Meghan Markle has not yet given up her US citizenship – and may not do so
If she chooses to keep her US credentials and she and Harry have children, the children will be eligible for US citizenship too.
James Brookes, director of broadcasting and communications at the RoyalCentral website, made his prediction after Princess Madeleine of Sweden, who is married to American financier Chris O’Neill, announced her decision to relocate to Florida with her young family.
Mr Brookes did not rule out the possibility of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following suit.
He said: “As it stands, and as far as we’re aware, Meghan’s still a US citizen although she’s going through the process of becoming a UK citizen.
“As such, if she chooses to keep her US credentials and she and Harry have children, the children will be eligible for US citizenship too.
“I can’t see why this would be a problem – yes, it’s not something we’ve seen from the royals before but, depending on whether their children go on to have royal roles or forge their own career paths, it could actually be beneficial for them if they want to move in the future.”
Mr Brookes said a lot depended on whether Meghan opts to keep her US citizenship herself. The US requires residents to submit tax information, even when living abroad, which could potentially be a problem given that as a member of the Royal Family she would prefer to keep her finances out of the public domain.
He added: “So, it might be for this reason that Meghan chooses to relinquish her US passport when she becomes a naturalised UK citizen.
“However, she is, quite rightly, very fond and proud of her US roots so I’m sure there’ll be some serious thinking and decision making to be had on that point.
If Meghan retains her passport any children she and Harry had would also be entitled to one
“With regards to a move over the pond, personally I think it’s unlikely.
“Yes, Harry is keen on the States but with their royal roles and the amount of work they’ll be doing for the Royal Foundation and Commonwealth, it would make things logistically difficult and Harry’s very aware of the sense of duty that being a royal carries.
“I would have thought he’ll want to stay close to the heart of the action, and family, as he can here in the UK.
“That’s not to say they won’t visit the States though. Indeed, I think that – when things have calmed down around the whole Markle family saga – they’ll make trips to see Meghan’s mum Doria (potentially her father’s side of the family too, if they reconcile) and also her friends there.
Swedish’s Princess Madeleine is moving to Florida with husband Chris O’Neill and their children
“Marriage is, after all, a two way street and for all the compromises Meghan’s had to make, I would think she’ll want to have a bit of freedom to still engage with her old way of life when/where she can.”
Unlike her compatriot Mr O’Neill, Meghan opted to accept a Royal title when she married Prince Harry earlier this year.
Mr Brookes said: “I don’t think it will have weighed too heavily on her mind though and, if anything, she’ll have seen it as a nice way of recognising her partnership with her husband and starting her new life.
“Aside from the obvious stresses she’s had to contend with from her family and their recent comments, I think Meghan will be more concerned with getting stuck in to her new royal role and trying to make a difference rather than being obsessed with her title.”
RoyalCentral’s Brittani Barger says Princess Madeleine will be able to devote more time to charity
Comparing the situations, Mr Brooke’s Royal Central colleague, Europe Editor Brittani Barger, said it was no surprise that Mr O’Neill decided not to accept a Swedish Royal title.
She explained: “Chris chose not to accept a title because he wanted to keep working and remain a private citizen.
“He also did not want to give up his US/UK citizenship. He’s very independent and hardworking and loves what he does.
“He didn’t want to give up doing what he loves, and with Madeleine being so far down the line of succession, it wasn’t a situation to where he had to take a title.
“The family already has a home in Florida, and they have travelled there numerous times for holiday.
Meghan Markle was made Duchess of Sussex after marrying Prince Harry earlier this year
“Florida provides anonymity that neither London or Stockholm can give.
“In the US, really the only royal family that gets any attention and that the average American has heard of is the British. So she really has no worry of going out with her kids or family in Florida and being recognised.
“Princess Madeleine is not a full time working royal, and Chris makes enough money to support her and the children.
“Even though they will be further from Stockholm, Madeleine will be able to be more involved with the World Childhood Foundation which has an office in the US; Madeleine has been very passionate about the organisation, and the lack of an office in London meant that a lot of her work was behind the scenes.
“I think those in Sweden are surprised, as well as those outside Sweden who follow the Swedish Royal Family.
“They originally moved from New York to London to be closer to Sweden and Madeleine’s family, and now they are moving even further away.
“Additionally, Swedish law states that for Madeleine and Chris’ children to remain in the line of succession to the throne, they must be raised primarily in Sweden and educated there.
“Their eldest, four-year-old Princess Leonore (who has dual US/Swedish citizenship due to being born in New York) only has a couple more years before she must start compulsory education in Sweden (which begins at the age of seven).
“Both she and Prince Nicolas, three, have attended nursery and pre-school in Sweden when they have been there during the summers.
“So a decision will have to be made by the time Leonore turns seven regarding her schooling and ultimately her title.”