Today, a constitutional expert told Express.co.uk if Prince Charles ascends the throne, his grandson, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, will become a prince. This is despite his parents, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, deciding against giving their son a royal title. The pair have chosen to raise Archie as a private citizen.
However, should Charles ever become king, the 1-year-old, will be by default a prince.
Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne explained to Express.co.uk: “In the case of Archie, things change on the death of the Queen.
“At that moment, by law, Archie will become – whether he chooses to be or not – HRH Prince Archie of Sussex for life.
“At his death, the HRH dies too, he can pass on to any male heir the title Duke of Sussex, but not HRH or Prince.
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“This comes from George V’s letters patent of 1917 regulating the HRH.”
Despite this, Charles has voiced concerns over ever becoming king.
In 2012, while being recorded for a film released on the Clarence House website, the prince made a series of candid comments about his life and the future.
One saw him joke about his reputation for pursuing projects with notorious vigour but made a poignant reference to his mortality.
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He said: “Impatient? Me? What a thing to suggest! Yes of course I am.
“I’ll run out of time soon.
“I shall have snuffed it if I’m not careful.”
Charles, at the time of recording, was 64 years old.
He is now 71, while his mother, Queen Elizabeth II is 94.
She became the longest-reigning British monarch in 2015.
In 2008, Charles became the longest-waiting heir to the throne in British history.
He overtook his great-great-grandfather, Edward VII.
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Many commentators have consistently suggested he is frustrated his reign has not yet begun.
He has himself previously hinted at his impatience.
In 1993, on the eve of the Queen’s 40th anniversary on the throne, he attended the funeral of his father-in-law, the 8th Earl Spencer, where he is believed to have remarked to Charles Spencer, his then brother-in-law: “You are fortunate enough to have succeeded to the title when still young,” according to The Daily Telegraph.
Then, in 2004, in conversation with a Guards officer at Wellington Barracks who congratulated him on his 56th birthday, the Prince is reported to have replied: “I’m now at the age at which my grandfather died.”
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Penny Junor, the royal biographer said: “He is impatient, but when he becomes king, his activities and all the projects he most enjoys where he can make a difference, will be seriously curtailed.
“He has spent an awful lot of his life searching for a role, but I think he does now feel fulfilled pursuing his various interests.”
Meanwhile, according to Meghan and Harry’s unofficial biography Finding Freedom, a future King Charles could make a change to free Archie from the imminent title.
Of this, authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: “Harry and Meghan – who were going to register Archie for dual citizenship, decided to forgo a title for their son because they wanted him to be a private citizen until he was at an age where he could decide which path to take.”
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According to the book, Meghan and Harry “were worried” about Archie automatically becoming a Prince when Charles is King and voiced their concerns.
Mr Scobie and Ms Durand write: “A source said the couple were worried about the day Prince Charles becomes King and Harry’s children could inherit the titles of Prince or Princesses.
“They shared their concerns with Charles, who said he would consider when he became King issuing a new letters patent, a legal instrument in the form of a written order issued by a reigning monarch, that would change this style.
“‘To not have a senior role in the Royal Family but have a title’, a senior aide close to the couple said at the time, ‘is just a burden.'”