IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Meghan Markle explained why Archie isn't a prince. Here's why that could change

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor could become Prince Archie one day according to a royal order from 1917.
/ Source: TODAY

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said in a bombshell interview on Sunday night that her son, who'll turn 2 in May, was denied the title of prince by the royal family. But a written order from 1917 means he could still be Prince Archie one day.

The former Meghan Markle shared in the interview with Oprah Winfrey that she and husband Prince Harry were told the royal family didn't want Archie to have the title of prince, despite Queen Elizabeth II previously revising a royal protocol to ensure all three children of Harry's brother, Prince William, would receive prince and princess titles.

Watch TODAY All Day! Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan with their son Archie
Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the son of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, could still become a prince one day when Prince Charles succeeds Queen Elizabeth II to the throne upon her death. Toby Melville / Reuters

However, Archie could still become a prince when Harry's father, Prince Charles, ascends to the throne to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth, upon her death. Archie would receive the title as the grandchild of a king under the order issued in 1917 by the queen's grandfather, George V, which Meghan referenced in the interview.

"You know, the other piece of that conversation is there's a convention I've thought of as George V or George VI convention that when you're the grandchild of the monarch, so when Harry's dad becomes King, automatically, Archie, and our next baby would become prince or princess or whatever they're going to be," she said.

The Duchess of Sussex was particularly upset that Archie was not made a prince because if he had been given that title, it would've meant he would be provided with security protection.

"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," Meghan said. "It was really hard. ... This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy. ... I was very scared of having to offer up our baby, knowing that they weren't going to be kept safe.

"He needs to be safe, so we're not saying don't make him a prince or princess, whatever it's going to be. ... We haven't created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder. You've allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe."

Under an order issued in 1917 by King George V, only Prince George, the oldest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, would've been given the prince title as he's in direct line to the throne.

However, the queen revised the rule in 2012 so that all of William's children would carry the title of prince or princess, allowing Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to have those titles. Princess Charlotte would've been Lady Charlotte and Prince Louis would've been Lord Louis had the queen not overridden the rule.

But this revision did not apply to Archie. The Duchess of Sussex told Winfrey they were given "no explanation" by the royal family as to why Archie was denied the title of prince.

"And so I think even with that convention, I'm talking about while I was pregnant, they said they want to change the convention for Archie," she said. "Hmm, well, why?"

It was suggested at Archie's birth that it was Meghan and Harry who did not want him to have a royal title, but she said it was not their choice.

"No. And it's not our decision to make," she said. "Even though I have a lot of clarity on what comes with the titles, good and bad, and from my experience, a lot of pain. I, again, wouldn't wish pain on my child, but that is their birthright to then make a choice about."

Meghan also suggested race may have played a factor in Archie not being given the title of prince. The Duchess of Sussex, who is half Black, claimed that during her pregnancy there were "concerns and conversations" among the royal family about "how dark his skin might be when he's born."

Winfrey asked if that meant that Archie being "too brown" would be a problem.

"I wasn't able to follow up with why, but if that's the assumption you're making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one," Meghan said.

Buckingham Palace has not responded to the claims made in the interview.