Meghan Markle Will Be a Princess if Queen Elizabeth Strips Her of Duchess Title

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex‘s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey aired, calls in the U.K. for Queen Elizabeth II to strip the pair of their titles have grown.

Harry and Meghan have retained but can no longer use their “Royal Highness” titles after stepping down as senior royals. They still go by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but many believe they are just cashing in on those titles and think they should be taken away. If that were actually to happen, the way Meghan’s new title might surprise you.

 Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Why Meghan would become ‘princess’ if duchess title is removed

The question about how Meghan would be known if she lost her duchess title has come up a lot, especially since her husband is a prince by birthright.

According to constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne, if Meghan’s duchess title was removed or Harry renounced their titles, the former Suits star would technically become a princess. However, she would not be “Princess Meghan.” Instead, she would be “Meghan, Princess Henry of Wales.”

MacMarthanne told the Express: “Were the Duke of Sussex to use the 1963 legislation and renounce his peerage he would automatically revert to being HRH Prince Henry of Wales, and when his father became king, HRH The Prince Henry. If Prince Harry were to renounce his peerage, his wife would cease to be the Duchess of Sussex and would instead become HRH Princess Henry of Wales and subsequently HRH The Princess Henry.”

Meghan Markle dressed in a pink hat and fascinator in a horse drawn carriage during Trooping The Colour
Meghan Markle during Trooping The Colour | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

MacMarthanne continued: “It should be remembered that as far as his wife is concerned, she enjoys his titles as a courtesy of their marriage, she does not hold them in her own right, and consequently she would not be formally known as Princess Meghan.”

He added if Harry petitioned to his grandmother to relinquish his royal styles and titles, he and Meghan would become “Mr. and Mrs. Harry Mountbatten-Windsor.”

The Sussexes likely won’t lose their titles

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk down the stairs of Sydney's Opera House to meet people
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk down the stairs of Sydney’s Opera House to meet people | Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

No matter how loud the calls to strip Meghan and Harry of their titles, MacMarthanne doesn’t see a scenario in which that occurs.

He explained: “There is in some quarters a feeding frenzy at present for the removal of all or some of Prince Harry’s titles… Within the context of present circumstances, Prince Harry was born an HRH and prince, and there is no modern precedent for someone born as such being stripped of these styles and titles. The Sussex peerage is a hereditary creation and was given [to them] as a gift by the queen [on their wedding day].”

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