Meghan & Harry's Baby May Not Be An American Citizen For A Complicated Reason

by Jamie LeeLo
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Most of us would be thrilled beyond reason to be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new baby. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reportedly expecting their first child in Spring 2019, and both of their native countries are preparing. It might surprise some fans to hear Meghan Markle was not granted magical dual citizenship simply by marrying a royal. In fact, she is reportedly still strictly a U.S. citizen. While she reportedly is going through the lengthy process to become a Brit, people are now wondering — will Meghan and Harry's baby be an American citizen? Well, like, maybe. Elite Daily reached out to Kensington Palace for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of red tape when it comes to this type of thing. To begin, Meghan and Harry's baby will automatically take seventh place in line to the throne. That's part of the deal when your dad is Prince Harry. However, the question about whether or not the child will automatically be granted dual citizenship is up in the air. According to The New York Times, there are a few things to take into consideration, like where the baby is born, whether one or both parents are U.S. citizens, and whether the parents are married.

Here's a doozy stipulation: According to the State Department, children who are born abroad but in wedlock with one American citizen parent will automatically acquire citizenship, as long as the American parent has lived in the United States for five years after the age of 14 at the time of the child's birth. (Super specific, right?)

Under these guidelines, it appears Meghan and Harry's baby would have American citizenship. However, there's reportedly a ton of paperwork that needs to be completed to make it official. Doris Meissner, commissioner of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Bill Clinton explained, "In order to function, like any of us, [the child] will need documents and proof, and for that you need to have it validated."

Meissner added,

There’s a form that they fill out, which is called the U.S. consular report of birth abroad, and that then serves as the child’s proof of U.S. citizenship. With that, they are also eligible to apply for a passport.
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The question is, will Meghan and Harry fill out the required paperwork?

Like, is it even chill for a literal heir to the British throne to also have American citizenship? Is the Queen cool with it and everything? Plus, the U.S. specifically mentions naturalized citizens must forswear “absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen."

While dual citizenship is obviously possible, it's a tad unprecedented for the Queen of England's great-grandkid to run around with another country's passport. In a nutshell, it comes back to whether or not Harry and Meghan go through with the paperwork to make it so. In doing my usual royal-family research, I also learned Meghan and Harry will share custody of their child with Queen Elizabeth.

So, there's that, too.

It appears only time (and the Queen) will tell what happens here.