Immediately after Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, her eldest son, Charles, succeeded her as monarch.
The man who has spent the past 73 years as Prince Charles is now King Charles III, and while his new role is largely symbolic/ceremonial, he’s also the recipient of several new powers and responsibilities.
Now, many royal watchers are wondering if Charles will use his position to heal the rift within the Windsor clan, or whether he’ll deepen the divide by punishing those who have been disloyal.
Not surprisingly, the biggest questions about the new king’s reign involve his youngest son, Prince Harry, and his American daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle.
With Elizabeth’s passing, Harry becomes fifth in line for the throne, and his son, Archie, assumes the sixth spot.
As CNN reports, despite previous plans to not grant them titles, Harry and Meghan’s kids have now become His Royal Highness Prince Archie of Sussex and Her Royal Highness Princess Lilibet of Sussex.
Like so much of the drama that has consumed the royals in recent years, the change is primarily symbolic, but has the potential to carry great signficance.
Palace officials have claimed that Archie and Lilibet were initially denied titles because of a desire to pare down the royal family for reasons of economy.
But Meghan implied during her 2021 interview with Oprah that the move was actually rooted in racial discrimination.
It was during this interview that Meghan revealed a member of the royal family expressed concerns about Archie’s skin tone during her first pregnancy.
She never named the person responsible for those vile comments, but many assumed Charles was the offending party.
And insiders have claimed that no one was more outraged over the interview than the new king.
So will Charles take advantage of his new power by stripping Archie and Lilibet of their titles?
It may sound almost cartoonishly barbaric, but many believe the King might do so out of a desire to send a message to a wary British public that the Queen’s austerity measures will remain in place, and the non-working, American branch of the family will not be permitted to live as royals abroad.
There’s even been speculation that Charles might strip Harry and Meghan of their titles just to assure traditionalists that he’ll be even more of a stickler than his beloved mum.
That seems unlikely, but the fact remains that Harry and Meghan are not particularly popular in the UK.
And such a move might help boost the popularity of a new leader who’s not especially well-liked at the moment.
The action would surely lead to increased hostility between Harry and his father.
But at this point, Charles might be more concerned with the opinion of the British people than with that of his own son.