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King warned 'aggressive' move to strip titles risks 'provocation' from Meghan and Harry

Daily Express logo Daily Express 27/01/2023 Aurora Bosotti

The King has been warned stripping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their titles could backfire on the family and result in further attacks from the couple. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have levelled a series of accusations at the Royal Family since stepping down, fuelling calls for the pair to have their titles removed. But commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti believes attempts to change Harry and Meghan's status could result in the pair dressing up the move as an "aggressive" swipe against them.


Asked whether the Royal Family could intervene to strip the Sussexes of their remaining royal connection, Sacerdoti said: "The sense I get is that this is not something they want to do.

"I think they're trying to calm things, not trying to throw more grenades - [they're] not trying to provoke any more than they're being provoked.

"Trying to remove their titles by the king would be seen as perhaps an aggressive move, or at least Harry and Meghan could dress it up that way.

"I think perhaps they're trying to spare us all of that misery as well. It's just not necessarily on their agenda.

"They want to get on with doing the job of the Royal Family and try and avoid that."

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king charles iii titles prince harry meghan markle © GETTY king charles iii titles prince harry meghan markle

A royal historian has predicted that Australia will become a republic "in her lifetime", having noted that the Royal Family has seen a significant drop in popularity since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's string of damning revelations in recent months.

Cindy McCreery, a historian specialising in the British Royal Family at Sydney University, told that Australians are turning their backs on the monarchy following the scale of infighting sparked by Prince Harry's claims.

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While the King is not expected to act upon calls to strip Harry and Meghan of their titles, Conservative MP Bob Seely last year tabled a bill that would make removing titles from members of the Royal Family easier for His Majesty.

Sacerdoti continued: "He's pressing ahead with his attempt to pass legislation that would allow Harry and Meghan to be downgraded as royals.

"He's planning what's called a Private Members Bill, which would allow a vote on taking away their titles.

"It's aimed at dealing with what he called 'bad royals' to give support to the monarchy."

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meghan markle prince harry titles royal © GETTY meghan markle prince harry titles royal

Speaking to Royally US, the royal expert added: "He's clear that this is in no way designed to embarrass the King or the Royal Family on his part.

"The way to strike back would be to approve a measure whereby Harry and Meghan are stripped of their titles, and that's a very real possibility - certainly if the toxicity doesn't eventually subside.

"But equally there's a strong belief that the best form of getting even or negating the Sussexes is to continue to ignore them and not feed into their drama and incessant attention seeking."

Were the Sussex title be removed from Harry and Meghan, the couple would still be entitled to be known as the Prince and Princess Henry as the Duke would remain a Prince of the United Kingdom.


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The current rule regulating the removal of a title was created in 1917 to address the issue of members of the British peerage taking up arms against the UK during World War One.

Following King George V's decision to anglicise the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in response to the war with Germany, the then-sovereign also requested MPs to legislate for the removal of titles from peers who chose to serve in the German Army during the conflict.

Under the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act, the Duke of Albany, the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, the Earl of Armagh and the Viscount Taaffe of Corren were all stripped of their titles after the King gave his assent.

However, Prince Harry could voluntarily renounce his titles and follow in the footsteps of Princess Patricia of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Princess Patricia renounced her princely title and HRH style upon her marriage to Sir Alexander Ramsay in 1919, thus becoming Lady Patricia Ramsay.


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