Could young Archie really end up as The Duke of Sussex if Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan leave behind their royal ties?

Well, according to an expert, Archie could inherit the title of The Duke of Sussex under certain circumstances, even if his parents finalize their departure from royalty this year. However, Queen Elizabeth II's great-grandson may decide to forgo this and any other royal title when he turns 18.

Can Archie become The Duke of Sussex?

Though Harry and Meghan plan to present their son with the chance to live as a private citizen, little Archie will grow up a royal and could even one day hold the title of The Duke of Sussex.

Archie could inherit the Duke of Sussex title from his father, Prince Harry.

Today, constitutional expert Ian MacMarthanne told Express that Archie can inherit the patronage of the Duchy of Sussex thanks to a reform in the Crown Succession Act passed in 2013. This would go unchanged if Harry and Meghan permanently cut ties with the Royal Family, which could happen this year.

But the rule establishes that the son of The Duke of Sussex receives the title upon the death of his father, regardless of Prince Harry's potential royal status should he (God forbid) pass away. "What should be kept in mind is that the style and title HRH and prince is quite separate to the peerage of Sussex," MacMarthanne told the newspaper. In reality, it's much more likely Archie will become a prince prior to possibly inheriting the Duke of Sussex title. 

Harry & Meghan's son Archie could also become a prince

However, the final decision will be made by Archie himself when he turns 18 in 2037, at which time he will choose whether to use an HRH style, no royal title, or—in unlikely tragic circumstances—the Duke of Sussex title.

If the succession to the throne continues as stipulated and Prince Charles becomes King, Archie may present himself as a prince, as his father and uncle, Prince William, do today. That will likely occur before his 18th birthday, after which time he could abandon it.

Archie last made an appearance in the Sussex family's stylized card for Christmas 2020. He's been away from the UK since late 2019, but could travel for a visit sometime this year.