insider told Best Life.
Read on to find out the major ways Baby Sussex is bound to shake things up.
Baby Girl Sussex could be the next "Lady Diana."
Meghan and Harry will likely opt for their daughter to be a "Miss" (as Archie is "Master") with the same surname as her brother, Mountbatten-Windsor, making the baby's full name Miss [Insert first and middle names] Mountbatten-Windsor. Both children are entitled to courtesy titles, with Newsweek reporting that Archie could have been a "Lord" as the eldest son of a duke, but Harry and Meghan turned it down, opting instead for "Master." As such, Baby Girl Sussex could be a "Lady," if her parents so chose.
But here's the added twist: She could share a title and name with the grandmother she'll never know. As reported by People, U.K. gambling site Ladbrokes have Diana and Elizabeth as the top name choices for Baby Girl Sussex, at 5/1 and 10/1, respectively. (The site has also reported the name Philippa is growing in popularity to honor the late Prince Philip. The current betting odds on the name are 3/1.) If Baby Girl Sussex is named Diana and does take on the title of "Lady"—just like Queen Elizabeth's oldest grandchild, Lady Louise Windsor, did as the daughter of Prince Edward (who is Earl of Wessex) and Sophie, Countess of Wessex—she would become "Lady Diana."
But the title for Harry and Meghan's daughter could rest in Charles' hands when he becomes king.
Things could get very interesting when Prince Charles ascends the throne. According to royal law, Archie and little "Miss" Sussex will go from being great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth to grandchildren of the reigning monarch when Charles becomes king, which means Archie automatically becomes a prince.
The 1917 Letters Patent issued by King George limited the "HRH" designation to the children of the sovereign and male grandchildren in the line of succession. But in 2012, Queen Elizabeth issued a special Letters Patent that allowed all of Prince William and Duchess Catherine's children to be HRHs, regardless of their sex. She forever changed the line of succession by decreeing the Cambridges' eldest child, boy or girl, to be William's heir.
In the case of Archie and his sister, Charles could issue his own Letters Patent, giving both children an HRH title and making Meghan and Harry's daughter a princess. He could also restrict the use of any titles, since Harry and Meghan are no longer senior royals working within the family, as part of his new plan to slim down the monarchy.
She will be the first royal family member to be born outside of Britain.
Like her mother before her, Baby Girl Sussex has broken centuries-old barriers simply by being a member of the Royal Family. She will be the first biracial girl born into the Royal Family, as well as the first royal to be born outside the U.K. Big brother Archie was born on May 6, 2019 in England, nine months before Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down as senior royals.
According to The Independent, because Meghan will give birth in California and retains her American citizenship, Baby Girl Sussex is automatically an American citizen.
British citizenship can be passed down one generation under British law, if certain conditions are met. Prince Harry is still a British citizen, so Baby Girl Sussex automatically gets dual citizenship. Archie also holds dual citizenship because he was born in the U.K. and Meghan is an American citizen. (In 2018, it was announced that Meghan would be beginning the pathway to British citizenship, which takes years. It's unknown if the process was ever completed.)
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Harry and Meghan's daughter will not require the monarch's permission to marry.
As per the 1772 Royal Marriages Act, descendants of George II are required to obtain the king or queen's consent before they wed. However, this law was repealed through the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013, requiring only the first six people in the line of succession to seek permission before marrying. As eighth in line to the throne, Harry and Meghan's daughter will not need the monarch's approval to marry. However, as The Express reported, this could change when Prince William becomes king and there are no other additional royal children added to the line of succession.
Her place in the line of succession drops a controversial royal down a spot.
When Baby Girl Sussex arrives, she will be eighth in line for the throne, just behind her brother, Archie, who holds the seventh spot. Prince Andrew will drop down a spot, putting him in ninth place. Andrew stepped back from his official royal duties (and was dropped as patron of many charities) in Nov. 2019, after his train wreck interview where he tried—and spectacularly failed—to explain his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew's daughters' positions will also change dramatically. Princess Beatrice, Andrew's eldest daughter, will move to 10th in line, while new mother Princess Eugenie, will drop out of the top 10 completely.
The places above Baby Girl Sussex stay the same with Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George in the top three spots, followed by Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry, and Archie.
Harry's place in the line of succession is unchanged despite quitting royal life with Meghan in 2020. The couple's HRH titles have been put in abeyance, not officially removed, despite many in Britain calling for the removal of the Sussexes' titles.