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Daughter Harry & Meghan baptized, gets royal title


LONDON — Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced on Wednesday that their daughter has been baptized in a private ceremony in California, publicly naming her a princess and revealing for the first time that they will use royal titles for their children.

Princess Lilibet Diana, who turns two in June, was baptized by the Archbishop of Los Angeles on Friday, Rev. John Taylor, Harry and Meghan said in a statement. Lilibet’s title and that of her brother Archie, who turns four in May, will be updated later on the Buckingham Palace website.

The announcement marked the first time the children’s titles had been used in public.

The issue of children’s titles was the focus of Harry and Meghan’s television interview with Oprah Winfrey two years ago. Meghan, who is biracial, said when she was pregnant with Archie “they” – presumably the palace – “said they didn’t want him to be a prince… which would be different from protocol.”

Meghan suggested it was because Archie was the “first member of color” of the royal family and would have been the first time a royal grandchild was not given the same title as the other grandchildren.

At the time, royal experts said Meghan’s comments appeared to be based on a misunderstanding of how royal titles are conferred.

Titles are conferred in accordance with a decree issued by King George V in 1917 restricting the titles of prince and princess to the sovereign’s male grandchildren.

As long as the late Queen Elizabeth II lived, Harry and his older brother, Prince William, were the sovereign’s grandchildren. Harry and William’s children, as great-grandchildren, did not receive the titles automatically.

But Elizabeth had the power to change the rules, and in 2012 she decided that Prince William and his wife, Catherine’s children would be princes and princesses. This decree did not apply to Harry and Meghan.

However, the situation changed when King Charles III ascended the throne last September after the death of his mother. William and Harry are the king’s sons, meaning their descendants are now royal grandchildren and thus entitled to be known as prince and princess.

Nevertheless, they have remained a clear “master” and “miss” on the Buckingham Palace website for the past six months.

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