Duchess of Cornwall title: 'Nobody saw it coming' says expert
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King George V, the current Queen’s paternal grandfather, outlined in 1917 exactly who in the Royal Family was eligible for Prince or Princess titles and HRH status. George V stipulated that all of the reigning monarch’s children can be known as Prince or Princess, and the same goes for any of the monarch’s grandchildren born to their sons. The eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales is also eligible for a Prince title, but the Queen has made several alterations to royal protocol during her 70-year reign.
Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
As only the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales is entitled to a Prince title, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest child Prince George was eligible for a Prince title – but his younger siblings would have been left out.
The Queen intervened, and in 2012 a Letters Patent was issued to allow all of Kate and William’s children to bear Prince and Princess titles.
So Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ royal titles are distinctly unique and break with the protocol set out by King George V.
Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor
The absence of any royal titles for Archie and Lilibet is particularly unusual, as they’re children of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
As his father is a Duke, Archie may have been eligible to hold one of Harry’s subsidiary titles such as the Earl of Dumbarton.
But Archie is simply known as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and his younger sister Lilibet also carries the Royal Family’s surname rather than a title.
Under the George V convention, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor were not eligible for Prince and Princess titles at birth as the monarch’s great-grandchildren.
However, during the reign of Prince Charles, Archie and Lilibet will be grandchildren of the monarch through the male line, and therefore would arguably be eligible for Prince or Princess titles.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
Non-working members of the Royal Family tend not to use their HRH statuses, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and now Prince Andrew.
But Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, Andrew’s daughters, unusually still retain and publicly use their HRH titles, despite never working as royals.
Both princesses were born with HRH status as the grandchildren of the Queen through her second son, as stipulated under the George V convention.
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Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn
Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn were born to Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, the Queen’s third son.
Like Beatrice and Eugenie, Louise and James were eligible for HRH and Prince or Princess titles, but it was agreed by the Wessexes and the Queen that they would not use the titles.
Louise and James are titled as the children of an Earl rather than a Prince, with their official titles listed as The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn.
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