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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today declared that it is Archie and Lilibet’s ‘birthright’ to be called prince and princess in a new statement defending the decision.

The Duke and Duchess also insisted that the matter had been ‘settled for some time’ with King Charles – despite only being revealed by the couple yesterday. 

The King is said to have told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called prince and princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral last year. 

But their 21-month-old daughter Lilibet saw her royal title of ‘Princess’ used formally for the first time yesterday when the couple told the world she had been christened in California without Charles, Camilla, William and Kate present.

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said: ‘The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became Monarch. This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace.’ 

Sources close to the Sussexes had suggested they were frustrated that Buckingham Palace failed to immediately recognise Archie and Lilibet’s titles after the Queen’s death six months ago.

Harry and Meghan have said that not calling Archie and Lilibet prince and princess would deny their children their birthright

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after celebrating her first birthday in June last year

Harry and Meghan have said that not calling Archie (left with his dad) and Lilibet (right on her 1st birthday) prince and princess would deny their children their birthright

The King told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a 'private conversation' after the Queen's funeral last year (pictured)

The King told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral last year (pictured)

The Sussexes at their former home Frogmore Cottage during their visit to the UK for the Queen's Jubilee in June, pictured

The Sussexes at their former home Frogmore Cottage during their visit to the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee in June, pictured

The Prince and Princess of Wales, and their three children, had their titles swiftly changed when Charles acceded to the throne in September. But Archie and Lili’s has still not been changed, even today.

Buckingham Palace sources have claimed that they were waiting for Harry and Meghan to make a final decision.

Charles not blocking it – despite the turmoil Harry and Meghan has caused – is seen as an olive branch after reports the couple has been ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess. Royal sources said Charles would never have ‘punished’ his grandchildren like that.

It is understood that despite the Sussexes’ repeated attacks on the institution of the monarchy and members of the Royal Family, there has been correspondence on the issue between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and royal aides.

Harry and Meghan’s children became a prince and princess when the King acceded to the throne, but have remained a plain ‘master’ and ‘miss’ on the Buckingham Palace website for the past six months. Early today, that remained the case.

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Lili was described as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ in a statement from a spokesman for the couple yesterday that confirmed she was christened last in a private ceremony at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, on March 3.

A source told the Mirror: ‘The appropriate conversations took place ahead of Lilibet’s christening.’ 

While it is understood the title will be used in formal settings, it will not be in everyday conversational use by the couple.

So she will likely still be known as ‘Lilibet’ in most scenarios.

Lilibet, known as ‘Lili’ for short, was named as ‘Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor’ on her birth certificate in California. 

Harry and Meghan are understood to be keen to not deny their children their birthright but will allow them the chance to decide for themselves when they are older whether they want to drop or keep using the titles. 

The first picture of the couple's daughter Lilibet was released in a Christmas card on December 23, 2021

The first picture of the couple’s daughter Lilibet was released in a Christmas card on December 23, 2021

The move is seen as an olive branch from Charles after reports Harry and Meghan had been 'obsessed' with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess

The move is seen as an olive branch from Charles after reports Harry and Meghan had been ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess

The couple's £11million mansion in Montecito, California, where their daughter's christening was held

The couple’s £11million mansion in Montecito, California, where their daughter’s christening was held

Tyler Perry at a Los Angeles airport last Friday, on the day he attended Lilibet's christening as her godfather

Tyler Perry at a Los Angeles airport last Friday, on the day he attended Lilibet’s christening as her godfather

It will be up to Lilibet whether she wants to describe herself as a princess.

Harry and Meghan’s children Archie and Lilibet became prince and princess respectively when King Charles acceded to the throne last September.

However it is only now that the couple have chosen to use the title.

Rules set out by King George V in 1917 mean Archie and Lili, as the children of a son of a sovereign, are automatically a prince and a princess.

Buckingham Palace currently refers to her on the royal website as ‘Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor’.

The Palace said its website ‘will now be updated in due course’ to reflect the titles – making Lilibet a princess.

Previously, at the time of the late Queen’s death and the King’s accession last year, a spokesman for the King pledged to update Archie and Lilibet’s names on the site ‘as and when we get information’. 

