Will Baby Sussex grow up to be
a prince, a president, or both?

Congratulations to Meghan and Harry on the birth of their first child, a boy called Archie.

Their baby son is the seventh in line to the throne, and the first British royal in history to have an American mother. We have been looking at Archie’s immigration status and are wondering whether he will be an American or British citizen, or both.

American status

The US State Department says that a child born abroad ‘in wedlock to a US citizen’ (Meghan) and an ‘alien'( ie, a non-American like Harry) acquires US citizenship at birth, if the American parent has lived in the US for more than five years, and two of those must have been while they were under 14.

Meghan was born in LA and has lived in America most of her life, so she satisfies this requirement.

This means that her son could, in theory, become the US president one day. Successful candidates for Commander-in-Chief must be 35 years of age, resident in the US for 14 years (so the Sussexes would have to emigrate) and a ‘natural born citizen’; that is, one who has been a US citizen since birth and has not had to go through the naturalisation process.

In order to confirm this, Archie’s proud parents must report his birth at the US Consulate. This serves as proof of US citizenship, making the infant eligible for his US passport.

British status

But let’s not forget Prince Harry’s side of the family. Born in the UK, the Queen’s grandson is a British citizen, which makes his baby boy a British citizen, too. According to UK immigration law, little Master Sussex is entitled to dual nationality.

And while he will not officially be called a prince, the Queen could step in as she did with William and Kate’s children, and announced that he will be given a royal title.

Meghan’s status

When Meghan and Harry announced their engagement, it was reported that Meghan would renounce her US citizenship and become British.  She was spotted at the UK visa application centre in Chicago before the engagement was made public. Her communications secretary confirmed then that she remains ‘compliant with immigration requirements at all times.’

It is thought that Meghan arrived here in the UK on a family visa, as we assume her husband passes the minimum earnings threshold of £18,000 per annum. According to the rules, the couple were obliged to marry within six months of her arrival.

After residing here for more than three years and as the spouse of a British citizen, Meghan will automatically acquire permanent residency or ‘indefinite leave to remain.’

Her intention to acquire British citizenship will mean that she avoids having to pay US taxes on any income from her acting career and any private money she receives as a member of the royal family.

Royal expert Marlene Koenig said:

‘The US may be the only country that taxes the income of citizens who live outside the country. Meghan may have investments that will earn income – and even abroad, she will have to pay US income tax.’

If Archie hasn’t already decided that he wants to be a Brit and renounced his American citizenship by the time he is 18, it is expected that he have to go down this route for the same reason.


Share story
Back to top of page