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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Half of Britons say Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet shouldn’t have titles

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to call their children their prince and princess titles appears to have met with public approval in the UK, as a new poll shows more than half of Britons do not support the move .

A new poll by YouGov on Monday found that a majority of the 2,661 British adults polled were not in favor of Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, being given prince or princess titles.

When asked if they thought “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children Archie and Lilibet should or shouldn’t be given the royal titles of prince and princess,” 51 percent said they “shouldn’t.”

This compares to 25 percent of respondents who said they “should” and 24 percent who said they “don’t know.”

Harry and Meghan ended speculation about their children’s titles on March 8 with an announcement by a spokesman confirming that Lilibet had been christened in California. The spokesman said: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Rev. John Taylor.”

This was the first time one of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children has been officially named a prince or princess. The announcement sparked debate about children’s rights to the titles and why Harry and Meghan wanted to use them after publicly criticizing the monarchy.

Prior to the announcement, Archie and Lilibet had been addressed by their first names with a master or miss prefix and the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

An additional statement from the couple’s spokesman, released after the christening announcement, made it clear that Archie and Lilibet have been prince and princess since the day their grandfather, King Charles III, became monarch last September.

They said: “Children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became monarch. This matter has been settled in accordance with Buckingham Palace for some time.”

The change was made in accordance with Protocols on Royal Titles established by King George V in 1917, stating that grandchildren of the sovereign born through the male line have the right to be HRH (His or Her Royal Highness ) Great Britain to be termed Prince or Princess.

Those rights weren’t touched by Harry and Meghan’s resignation from their work roles within the monarchy in 2020, nor by the decision that the couple would not publicly use their HRH styles.

Following the Sussexes’ announcement, Buckingham Palace has officially updated its website to reflect the new titles on the published list of successors.

Archie and Lilibet are currently sixth and seventh in line to the throne, indicating the number of family members before them in line to the throne.

The new poll for Harry and Meghan comes as they have seen a steady decline in their net approval ratings on both sides of the Atlantic over the past few months since the release of their bombshell Netflix documentary Harry’s Memoir spare part and his interviews in promotion of the book.

Latest data compiled by strategists Redfield & Wilton showed Harry’s net approval rating in the UK has fallen 37 points since November and now stands at -22. Meghan similarly dropped 31 points, giving her a net approval rating of -33.

news week has emailed representatives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is latestpagenews’s royal reporter in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on latestpagenews’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry or their family that you would like our experienced Royal Correspondents to answer? Email royals@latestpagenews.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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