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Another outdated royal law

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Tribune News Service

Tribune News Service

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Veronica Wernicke, Opinion Editor

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Editor’s Note: Veronica Wernicke is a sophomore at UNCW majoring in Communication Studies and is the Opinion Editor for The Seahawk. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Veronica Wernicke may be found on Twitter @itsveronica98. All suggestions and inquiries may be sent via email to vcw6007@uncw.edu.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the ultimate royal power couple. When they announced their engagement — some of us cried a lot — excitement rang all over the world. This moment was more than just another royal marriage, it was one between Britain’s most eligible bachelor — don’t fight me on that — and a biracial, divorced American. It is not hard to understand the importance and changing of times their marriage represented.

From the moment of their glorious and beautiful wedding on May 19, the conversation of kids has been in the air. Not just between the press but between the royal family as well. Although, when it comes to the royals and their laws, nothing is quite as simple.

According to author and royal expert, Marlene Koenig, when Harry and Meghan decide to have children, they won’t have full legal custody of them. Of course, Harry and Meghan are not the only ones affected by this law. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate and all other royal family members are included in this law too.

“The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren,” said Koenig in a News.com.au article. “This goes back to King George I, and the law’s never been changed. 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.”

This means the queen has the final decision on the children’s upbringing, schooling and the right of abode.

Seems odd and old-fashioned right? Well, it does not seem like it has caused much of problem for the royals since the law has not ever really been challenged.

According to an Independent article with Koenig, the only time it appeared to be a challenge was in 1994 when Diana Princess of Wales was separated from Prince Charles of Wales and she wanted to take William and Harry to live with her in Australia. Although, due to the 1717 law, which is formally known as “The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family” — talk about a mouthful — Diana’s request was overruled by the queen.

In this case, it is reasonable and makes sense why the queen overruled Diana’s wishes, if she had been able to take the boys to Australia then they would have been separated from their father, which would have been unfair for both the boys and Charles.

Despite this one past issue, the law appears to now serve more as formality, as the queen has not really felt pushed upon to enforce it. Instead, the queen has left her children to raise their own children. While I don’t think this type of law would work anywhere else it seems to work for the royal family – probably because they are not strict about it.

So, while this law might be old-fashioned — it is the royal family we are talking about — it does not seem to have caused much trouble among the family. Even if it was added for the wrong reasons back in 1717, it appears to now be in the best interest of the queen’s grandchildren — and who wants to argue with the queen anyway?

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