Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who welcomed their first child a few days ago, technically do not have custody of the child, thanks to a long-standing law.
Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, and wife, Kate Middleton, also do not have full custody of their three chikdren – Prince Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
It is understood that the Queen has full legal custody over all minor royals, meaning that their parents need her permission to do certain things for the children.
Royal expert Marlene Koenig explained the rule to the UK’s Sun Online.
Her words: “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.
“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 law dates back more than 300 years to 1717, a time 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”.
According to Koenig, the rule still exists today and “technically” the parents need the Queen’s permission to take their children out of the country. She added that despite this, the Queen is respectful of the wishes of the parents and wouldn’t push her views upon them.
UK’s Daily Mirror reports that the Queen also had full custody of William and Harry when they were younger.
According to the report, “this fact first came to light when Prince Charles and Princess Diana got divorced in 1996.
“In the couple’s divorce agreement there was no mention of custody arrangements for the children, despite arrangements being made.
“This was because neither parent had full custody, instead this belonged to the Queen.”
Prince Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is number seven to the throne and Queen Elizabeth’s eighth great grandchild.