Meghan said in the couple’s bombshell interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey in 2021 that Archie was not given the title of prince because of his race.

The real reason was that although he was a great-grandchild of the monarch, he was not a first-born son of a future king and so was not automatically a prince.

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Lilibet also now has an HRH – Her Royal Highness – style title if she wishes to use it. 

However, it also understood that HRH will be ‘held in abeyance’, which describes a state of temporary disuse.

Although Harry and Meghan retain their HRH styles, they no longer use them after quitting the working monarchy.

It was previously reported in 2021 that Charles, in a bid to limit the number of key royals, intended, when he became monarch, to prevent Archie becoming a prince.

To do so, he would have to issue a Letters Patent amending Archie’s right to be a prince and Lili’s right to be a princess.

The couple’s statement yesterday said Lilibet was ‘christened on March 3, by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor’.

However, Reverend Taylor is actually the Bishop of Los Angeles in the Episcopal Church in the US, which is part of the global Anglican Communion.

The Archbishop of Los Angeles is the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, who leads the US’s largest Catholic community.

Conducting the ceremony in the US means that Lilibet will not be considered a ‘member’ of the Church of England automatically.

However, as the Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the christening in the US is valid in the UK.

A royal baby does also not need to be christened in a Church of England church to go into the royal line of succession and she could later join a Church of England congregation if she came to Britain.

It is not believed that any other current members of the Royal Family have been baptised by the Episcopal Church.

Meghan was a Catholic growing up before being baptised and confirmed into the Church of England in 2018.

The couple broke with a longstanding tradition by holding the baptism in the US, with royal babies normally christened in a Church of England church. 

People magazine reported that there were between 20 and 30 guests at the event, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Lilibet’s billionaire godfather Tyler Perry.

The filmmaker had been spotted paying a visit to Harry and Meghan’s Montecito home last Friday and at a airport in Los Angeles where he boarded his private jet.

Afterwards guests and family including Doria Ragland danced to a playlist containing songs from Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception at Windsor Castle. 

A gospel choir also reportedly performed Oh Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine. 

Royal journalist Omid Scobie, who is close to the Sussexes, reported that ‘King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, Princess Kate were invited but didn’t attend’.

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It is not known whether any other Royal Family members were present.

LA Bishop who christened Lilibet in Montecito was an ex-reporter who became Richard Nixon’s chief of staff

'Lili' was christened by the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor

‘Lili’ was christened by the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor

The Bishop who christened the Sussexes’ daughter Princess Lilibet is a former newspaper reporter who was chief of staff for former US president Richard Nixon.

Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor – the Bishop of Los Angeles – baptised Harry and Meghan’s 21-month-old at their Montecito home in California on Friday.

Harry has been outspoken about his hatred of the media and his autobiography Spare makes clear his distrust and contempt for the press, particularly over the treatment of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Bishop Taylor was a reporter and editor for twice-weekly Chula Vista Star News in the 1970s.

Nixon, who died in 1994, was the 37th president of the US and the only one to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal.

A profile in the Los Angeles Times described Bishop Taylor as one of Nixon’s closest confidants in later years and as co-executor of his estate.

He was also director of the Nixon library.

Nixon – a republican – used to call Bishop Taylor ‘our House liberal’.

He was the former president’s researcher and editorial assistant, before becoming his chief of staff between 1984 and 1990 before being ordained as a priest in 2004.

Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor (centre) is a former newspaper editor and the chief of staff for disgraced former US president Richard Nixon (left)

Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor (centre) is a former newspaper editor and the chief of staff for disgraced former US president Richard Nixon (left)

Nixon resigned in 1974 after he was implicated in the Watergate scandal following a cover-up when five men connected with his election campaign team were arrested after a break-in at at the offices of the Democratic Party’s national headquarters.

Bishop Taylor was elected as the seventh bishop of Los Angeles to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in December 2016 and took office in December 2017.

He is a father of four and a grandfather of two.

The diocese’s website says he has ‘devoted himself to promoting reconciliation, transparency’.

It adds: ‘In those called to leadership in the church, whether lay or ordained, he encourages the exercise of empathy and curiosity as tools of evangelism, to enrich relationships and build new ones across the barriers of difference and prejudice according to race, language, geography, orientation, identification, age, and socioeconomics.’

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