Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced Wednesday that their daughter was christened in a private ceremony in California, publicly calling her princess. and revealing for the first time that they will be using royal titles for their children.
Princess Lilibet Diana, who turns two in June, was christened on Friday by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev. John Taylor, Harry and Meghan said in a statement.. Lilibet’s title and that of her brother Archie, who turns four in May, will be updated later on the Buckingham Palace website.
The announcement marked the first time the children’s titles had been used in public.
The question of children’s titles took center stage two years ago during Harry and Meghan’s television interview with Oprah Winfrey. Meghan, who is biracial, said that when she was pregnant with Archie, “they”, presumably the palace, “said they didn’t want him to be a prince… which would be different from protocol.”
Meghan suggested this was because Archie was the “first member of colour” of the royal family and would have marked the first time that a royal grandson was not given the same title as the other grandchildren.
At that moment, royal experts said Meghan’s comments appeared to be based on a misunderstanding about the way royal titles are awarded.
The titles are awarded in accordance with a decree issued by King George V in 1917 limiting the titles of prince and princess to the male-line grandchildren of the sovereign.
While the late Queen Elizabeth II lived, Harry and his older brother, Prince William, were the sovereign’s grandsons. Harry and William’s sons, as great-grandchildren, did not automatically receive the titles.
But Elizabeth had the power to amend the rules, and in 2012 he decreed that the children of Prince William and his wife, Catherine, would be princes and princesses. This decree did not apply to Harry and Meghan.
However, the situation changed when King Carlos III ascended to the throne after the death of his mother last September. William and Harry are the sons of the king, which means that their descendants are now royal grandchildren and therefore entitled to be known as prince and princess.
However, they have remained simply “masters” and “ladies” on the Buckingham Palace website for the past six months.