The Royal Family is reportedly contemplating on the possibility of removing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's titles, downgrading them to the names Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor.
Recent reports suggest that the highest levels of the Royal Family have discussed stripping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their Duke and Duchess titles, leaving them with the simpler titles of Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor.
This option has been talked about at length by the upper echelons of the family since the couple quit their duties and relocated to California. In a poll conducted by the Mirror, thousands of readers also agreed that the Sussexes should be stripped of their titles.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face loss of titles
The discussion of this possibility is revealed in Robert Jobson's new book, Our King: Charles III. While King Charles reportedly opposes the idea of removing Harry's title, other senior royals are less indulgent. Jobson writes:
'Ultimately, despite Charles's enduring love for his son, he will come under increasing pressure if Harry continues to attack the monarchy.'
Our King: Charles III by Robert Jobson also reveals that senior members of the Royal Family have discussed the possibility of reducing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor. The couple has already lost their honorary military appointments and royal patronages, with Buckingham Palace expressing sadness at their decision to step back from public service.
The decision to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their honorary military appointments and royal patronages was made by the Queen in 2021 after they informed her that they would not be returning to life as working royals. The late monarch forced the couple to sever all official links with The Firm after they renounced their duties and stepped away from public service for good.
The honorary military appointments included Harry's Captain General of the Royal Marines role, which he took over from his grandfather Prince Philip after he held the position for 64 years. Meghan also lost her patronage of the National Theatre, which the Queen gifted her in 2019 after holding it for 45 years.
According to the Independent, while Buckingham Palace was saddened by the Sussexes' decision to step down from their roles, they remain much-loved members of the family.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan stated that they are committed to their duty and service to the UK and the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented, regardless of their official role:
'As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.'
Harry's relationship with the Royal Family strained
Prince Harry's relationship with the Royal Family has been strained since he and Meghan Markle stepped back from their royal duties. The couple's decision to relocate to California and pursue independent ventures was seen by some as a betrayal of their responsibilities. The couple has since given several interviews detailing their strained relationship with the Royal Family.
While some insiders blame Meghan for the fallout, others believe that Harry is the driving force behind everything that happened. One senior aide told author Robert Jobson:
'Some blame Meghan Markle for the fallout, ignoring the fact that Harry seems to be the driving force in everything that happened. There was a point when officials joked Harry was the victim of Stockholm syndrome, and he was Meghan’s hostage, but now most just feel Harry has turned his back on everything he has known.'
According to the Evening Standard, the various interviews that Harry has done detailing his strained relationship with his family make it even harder to fix the rift. In addition, Harry was reportedly infuriated by his father's refusal to pay for Meghan as part of the royal family when he announced his plan to marry her.
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