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Would Prince Harry Have to Give Up His Royal Titles to Become a U.S. Citizen? (Yes, But It's Complicated)

The Duke of Sussex, who resides in California, said he has "considered" becoming a U.S. citizen in a recent interview with 'Good Morning America'

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Prince Harry attends the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 13, 2023

Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince Harry attends the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 13, 2023

Prince Harry's revelation that he has "considered" becoming a United States citizen has prompted speculation on what that would mean for his royal titles.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, was interviewed by Good Morning America's Will Reeve last week during the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025's One Year to Go celebration in Canada. When Reeve asked how Harry was enjoying life in California, where he and Meghan Markle relocated in 2020 after stepping back as working members of the royal family, Prince Harry said he had thought about becoming a U.S. citizen.

He clarified, "The American citizenship is a thought that has crossed my mind but certainly not something that is a high priority for me right now."

Although Prince Harry said life in the U.S. was "amazing," he stopped short of feeling American.

"Do I feel American? Um, no. I don't know how I feel," the Duke of Sussex responded to Reeve's question.

<p>Christoph Reichwein/picture alliance via Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 13, 2023

Christoph Reichwein/picture alliance via Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games in Germany on Sept. 13, 2023

Related: Prince Harry Speaks Out on King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis for First Time: 'I Love My Family'

Should Prince Harry move forward with the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, he may have to give up his royal titles, according to the policy manual of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

The policy states, "Any applicant who has any titles of heredity or positions of nobility in any foreign state must renounce the title or the position. The applicant must expressly renounce the title in a public ceremony and USCIS must record the renunciation as part of the proceedings. Failure to renounce the title of position shows a lack of attachment to the Constitution."

When taking the Oath of Allegiance, those with titles must state, "I further renounce the title of (give title or titles) which I have heretofore held" or "I further renounce the order of nobility (give the order of nobility) to which I have heretofore belonged."

Mike Marsland/WireImage Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Trooping the Colour 2018
Mike Marsland/WireImage Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Trooping the Colour 2018

Related: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Hit Back at Recent Criticism: 'This Couple Will Not Be Broken'

However, Alphonse Provinziano of U.S. law firm Provinziano & Associates told Newsweek that the current law could be challenged.

"I was interested in whether Prince Harry has to renounce all of his titles or not. It's a law stated by Congress, and all the Constitution says is Congress can't confer foreign titles. But it doesn't say anything about being a foreign citizen [or] having a title when you become a U.S. citizen," Provinziano explained. "I think there's actually a challenge to this under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment because it treats people differently."

Provinziano also noted that natural-born U.S. citizens can receive a title from a foreign government. This was the case when Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex upon her marriage to Prince Harry. The couple's 2-year-old daughter, Princess Lilibet, was also born in California without a royal title but became a princess when her grandfather King Charles acceded to the throne. Meanwhile, their 4-year-old son, Prince Archie, was born in the U.K. but also didn't become a prince until after the family had relocated to the U.S.

Would that mean Meghan, 42, and their children would also have to give up their titles?

While the children were previously listed on the royal family's official website as "Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor" and "Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor," they are now styled as "Prince Archie of Sussex" and "Princess Lilibet of Sussex." Meghan and Prince Harry have since adopted their titles as the last name for their two children.

"There is no Supreme Court case that interprets that code section merely because there's only been about a dozen American citizens who have had a prince or princess title," Provinziano explained to Newsweek. "It's something that theoretically could go all the way to the Supreme Court because the court would have to review the law to make sure it's constitutional."

<p>Andrew Chin/Getty</p> Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Invictus Games Winter Training Camp on Feb. 14, 2024

Andrew Chin/Getty

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Invictus Games Winter Training Camp on Feb. 14, 2024

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After Meghan and Prince Harry announced their engagement in November 2017, PEOPLE confirmed that she planned to become a citizen of the U.K. after their royal wedding. Although she didn't complete the rigorous process, the Duchess of Sussex talked about the difficulty of the U.K.'s citizenship exam on an episode of her Archetypes podcast.

Meghan said, "That citizenship exam is so hard! I was studying for it, and I remember going, 'Oh my goodness.' I would ask my husband, 'Did you know this? Did you know this?' And people went, 'Oh, I had no idea.' "

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