A royal expert has revealed that if newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle start a family, they won't have full custody of their children. Thanks to royal protocol it's actually the Queen that has custody over all minor royals.
"The sovereign has legal custody of the minor grandchildren," royal expert Marlene Koenig told the Sun Online.
This also means that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's don't have full custody of their three children, Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, three, and three-month-old Prince Louis.
Unsurprisingly, this bizarre law dates back hundreds of years.
"Legislation passed during the reign of George I. It was known as The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family and it was about the King's control over the education, the raising and the marriage of his grandchildren. 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," Koenig explained.
Created in 1717, the law stipulates that the monarch's "right of supervision extended to his grandchildren and this right belongs to His Majesty, King of the Realm, even during their father's lifetime."
Consequently, when the Queen dies, this custody will be transferred to the next in line to the throne, Prince Charles.
While in practicality this law is unlikely to impact the royal's children in current times, it did influence the previous parenting choices made by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
"When Harry was an infant, Charles asked the Queen if he and Diana could travel with both kids to Scotland (on a plane). The Queen said yes...Technically, they needed permission for travel. The Queen has the last word on parenting decisions like that," Koenig added.
Naturally, the news has caused quite the Twitter storm and over the past few days users have been sharing their outrage via the social media platform.
"The queen has custody of her great-grandchildren. Say what now? WHY haven't they changed that law?" one user wrote.
"I personally feel that this is quite outdated and hope that once anything happens to the Queen, that this is one Royal rule that might get changed," another commented.
Via our sister site Grazia.