In the wee hours of Monday morning, the world was delighted by the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had officially announced their engagement. It's been an exciting few days, but people still have so many questions for the husband and wife-to-be. And given some of the latest developments in the news, many are surely wondering whether Meghan Markle will renounce her American citizenship after the tie the knot.
Markle impending marriage to Prince Harry is historic for many reasons, but one of the most notable reasons is that she is an American marrying into the royal family. Since that is the case, there isn't really a specific blueprint for how this citizenship thing will go. However, some things are certain.
For instance, according to E! News, Markle has announced that she will no longer be pursuing a career in acting. Additionally, People has reported that the future duchess of Sussex is preparing to pursue U.K. citizenship after marrying Prince Harry. But, the question remains of whether or not Markle will retain her American citizenship after her wedding to Prince Harry or hold dual-citizenship. According to People, a royal family spokesperson stated that it was "too soon to tell" what Markle would do regarding her American citizenship.
For now, the main issue Markle has to concern herself with seems to be the British citizenship process in and of itself. According to People, if Markle were an average American citizen, she would have to apply for a fiancée settlement visa, and that wouldn't even be the end of of it. The publication explained the process:
Once that’s approved, a couple has six months to tie the knot — on British soil. Then, the foreigner in the situation would have to apply for a marriage visa. This lasts 60 months, then you get another one for 33 months. And finally, after this collective 93-month period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Once you get Indefinite Leave to Remain, you’ll have a year before you can apply for U.K. citizenship.
Obviously, though, Markle is no average American citizen, and Prince Harry is no normal British citizen. Likely, the process for Markle to retain her U.K. citizenship will be expedited, and will probably be completed on or before the wedding in Spring 2018.
What's more, it seems as though Markle won't have to give up her American citizenship if she doesn't want to. Markle isn't royal, which means there isn't any conflict of interest. Additionally, Prince Harry isn't the immediate heir to the throne, which makes for a much easier and less stressful transition. However, Markle seems more than happy to part ways with one thing: her acting career. During her joint engagement interview with the BBC, she explained:
I don't see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change. It's a new chapter, right? And also, keep in mind, I've been working on [Suits] for seven years. We were very, very fortunate to have that sort of longevity on a series…I've ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I've done there, and now it's time to work with [Harry] as a team.
And truly, when you're in as much love as Markle and Prince Harry appear to be, the logistics don't really seem to matter.
For now, there's really no saying whether or not Markle will give up her American citizenship. Historically speaking, though, American actress Grace Kelly did maintain dual-citizenship after marrying Prince Rainier III and becoming Princess of Monaco. And it it seems that Markle will have the same choice — unless, of course, the day comes when Prince Harry's place in the line to the thrown unexpectedly changes. But let's cross that bridge at another time.
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