The Royal Global Citizen

Meghan Markle’s humble journey towards gaining her UK Citizenship

At the forefront of a diverse youth culture, ethnic diversity, and thriving economy, is the stunning landscapes and lavish cities of the United Kingdom which continues to boast immense benefits for many individuals around the globe. More particularly, for this year’s most celebrated couple: Prince Harry and his soon-to-be bride, American ‘Suits’ actress Meghan Markle. However, aside from swooning fans and flying doves, this matrimonial fairytale has left us wondering: how exactly will Markle receive her royal title, before she even becomes a British citizen?

The London Bridge to Citizenship

Though there are many ways to become a British citizen, it is unclear which direction Markle will take. The most common requirement prior to applying for UK citizenship, is having to live in the UK for at least five years, spending no more than 450 days outside of the country during that period, and passing a computer-based “Life in the UK” test. In the case that you are a foreigner marrying a Brit, the requirements are less stringent, allowing residency of minimum three years, with no more than 270 days out of the country.

However, marrying into England’s royal family, also grants Markle the possibility to receive her “duchess” title by the authority of Queen Elizabeth, without the need of a British citizenship at all. It is hard to imagine that the wife of the fifth-in-line to the throne, would have to go through the same bureaucratic process that the average person would; though this corner-cutting option is clearly not striking well with the public.

Following the royal wedding, Markle will not only have married a Prince, but she will easily gain her citizenship, having access to a world of exclusive benefits, not to mention an additional 3 countries added to her Global Mobility Score as per The Passport Index. With the US passport, Markle was only allowed to visit 161 countries without a visa, but with the combination of both the American and British passports, her score jumps to 164, and includes visa-free access to Brazil, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Additionally,while investors from around the globe invest millions of pounds to obtain a UK citizenship through the United Kingdom Residency and Citizenship by Investment Program, Meghan will have easy access to Britain’s superior standard of education, unrivaled financial opportunity, and one of the best free health care services in the world. Surely enough, the couple plan on residing in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace after they wed this year. Whether you’re a Princess-To-Be or not, the U.K. is truly a diverse, prosperous, and perfectly located place to call home.

Is Meghan the first to become a Royal Global Citizen?

Not quite. Several examples, such as the Princess of Monaco, and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands have kept their title while remaining a dual citizen. The glamorous and American-born Grace Kelly, was permitted to keep her American citizenship along with acquiring her Monégasque citizenship upon her marriage, while Argentinian-born Maxima retained her Argentine citizenship after she was granted Dutch citizenship. Unlike the two, the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, who was an Australian, relocated to Denmark to wed Crown Prince Frederik, and renounced her Australian residency after she was granted her Danish citizenship.

We are days away from finding out who’s footsteps Meghan Markle will follow: will the actress give up her life as an American, or will she keep her US citizenship and join the Global Citizen movement with both passports?

 

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