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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son, Prince Archie, may not be living the royal life, growing up in California alongside his sister, Princess Lilibet. However, one aspect of being a British royal may someday play a role in his life. When the 4-year-old grows up, he may have to ask permission to marry because of the line of succession

The Succession to the Crown Act means Archie may have to ask King Charles or Prince William’s permission to marry

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s oldest child, Archie is in the line of succession at No. 6. He’s behind his uncle, Prince William, his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, plus his father, Harry. Meaning that Archie holds a significant place considering the Succession to the Crown Act. 

“The first six in line to the throne [must] ask permission from the monarch before they marry,” under the Act, Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told Newsweek. Approved in 2013 by the late Queen Elizabeth II and enacted in 2015, it replaced the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. 

That means Archie, should he grow up to remain in the line of succession’s No. 6 spot or lower, will be required to follow the law. Should he not, he’d risk his small chance at the throne. 

“When one of the six is given consent to marry, a formal process must be followed where this is “signified under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, declared in Council, and recorded in the books of the Privy Council,” Fitzwilliams explained. 

So, Archie may someday find himself asking his grandfather, King Charles III, for permission to marry. Or, if by that time Prince William’s become king, his uncle. 

If Archie gets pushed down the line of succession, perhaps by his cousins marrying and having children, he may no longer find himself among the first six people in line for the throne. Additionally, if William becomes king before Archie marries, he and his younger sister, Lili, will both have to ask for permission. 

Asking for permission to marry will be a ‘technicality’ for Archie

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, whose son Prince Archie may have to ask permission to marry as sixth in the line of succession, at an Invictus Games event
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023

If, years from now, Archie finds himself having to ask his grandfather’s permission to marry, it won’t necessarily be a big deal. According to Fitzwilliams, getting the go-ahead from King  Charles would “simply be a technicality.”

“This is highly unlikely to be refused,” the commentator told the outlet. “It was the crown princes of Norway and Sweden marrying for love regardless of background that paved the way for very different attitudes to royal marriages decades ago. The disastrous marriage between Charles and Diana was proof things needed to change radically.” 

“Archie is currently resident abroad. And this is unlikely to change foreseeably,” Fitzwilliams added, referencing Harry and Meghan’s home in Montecito, California.

“We obviously cannot be certain of what the relations between the royal family and his parents will be if and when he decides to marry. However, the monarch’s permission can, in this case, as he is sixth in line to the throne, be taken for granted. It would simply be a technicality.” 

Prince Harry asked Queen Elizabeth’s permission to propose marriage to Meghan Markle in 2017

If Archie someday has to ask permission before marrying, he can turn to his own father for advice. Harry, as revealed in his January 2023 Spare memoir, had to do just that before proposing to Archie’s mother, Meghan.

Harry asked his grandmother, the queen, for permission to marry Meghan in October 2017. “’Granny, you know I love Meg very much,’” he recalled saying. “’And I’ve decided that I would like to ask her to marry me. And I’ve been told that, er, that I have to ask your permission before I can propose?’” 

Queen Elizabeth replied, “’You have to? Well then, I suppose I have to say yes.’” Harry admittedly “didn’t get” his grandmother’s response. “Was she being sarcastic? Ironic? Deliberately cryptic? he asked himself. “Was she indulging in a bit of wordplay?”

Harry went on to propose to Meghan at Nottingham Cottage in November 2017. He got down on one knee in the backyard, surrounded by flowers, candles, and Meghan’s dog, Guy.