Royal Baby Boy: Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Child Have Dual Citizenship?
“Baby Sussex” has just born but there are already tons of questions about him. Now that his gender is not a secret anymore, the subject of his citizenship is one of the things people wonder the most about.
Since the baby’s mother is – still – an American citizen and his father an English prince, fans have wondered what his citizenship will be and whether he could have dual citizenship, which would make him both a UK and US citizen.
The law is clear in both countries when it comes to who qualifies as a citizen at birth, but with the newborn being part of the British Royal Family, things can be outside of the ordinary.
According to UK law, if either one or both of a child’s parents are British or Irish citizens at the time of the birth, the child has British citizenship.
Since 34-year-old Prince Harry is as British as they come, and part of the reigning family, there is little doubt about his son’s right to British citizenship.
IT'S A BOY! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared on their Instagram page that they welcomed a baby boy, who was 7 lbs. 3 oz. pic.twitter.com/jnzoSaaErB— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 6, 2019
But since 37-year-old Meghan Markle is still legally a US citizen, does this automatically mean that her son will inherit her status? Let’s examine the case under the light of US law.
If a baby born outside the US is the child of an American citizen, he or she might acquire the US citizenship on the condition that the parent in question has been in American territory for at least five years before the birth, two of them before the parent turns 14.
“Even though technically the United States doesn’t affirmatively embrace dual citizenship, it no longer objects to it.”
A LENGTHY PROCESS
Despite Markle been born and raised in the US, meeting all necessary criteria for her child to be an American, there is the possibility that she decides – or is forced to – renounce to her US citizenship when she is granted citizenship in the UK.
Contrary to what many people think, the former actress didn’t automatically become British when she married Harry almost a year before giving birth, but she is reportedly in the slow process of requesting citizenship.
“She intends to become a UK citizen and will go through the process of that, which some of you may know takes a number of years," Harry’s communication’s secretary Jason Knauf told BBC in 2017.
ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN THE US
There is another little-known detail regarding “dual citizenship” when it comes to US law. In fact, the US doesn’t exactly recognize it, and while the country has softened its position on the matter, it was prohibited for most of its history.
“Even though technically the United States doesn’t affirmatively embrace dual citizenship, it no longer objects to it,” Doris Meissner a former immigration official under the Clinton administration told The New York Times.
“The policy for quite some years now has been basically a ‘Don’t ask don’t tell,’ policy,” Meissner added.
BRITISH, AMERICAN, OR BOTH. BUT WHAT WILL HIS NAME BE?
People have been guessing and even betting on the possible names for Meghan and Harry’s baby for months.
Now that the baby’s gender is no longer a mystery, half of the names guessed by royal fans are discarded, and people are thinking on every possible male name the Duke and Duchess could choose for their firstborn.
"I'm just over the moon"— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) May 6, 2019
The Duke of Sussex came outside of Frogmore Cottage to announce the birth of his baby boy with the Duchess of Sussex!
He also added that the mother and baby are doing well and that we should see the baby and know the name in 2 days time!#RoyalBaby pic.twitter.com/Fp1yHPXmPD
As the proud father shared when he met with the media to give his first statement on the birth of his baby boy, he and Meghan were “still thinking about names” on the day of his arrival.
But sources indicate that in a matter of days the public will come to know the name of “Baby Sussex,” and his first official photograph will be revealed. As hard as it sounds, all we have to do is to wait.