Wed, 22 Aug, 2018
The crazy reason why Harry and Meghan won’t have custody of their own children
While living the royal life can seem like a dream for some, the truth is, there are many bizarre rules that average people are lucky to not have to follow. One of them, in particular, has to do with the royal children.
It’s hard enough raising children in the spotlight, with paparazzi constantly on your tail and having to figure out creative ways for them to behave during official royal events. But the most peculiar is the custody arrangement with the Queen.
Despite how much of a royalist you claim to be, there is a chance that you skipped over this fine detail. According to royal historians, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do not have legal custody of their own children.
That right is given to the children’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Royal expert Marlene Koenig spoke to news.com.au and said: “The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren.
“This goes back to King George I [who ruled in the early 1700s], and the law’s never been changed. 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.”
With the law dating back 300 years, it was passed by a majority of 10 out of 12 judges in the year 1717, who ultimately came to the decision that the monarch should have the “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”.
Koenig, who has written two books on the history of the British royal family and has had multiple articles published in the Eurohistory Journal, says the law has not changed since 1772, as the law was legislated again during King George III’s reign and has not been suspended by new legislation.
Due to this, the upbringing of royal children is greatly affected especially when it comes to their upbringing, travel and education.
“When [Princes William and Harry] were little, Prince Charles asked the Queen if both children could fly on a plane to Scotland, to which the Queen said yes,” Koenig said.
“Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that.”
And that wasn’t the only time the Queen was asked for her approval.
Before her passing, Princess Diana was not allowed to fly with her children to Australia as per the Queen's refusal. Also, later Prince Charles was forced to ask for the Queen’s permission before sending Prince William to a holiday camp in America in the late 1990s.
According to Koenig, once the Queen passes, Prince Charles would then be handed the legal custody of George, Charlotte, Louis and all other grandchildren as he would then be king.
But due to Prince Charles having progressive views, Koenig believes he is “very respectful of his son’s parenting” and would not choose to interfere in their upbringing.
“He understands they want to raise their children privately … the only thing Charles might ask for is more pictures,” she joked.