Andrew Morton, the author of Princess Diana’s infamous biography, is working to release a new book about Meghan Markle, and has argued that her daughter Lilibet will become “America’s princess.” While that might sound good to the #SussexSquad, in reality that probably won’t be the case—especially because there was an actual blood princess born in the United States seven years before.
Royal titles are complicated in this 21st century, as families across Europe look to limit the number of working royals on the pay roll.
This has resulted in children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren being limited in the royal titles that we receive. For example, the Swedes recently eliminated the styling HRH, His/Her Royal Highness, from all of the King’s grandchildren except those of his heir, Crown Princess Victoria.
Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, and His wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, chose a lower royal title styling for their children, opting for “Viscount Severn” and “Lady” over prince and princess for their son James and daughter Louise.
And it’s highly likely that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not get a prince and princess title for their son Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, despite the very public begging and shaming of the royal family that they did on their interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Instead, they will likely have to settle for Archie, Earl of Dumbarton, and Lady Lilibet, which would be fitting given their distance from the throne, both in the line of succession and physical distance. Why would children who have hardly ever set foot in the United Kingdom need a prince and princess title? Just so they could make the children of billionaires and millionaires jealous at playdates in Montecito? It’s just unnecessary.
But apparently, Andrew Morton is under the impression that Lilibet will become this very influential “American Princess,” even though there have been three before her, including an actual blood princess.
Morton told Salon: “I think what people haven’t really taken on board is that Lilibet is going to be the first ever American princess.
“If she’s christened in the US, then I think America will embrace her as an American princess.”
That is categorically wrong.
There is of course Grace Kelly or Princess Grace, who became the first modern American princess, and of course people could argue that Meghan is an American “princess” as well, even though she would only be styled as “Princess Henry.” But neither were born into royal families.
The real and currently only true “American Princess” is Princess Leonore of Sweden, who was born in New York City in 2014. The daughter of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, daughter of the current king, the little girl came out of the womb as a blood princess. She also lives a quiet life with her parents in the state of Florida.
Though she no longer has the styling, Her Royal Highness, she is still ninth in line to the Swedish throne and has the curtesy title the Duchess of Gotland.
She is a real princess, Lilibet is not.
As the great-granddaughter of the current queen, she was only ever entitled to the styling of “Lady,” and that’s probably all she needs in life. Her father is estranged from his royal family, so why would she need the princess title? Don’t Harry and Meghan want their children to have a normal life? It’ll be silly if she’s going around talking about herself being a princess when she hasn’t even stepped foot in the U.K.
The Greek royals get a lot of criticism for their continued use of titles despite there expulsion from the country decades ago.
However, Meghan made quite a big deal about how her children were denied their “birth right” in her and Harry’s interview with Oprah, which was a lie. It wasn’t, and the only reason she would want one is to monetize it.
An American princess in the United States, that’s money in the bank for the Duke and Duchess of Montecito. Lilibet would be extra special if she was a princess, and Meghan would surely push that narrative. But as monarchies balance history and survival, royal titles to every royal grandchild and great-grandchild are among some of the first things to go. Oftentimes, they only weigh someone down if they’re not part of the working royal machine, and neither Archie or Lilibet would ever be working royals.
When Harry and Meghan abandoned their royal duties, they also lost the ability to demand prince and princess titles for their children, especially when they initially told the public they didn’t want them anyways, a decision that was met with cheers. As their children are no longer involved in the U.K. and the monarchy in an official capacity, Prince Charles should adjust letters patent to ensure that they are eligible for the titles of “Earl” and “Lady” only.