On Saturday, May 19, the world watched with anticipation as Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle tied the knot. The couple had announced their engagement the previous fall, and fans immediately fell in love with their royal story.
As is common with royal love stories, one burning question was on everyone’s mind: when will Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan want to have kids? The royal littles, though several spaces removed, would be in line to the throne.
Now, reports have emerged describing the interesting process that having kids in the royal family looks like. Many people already know the challenging dynamics at play when it comes to media attention, but few know that there is actually a custody restriction as well!
According to Fox News, royal couples with children in line for the throne do not have legal custody of their own kids. Reportedly, most royal historians would agree that Prince William and Kate Middleton do not hold legal custody of Prince George, Princess Charlotte, or Prince Louis and that it can be assumed the same would hold true for Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan.
Reportedly, the legal custody actually belongs to “the sovereign,” Queen Elizabeth II. Royal expert Marlene Koenig said that the 92-year-old would have the legal custody of the “minor grandchildren.”
Historians noted that the law can be traced back to over 300 years to King George I when 10 out of 12 judges decided he would have the custody of his grandchildren.
Koenig said, “This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed. He did it because he had a very poor relationship with his son, the future King George II, so they had this law passed that meant the King was the guardian of his grandchildren.”
She continued, saying that the judges confirmed the monarch’s “right of supervision extended to his grandchildren and this right of right belongs to His Majesty, King of the Realm, even during their father’s lifetime.”
Koenig noted that the law was legislated again in 1772 with King George III and has never since been replaced. Since then, the sovereign has the final say on many parenting decisions. For instance, Prince Charles would have to ask the Queen for her opinion when making travel plans for Prince William and Prince Harry when they were young.
She said, “Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that.”
The royal expert also noted that because of the interesting custody arrangement, that discussion didn’t even need to be included in royal divorces.
When Queen Elizabeth II passes away, the custody of William and Kate’s three children and other grandchildren in line to the throne will be handed to Prince Charles, who would then be king.
Some historians would say that the custody law may not apply to great-grandchildren, though it would still mean that when Prince Charles becomes king that he would have legal custody over Prince William and Duchess Kate's children, so the law is still applicable overall.
Did you know about this interesting custody rule? Let us know! In other recent news, another retail giant just announced store closures and 4,300 people will lose jobs.