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Prince Harry and Meghan have recently been delivered of a son, Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and who is seventh in line to the throne. What would happen if their relationship broke down and Meghan wanted to relocate with the royal baby to California?

Could Meghan take the royal baby on holiday?

If Meghan wanted to go on a temporary holiday on her own with the royal baby, with no Child Arrangements Order in place, then she should obtain the written consent of Prince Harry. Meghan could also apply to the court for permission to go on the holiday if Harry unreasonably refused to consent.

If there was a Child Arrangements Order in place stating that the child lived with Meghan and the holiday was for a period of less than one month then she wouldn’t need Harry’s permission.

Could Meghan relocate permanently?

If Meghan wished to relocate permanently to the United States of America (or any other country) then she would need agreement from Prince Harry (or any other person with parental responsibility). However, if he did not agree with the proposed relocation then Meghan would need to apply to the court for permission.

Prince Harry could also apply to the court to prevent Meghan from taking the royal baby out of the jurisdiction.

How does the court decide?

As with all children matters, the court always acts in the best interest of the child. The court would consider the impact on Harry who will be left behind and take into account the intentions of Meghan in relocating with the royal baby to ensure that the purpose of the relocation is not to prevent a relationship between the baby and the father.

What could Meghan do to improve her chance to relocate?

To provide Meghan with a higher chance of being granted permission to relocate with the royal baby, she would need to plan and consider the following:

  • why she wants to move;
  • where she intends to live with the royal baby;
  • what school the royal baby will attend;
  • what the health provisions will be for the baby and;
  • a realistic proposal for contact between Harry and the baby

With advanced technology, this can be made easier than ever before by including regularly scheduled video or phone calls into the proposal. Meghan may also consider planning monthly trips for Harry to visit the royal baby.

There could be many reasons for a parent wishing to relocate with their child either permanently or temporarily, such as to go on holiday, to return to their home country, to meet work commitments, for educational purposes or simply for a change of scenery. Issues can arise and so if you, or Meghan, want to relocate with your child then it is important to seek independent legal advice regarding child custody before doing so.