Hey, do you want to hear about a head-scratcher? Because if you do, you're in luck, friend. Let me give you a scenario: You marry into royalty (win), and you have royal babies (double win!), and you live happily ever after. But what if your kids aren't like, fully your own? Welp, that's apparently a thing, and it's confusing AF. I'm sure the first thing that comes to your mind is the same question that did to mine: Who has custody of Prince William and Kate Middleton's kids? The answer is that the royal couple technically shares a custody arrangement with the Queen. Let's discuss, shall we?
This all came about when Cosmopolitan brought up the fact that newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken about wanting children on multiple occasions, so it's clearly only a matter of time until they get to procreating. I love me some royal babies, so I'm all about this topic.
But according to Royal expert Marlene Koenig, the royal couple wouldn't have full custody of their children. "The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren," Koenig told Elle magazine.
But, um, why?
Basically, it boils down to a strange rule that was granted back in the 1700s, and it's still technically in place today. Elite Daily reached out to Kensington Palace for comment on this report, but did not hear back by time of publication.
"This goes back to King George I, and the law's never been changed," Koenig said. "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."
Eesh. There's petty and then there's that.
And, according to the publication, the law still exists today with the Queen, noting that "Constitutional expert Michael L. Nash 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.'"
So basically, Queen Elizabeth *technically* shares custody with Prince William and Kate Middleton over their three children, and the same probably goes for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they have kids. According to Elle magazine, however, the rule is hardly enforced these days, explaining that the Queen is "unlikely to step in to dictate how the great-grandchildren are raised."
Koenig also noted that, in the case of a royal divorce, custody isn't included in the divorce papers, because the couple technically doesn't have full legal custody of their children in the first place.
Who woulda thunk?
Koenig also revealed that Queen Elizabeth has apparently even stepped in in the matter of her grandchildren, Harry and William, when they were younger, adding that Prince Charles had to ask his mother once for permission for the two brothers to fly on a plane together to Scotland. "Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that," Koenig said.
I don't know about you, but I personally find this whole notion just slightly outdated. I mean, Can you imagine having to share custody of children with your grandmother?
And even though it's obvious that the Queen isn't stepping in to take over for any of her grandchildren's parenting jobs, it's still a bit odd to have it be known that she could if she wanted to.
But hey, at the end of the day, they are royalty, and the rules have been working out pretty well so far, no matter how antiquated they may seem. And who are we to intervene?
Rules were clearly not meant to be broken in this family.