Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are no longer senior working royals, but they continue to hold the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. One royal family commentator says Meghan and Harry are very concerned with their titles because they’re starting to see the benefits. Here’s what the expert had to say.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry initially didn’t want titles for their children, according to reports
Meghan and Harry reportedly didn’t want their children to have royal titles at first. It was reported that they wanted their children to have a normal life, so they preferred for them to forgo the titles. “We’ve heard from several sources on both sides that the couple really hopes to forgo the formality of royal titles,” said Omid Scobie, co-host of the podcast On Heir back in 2019 (via Town & Country).
However, Meghan seemed to have a change of heart after Archie was born. It seemed to bother her that her son didn’t have a title and wouldn’t get security. During her interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan spoke about Archie’s lack of a title. (Archie was reportedly offered the courtesy title Earl of Dumbarton, but Harry and Meghan allegedly turned it down, according to The Telegraph.)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘trade on their titles’ according to royal commentator
According to royal commentator Neil Sean, titles are important to Meghan and Harry. In his opinion, they use their titles to help establish their brand.
“Harry and Meghan simply trade on their duke and duchess title,” says Sean. “We are hopeful over here that our brand-new king, His Majesty King Charles III, will have a re-think about how that’s going to pan out.”
Sean mentions the late Queen Elizabeth II stripped Prince Andrew of some of his titles after allegations were made about his connection to the late Jeffrey Epstein. Sean says it’s not uncommon to be stripped of titles if it is determined that a royal “steps out of line” or is “damaging the monarchy.”
“I’ve been told by a very good source that the reason why Meghan had this dramatic change of heart regarding titles was simply this. After much deliberation she felt actually, yes, this would be a good thing, not just for her, but for both her children,” says Sean.
Sean says a source told him Meghan now realizes how useful titles can be when it comes to the workplace and navigating social circles. “Meghan if nothing else has become something of a social climber ever since she realized what the word meant,” says Sean. “That truly is the reason why they want to persist and clutch hold of the title.”
Why Archie and Lilibet weren’t automatically given the title of prince and princess
Back in 2021, royal correspondent Daisy McAndrews explained why Archie’s lack of a title wasn’t a personal attack. While the late Queen Elizabeth II was alive, the rules were different.
“On paper it doesn’t look fair, but actually when you look into royal precedent, it is fair,” says McAndrews. “That is the way it’s meant to be. Any grandchildren of the reigning monarch will be princes and princesses. Of course, we’re talking about great grandchildren. Once you get beyond grandchildren, it’s only the direct decedents of the future monarch. That’s William’s children, not Harry’s children. So, obviously, Meghan felt very strongly that this was a racial slur.”
Now that Charles is king, Meghan and Harry’s children are eligible to become prince and princess because they are the grandchildren of the reigning monarch. Before, they were the great grandchildren of the reigning monarch (and not direct descendants of the future monarch), so they were not eligible to be named prince and princess.
Royal expert says Meghan Markle doesn’t understand titles
One commentator says it’s “outrageous” Meghan and Harry wanted to step away from their positions as senior working royals, but they reportedly want the privileges that come with royal life.
“I mean it’s quite outrageous as this was a couple who said they were basically going to distance themselves from the royal family,” says historian Rafe Heydel-Mankoo during an interview with GB News (via Express). “They said they wanted to have their own lives in North America and yet here they still want to benefit from the privileges that come with being a member of the Royal Family.”
According to Heydel-Mankoo, Meghan doesn’t understand how royal titles work. He says Meghan mentions during her Oprah interview that Archie wouldn’t get a royal title. However, Heydel-Mankoo echoes McAndrews’ statement that this decision had nothing to do with race.
“The fact is only the children and grandchildren of the sovereign get the title of prince and princess,” says Heydel-Mankoo. “Now that the Queen is dead, her children automatically get it because Charles is King. So, because these are his grandchildren, they automatically become [prince and princess]. That is why they become prince and princess, but Meghan just doesn’t understand royal titles.”
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