If Queen Elizabeth is still on the throne when and if Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have children, the title of Duke of Sussex can only be handed down to the firstborn male heir, due to primogeniture, but that does not mean that any little Harrys or Meghans won’t be given a specific title or a prince or princess and/or HRH designation. In fact, in more cases than not, the queen has made alternative arrangements for her grandchildren.
People Magazine said that as things stand right now, only a firstborn male heir of Prince Harry and Meghan will inherit the title “Duke of Sussex” upon Harry’s death, but Queen Elizabeth has put something in place to get around this feudal policy which ironically was the main storyline in the hit show Downton Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth put in place the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 which took gender out of the mix when it came to an inherited title.
“In determining the succession to the Crown, the gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person’s descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born).”
This is what made it possible for all of Prince William’s children to be prince and princess, and that Prince Louis did not leapfrog over Princess Charlotte in the line of succession.
According to Royal Historian, by decree, Queen Elizabeth decided that “all children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be prince and princesses.” The queen can do the same for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, as she also did it for Prince Andrew, making Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice princesses rather than making them Lady Eugenie and Lady Beatrice.
The Queen’s Letters Patent can essentially “make it so” in any case she chooses (or often is asked by her children or grandchildren). This is why some grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth are lords and ladies, and some are princes and princesses.
Zara Tindall, the oldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth, is not a princess but says she is glad that her mother, Princess Anne, said no thanks when it came to giving her children a royal title. Zara’s father was also offered a royal title from the queen, and declined, says People.
“I’m very lucky that both my parents decided to not use the title and we grew up and did all the things that gave us the opportunity to do.”
Zara competed in the 2012 Olympics as an equestrian and won a silver medal.
Ultimately, the decision will fall to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on whether or not their offspring will accept a royal title from Queen Elizabeth.