A tradition that dates back 300 years to 1717 highlights that the British monarch is the legal custodian of his or her grandchildren.
News about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle deciding to step back from their royal duties seems to have shaken Royal Family and the world in general. In a post on Instagram, the couple highlighted that they would step away as "senior" members of the Royal family" and "work to become financially independent by starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution." What does this mean for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—will they even retain their titles since they are taking a step back? For one, they would surely lose out on the royal allowance and would not be allowed to use or work using their "royal title". However many people are now speculating that when the time comes, they might not even be legal guardians of their own child.
The Sun quoted an expert on Royal matters who said that the Queen is actually the full legal custody of all Royal minors. This means that even that Prince William and Kate Middleton don’t have full custody over their kids. Royal expert Marlene Koenig said, “The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren. Legislation passed during the reign of George I. It was known as The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family and it was about the King’s control over the education, the raising and the marriage of his grandchildren."
Are they aware that the Queen has custody of Archie? pic.twitter.com/Ti344OiiSn— Janet Jackson (@JanetJa55586250) 8 January 2020
Koenig added, "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. The ancient law dates back over 300 years to 1717 when 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.” After the Queen, the responsibility of the minor Royals will fall on Prine Charles when he takes to the throne. The law has affected the way the children are brought up in the Royal family.
Prince Charles could get custody over baby Archie by sovereign right when he becomes king, say legal experts https://t.co/qK5PMTDzLX— Robert Wright (@RobertW19699826) January 11, 2020
The expert elaborated, “When Harry was an infant, Charles asked the Queen if he and Diana could travel with both kids to Scotland (on a plane). The Queen said yes. Later, as Harry got older, he would fly with parents, and William would travel separately. Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that.” Michael L. Nash, a constitutional expert also wrote on the issue in 1993 where he said, "Queen has the last word in the custody upbringing, education and even the right of abode of the princes, even during the lifetime of their father, Prince Charles. As for their mother, the Princess of Wales, her say is a matter of discretion and negotiation."
In the Instagram post announcing their big leap, Prince Harry and Markle added, "We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. 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."