Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Keep Their Titles If They’re Not ‘Senior Members’ of the Royal Family?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just made a shocking announcement. On Wednesday, January 8th, the couple announced that they would be stepping down from their royal duties and will now try to gain their financial independence away from the royal family.

This news came at a complete shock to many fans and was also reportedly a shock to Queen Elizabeth II as well. If reports are to be believed, Prince William and Prince Charles were also taken by surprise.

Now that Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry will no longer be ‘senior’ members of the royal family, many people are wondering what exactly this means for the young couple. Will they now have to lose their title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex? Here is what we know about what the future holds for Prince Harry, whose official title is The Duke of Sussex’s official title is His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex, and Duchess Meghan.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked the world with their announcement

On Wednesday, the world was stunned when they read a statement on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram account. They began the statement by saying: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chose to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent.”

The statement went on to say that they will still be giving their full support to the queen and their patronages, as well as the CommonWealth. The duke and duchess also said that they would be living in the U.K. and in North America.

They did not specify where in North America they would be moving to, but it is widely speculated that Prince Harry, Markle, and their son Archie will be living in Canada because it is part of the CommonWealth. It is also where they stayed for the last six weeks while they were on sabbatical.

How will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make a living?

Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step down from being ‘senior’ members of the royal family, they received money from the Sovereign Grant to performing their royal duties. While they were receiving this money, they were not allowed to take another job outside of their royal work. By stepping down, they will now be able to work at any job that they want to.

So far, they have not specifically stated what they plan to do as far as a new career goes. However, Markle had a few different careers going for her when she met Prince Harry.

Some people think that she may decide to continue to pursue her acting career or her fashion career. She may also choose to make an entirely new career move. By choosing to step down, Markle is now free to work at any career that she wants.

Also, according to NPR, Prince Charles receives millions of pounds a year for being the Duke of Cornwall. He reportedly gave both Prince Harry and Prince William a large cut of his profits every year.

It is unclear if Prince Charles will continue to give Prince Harry the money from now on. But even if he doesn’t, we assume that Prince Harry and Markle have a healthy nest egg saved up, so they should be financially stable for quite a while.

Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get to keep their titles if they are no longer ‘senior members’ of the royal family?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at a roundtable.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Jeremy Selwyn – WPA Pool/Getty Images

For right now, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan still have their royal titles intact. However, according to  Page Six, a source that is familiar with royal protocol has stated that Prince Harry and Markle could choose to change that.

“It is clear that they are on a different and unique path,” the source said. “And they are very much thinking about what the future looks like for them. That could include being based in Canada or the possibility of walking away from their HRH titles, although hopefully it will not come to that.”

Because Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry have stated that they still intend to support the queen and the CommonWealth, many people believe that they will not be losing their royal titles. Instead, they will just simply be living outside of the U.K. for a majority of the time, but will still be lending their support to the royal family whenever it is needed.

That said, prior to their announcement, a report from the Sun alluded to “the possibility of walking away from their [His and Her Royal Highness] titles.” What’s more, when Baby Archie was born, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted against giving him a title: Instead of Prince Archie, he is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Back in 2017, Prince Harry mentioned leaving his princely life. He told The Daily Mail he longed for “an ordinary life” and had previously considered dropping his title. “I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,” he said at the time.

There are still several details that need to be worked out though. The royal family was reportedly blindsided by Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s news.

The palace released a statement of their own that stated: “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”