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Prince Charles could get "automatic custody" of grandson Archie when he becomes King, says expert

Even as they prepare to strike out on their own as a family, Meghan and Harry might face some troubles regarding the custody of their 8-month-old son Archie in the future.

Prince Charles could get "automatic custody" of grandson Archie when he becomes King, says expert
Cover Image Source: Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019. (Photo by Toby Melville - Pool), Prince Charles in Cardiff on July 01, 2019. (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool), Getty Images

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their unconventional decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family, the world has been busy speculating about the longterm implications of their move.  While reports claimed that other members of the family including the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William were blindsided by the shocking announcement, they have since revealed their decision to respect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's desire to be independent.



 

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family. Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK," the Queen said in an official statement published on the royal family's website on January 13.



 

In their official statement, Prince Harry and Meghan revealed that will now be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America. "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity," the couple explained. However, even as they prepare to strike out on their own as a family, Meghan and Harry might face some troubles regarding the custody of their 8-month-old son Archie in the future.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor at a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images)

Being a part of the Royal Family comes with a set of laws unlike that of a normal household, one of which concerns the custody of all minor grandchildren. According to international legal advisory CS Global Partners, a 300-year-old royal prerogative dictates that the ruling monarch will "have automatic custody of all minor grandchildren. This, however, is not an Act of Parliament and also dates from the times King George I asked that he have custody of his grandchildren after disagreements with his son, later King George II. Since Queen Elizabeth is Archie’s great-grandmother, not grandmother, this royal prerogative doesn’t seem to apply."



 

However, this wouldn't be the case when Archie's grandfather Prince Charles becomes King. "When Prince Charles – Archie’s grandfather – became sovereign, he may have custody over Archie. Based on the updated principle regarding the ruling sovereign’s right to veto the marriage of the first six heirs to the throne, with Archie becoming sixth once Charles became the ruling monarch, it is assumed that the custody matter may, in fact, apply to him should it be modernized and become the law. For now, however, Meghan and Harry do have full custody of Archie at least for as long as Queen Elizabeth reigns unless the royal prerogative is adapted into an Act of Parliament," the website states.



 

Although chances of the royal prerogative being enforced are quite slim, if it were to be adapted into an Act of Parliament, it would be quite a blow to Meghan who has reportedly already been in a fragile state of mind. According to The Sun, the bombshell announcement regarding the royal couple stepping back "was rushed out" as "Harry knew he needed to take swift action." Speaking to the publication, a source said, "Meghan has not settled in the UK and he knows that and wants her to be happy. And it has got worse recently, with their spell in Canada helping to cement her view that the family would be better off out of the spotlight and spending more time there. He feared staying in the UK too long would lead to Meghan having a meltdown. That is why things moved so quickly."



 

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