Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's child could run for U.S. President, but that would only be possible if Markle does not renounce her U.S. citizenship before the baby is born.
Ever since Markle and Harry announced their engagement last year, royal family fans have wondered if this means their children will be Americans.
As The New York Times points out, there are three factors that determine American citizenship: where the baby was born, if one of the parents is a U.S. citizen and if the parents are married. Although the first condition will not apply if Markle's baby is born in the U.K., of course, but the other conditions will.
Markle is in the process of becoming a U.K. citizen, but that could take years and the baby is due next spring. Therefore, if Markle is still a U.S. citizen when the baby is born, he or she will have dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship.
Just because you are a U.S. citizen does not mean you can run for president. The Constitution says that only a "natural born citizen" can become president. Does "natural born citizen" mean someone born on U.S. soil or someone who is a U.S. citizen at birth?
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz used the latter interpretation to explain how he could run for president in 2016, even though he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. The late Sen. John McCain was also able to run for president, despite being born in the Panama Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory at the time of his birth.
According to the Harvard Law Review, "The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law and enactments of the First Congress. Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase 'natural born Citizen' includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent."
While we do know that Markle plans to become a U.K. citizen, it is still not clear if she plans to renounce her U.S. citizenship.
"I would expect that when they reach adulthood, they would go through the process of renouncing. People do it all the time, many for tax purposes," Royal expert Marlene Koenig told Town & Country. "The U.S. may be the only country that taxes the income of citizens who live outside the country. Meghan may have investments that will earn income — and even abroad, she will have to pay U.S. income tax."
Markle and Harry's baby will not only be eligible for the presidency, but is also seventh in line to the British throne, right behind Harry.
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