The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s second child will have an automatic right to US citizenship if born in America, as is likely.
The new baby, news of which was announced by the “overjoyed” couple on Valentine’s Day, will be born eighth in line to the throne and become the most senior royal in the current line of succession to be born overseas.
Harry retained his place in the line of succession despite the couple’s decision to step back from royal life and live independently in the US. But his position, and those of his children, will continue to descend the line of succession as his niece and nephews Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have children of their own.
Like their firstborn, Archie, the new baby Sussex will not be entitled at this stage to the style HRH – His or Her Royal Highness – or the title prince or princess due to rules set out by George V. It is entitled to be a lord or a lady, but Harry and Meghan eschewed such a title for Archie, opting to style him plain Master, with the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, and are likely to do the same for a future son, and Miss, for a daughter.
The baby will be entitled to HRH and prince or princess status once the Prince of Wales – its grandfather – ascends to the throne, although it is thought unlikely the Sussexes will opt for such a change.
Photographer Misan Harriman, a friend of the couple who shot a black and white image released to mark the couple’s new pregnancy announcement, said he had captured it on an iPad remotely.
The photograph shows the couple sat under a tree in Los Angeles, with a barefoot Harry resting his hand on Meghan’s face while she lies in his lap resting her hand on her baby bump.
Harriman, the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover– and the first to shoot its September issue – in its 105-year history, said it had been an “absolute joy” to be asked to help share the good news, especially following the loss and heartbreak the couple suffered last year when Meghan had a miscarriage.
Of his striking image, Harriman told British Vogue: “With the tree of life behind them and the garden representing fertility, life and moving forward, they didn’t need any direction, because they are, and always have been, waltzing through life together as absolute soulmates.”
No due date for the baby has yet been announced. It will be the Queen and Prince Philip’s 10th or 11th great-grandchild, depending on whether it arrives before Zara Tindall’s baby which is also due later this year.