Archie and Lilibet line of succession: Can Queen strip royal status from Harry’s children?

Lilibet Diana: Expert questions line of succession

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Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, two, and his little sister Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor are both being raised in the USA by their parents Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39. Lilibet was born on June 4 but the Royal Family only recently updated its website to include her in the line of succession.

Despite quitting the Firm last year, Harry has kept his place as sixth in line to the throne.

Archie is seventh in line while Lili is eighth.

On Monday, journalist and Sussex supporter Omid Scobie tweeted about the update.

He wrote: “The line of succession on the @RoyalFamily website has just been updated to include the Sussexes’ second child: Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, who is eighth in line to the throne. She was born on June 4.”

Harry and Meghan have become financially independent from the Crown since stepping down as senior royals but some of their recent activity has prompted some to call for them to lose their royal titles.

In the Megxit agreement they made with Queen Elizabeth II,95,  Harry and Meghan promised to no longer use their HRH styles in conjunction with their work from Spring 2020.

However, earlier this year Meghan published her children’s book The Bench under her Duchess of Sussex title and an announcement about Harry’s upcoming memoir from his publishers referred to him as “Harry, Duke of Sussex.”

Given Harry has left royal life behind, some may wonder whether the Queen may choose to remove him from the line of succession entirely.

But a constitutional expert has explained why it would not be possible for her to do so.

Academic Iain MacMarthanne explained only Parliament has the power to alter the line of succession.

And despite Prince Charles’s reported desire for a slimmed-down monarchy when he is king, no presiding sovereign can change the line of succession without Parliament.


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Mr MacMarthanne told “On the question of removing Prince Harry and his heirs from the line of succession, only Parliament, through an Act of Parliament, can alter the succession as it is presently laid down in law.”

As King Charles would still have to give the parliamentary process Royal Assent.

Mr MacMarthanne added: “Neither the Queen nor a future King Charles would have a part to play in this other than having to give Royal Assent at the end of the process.”

Will Charles have the power to remove Harry’s titles?

While neither the Queen nor Charles can alter the line of succession, the presiding sovereign can remover titles as they please.

Mr MacMarthanne explained: “As far as styles and titles are concerned the Queen is at liberty to strip whomever of whatever royal title and peerage.

“When Prince Charles inherits the throne he also inherits that same right.

“Accordingly, by a stroke, be it at the hand of Elizabeth II, or a future King Charles, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel, could quickly find himself becoming plain and ordinary Mr Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor.”

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