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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's children's titles have been changed on royal website

The children are now referred to as Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex on the official website of the British royal family.
/ Source: TODAY

The children of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are now officially a prince and princess.

The two children's names were updated early on March 9 to Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex on the British royal family's official website.

Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, had previously been referred to as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor on the website.

The indication of a name change came when a spokesperson for the royal couple referred to their daughter as “Princess Lilibet” in confirming the news of her christening last week.

“I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor,” a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told NBC News on March 8.

When their grandfather, King Charles III, ascended to the throne, the two children became eligible to claim the titles of “prince” and “princess.”

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.Misan Harriman

The decision to use the children's royal titles comes three years after Harry and Meghan decided to “step back” from their official duties as senior royal family members.

The christening comes amidst an ongoing rift between Harry and Meghan and the royal family. Harry and Meghan were asked to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage as recently as last week.

Prince Harry and his eldest child, Archie.
Prince Harry and his eldest child, Archie.Netflix

In a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex said that while she was still pregnant with Archie, the royal family had wanted to change protocol to not offer him a royal title.

“They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess ... which would be different from protocol and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” she told Winfrey at the time. “I was very scared of having to offer up our baby, knowing that they weren’t going to be kept safe.”

Meghan added that “no explanation” was given about her son not receiving a title. “It’s not their right to take it away,” she said.

The upgraded titles brings both children up to date with a written order by King George V in 1917 known as Letters Patent. The decree gives “the children and grandchildren of a reigning monarch have the automatic right to the title ‘His Royal Highness’ or ‘Her Royal Highness’ and ‘prince’ or ‘princess,’” royal commentator and biographer Carolyn Durand told TODAY in September 2022.

Archie's prince title has not been publicly used by the royal family and news of the two children's title changes only became apparent after the announcement of Lilibet's christening, which took place at their home in Montecito, California.

According to People, 20-30 guests joined the family for the “intimate gathering,” and senior members of the royal family were invited but did not attend.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and Lilibet’s godfather, Tyler Perry, did take part in the festivities, which included an afternoon of dining and dancing.

For the celebrations, Perry reportedly brought a 10-person gospel choir that sang “Oh Happy Day” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

King Charles III will be officially coronated in May. Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet Diana are sixth and seventh in line to the throne.

CORRECTION (March 9, 2023 at 8:41 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this story referred to Archie and Lilibet's grandfather as King Charles II and that King Charles II will be coronated in May. This has since been changed to King Charles III.