Many of Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren bear titles, but her daughter Princess Anne’s children are the exceptions. Neither of her children with ex-husband Mark Phillips bear a title, and neither do their children, the queen’s great-grandchildren. The reason for that difference actually has nothing to do with Anne’s then-controversial divorce from Phillips or her quick remarriage to her current husband Sir Timothy Laurence.
Why Princess Anne’s Children Have No Titles
The children of Anne, Princess Royal stand apart from their regal family members in one key way: neither Zara Tindall nor Peter Phillips bears a title. As a result, their children, Princess Anne’s grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth don’t bear titles either.
According to British law, all children and grandchildren of the ruling monarch bear titles from birth, but the circumstances change depending on whether you’re a son or a daughter of the monarch. The queen’s three sons, Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward’s children all have Prince or Princess titles and His/Her Royal Highness stylings, though Edward’s minor children don’t use theirs.
Lady Louise, James Viscount Severn HRH Stylings
Instead, his daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn use titles reserved for the children of an Earl, which their father is. Their mother Sophie, Countess of Wessex revealed that once they turn 18 years old, they can use HRH stylings and their Prince and Princess titles if they so choose.
She said in an interview with the Sunday Times, “We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living,” adding, “Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
If you’re a daughter of the monarch, however, the rules change slightly. When she married Mark Phillips in 1973, he was offered a peerage in the form of an Earldom, but he declined. Since the HRH stylings are only passed down through male descendants, in this case the queen’s male children, this meant that neither Zara nor Peter would receive a title. Their stepfather, Timothy Laurence, was also offered a peerage upon his 1992 marriage to Anne, but he also declined.
There are other famously untitled members of the royal family. Part of the stated reason Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to step back from their role as working royals was because their son, Archie, wasn’t granted royal status, meaning he wasn’t offered the same security as his father. His younger sister, Lilibet Diana, is also untitled.