Prince Charles is to ensure that his two-year-old grandson Archie will never be a Prince, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The heir to the throne has made it clear that Harry and Meghan’s son will have no place among frontline Royals as he plans a slimmed-down Monarchy after he becomes King.
The move has incensed the Sussexes and is thought to have prompted the series of bitter accusations the couple have levelled at Charles and the Royal Family from across the Atlantic. A grandchild of the sovereign has long had the right to be a Prince, but Charles is determined to limit the number of key Royals, believing the public does not wish to pay for an ever-expanding Monarchy.
Charles has told the Sussexes that he will change key legal documents to ensure that Archie cannot get the title he would once have inherited by right, according to a source close to the couple. The decision, which follows months of fraught discussion behind the scenes, has plunged relations between Harry and his relatives to a dangerous new low.
‘Harry and Meghan were told Archie would never be a Prince, even when Charles became King,’ confirmed the source. Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday has learned that Harry demanded the right to approve at least one writer or journalist to work alongside the usual ‘press pack’ of Royal reporters at the unveiling of the statue to Princess Diana next month, so deep is his distrust of the British media.
The full details of Charles’s plan for a slimmed-down Monarchy have never been revealed, but it has been speculated that only heirs to the throne and their immediate families will receive full titles, financial support from the public purse through the Sovereign Grant and police protection funded by the taxpayer.
Charles and his younger brother, the Duke of York, have already been at loggerheads about what security Andrew’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie should receive in future. Now Harry and Meghan have found themselves caught up, too.
Insiders suggest they hadn’t seen the move coming, and were shocked to find that Charles will take the active step of changing legal instruments known as the Letters Patent in order to exclude Archie and others.
The loss will be all the more galling as the Sussexes havemade a point of refusing to use another, lesser title for their son, who is technically the Earl of Dumbarton. They took that decision safe in the knowledge that Archie would become a Prince in due course. Or so they thought.
Earlier this year, a source close to the Sussexes confirmed they did indeed expect Archie to be named a Prince when Charles, Archie’s grandfather, acceded to the throne. Their spokesman at the time was even instructed to remind journalists of that ‘fact’. The Sussexes finally learned that would not be the case just before sitting down with Oprah Winfrey for their first bombshell interview in March.
Insiders suggest the issue was still raw at the time of the recording – which might help account for the devastating criticisms they unleashed on the show, including the damaging implication that an unnamed senior member of the Royal Family had referred to Archie in a racist way.