On Friday morning in a hospital in Santa Barbara, California, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. According to US law, any child born in the US or one of its territories automatically becomes an American citizen in most situations. Given that British citizenship can be passed down one generation under British law, any child of Harry’s would therefore be eligible to qualify as a British citizen.
The couple’s first child, Archie, was born in the UK in 2019. He carries dual-citizenship, and as neither Harry nor Meghan have publicly renounced their citizenships in recent months, it seems that Lili will have an equal claim as an American and a Briton as well.
In a message of thanks on the couple’s Archewell website, they said: “On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”
Since Harry and Meghan stepped back from their roles as senior working royals in March 2020 and moved to the US, Lilibet is the most senior royal in the current line of succession to be born overseas. Her citizenship would make her eligible to become president of the United States. However, like her older brother Archie, who was not entitled to a royal title when he was born, Lilibet would not be allowed to be a princess nor an HRH until the Queen dies and Prince Charles becomes king, under rules set down more than 100 years ago. Lilibet is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild and is eighth in line to the throne.
As countries worldwide grapple with crisis and unrest, parents who can afford it continue to seek a better, more secure future for their children. According to the Wealth Report 2018, more than 34 percent of high-net-worth individuals have already obtained second citizenship, while 29 percent are in the process of obtaining one. Having a second citizenship is already a well-established trend, even for those holding the world’s most powerful passports.
An increasingly popular process of obtaining citizenship is through citizenship by investment, where a vetted investor can acquire citizenship of a country upon making a significant financial contribution to that country.
Once attained, in most cases, as is the case under the Citizenship by Investment Programmes of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, citizenship is held for life and can be passed on to future generations. Successful second citizenship candidates also earn the right to live, work, and study in the country and gain greater travel mobility.