Anti-monarchist left ‘very cold’ as Harry refuses to give up title

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The BBC’s political flagship programme Question Time was filmed in Birmingham where an audience member questioned the panel about the impact of the book on the monarchy. The panel was made up of defence minister Alex Chalk MP, Labour’s Bridget Phillipson, former politician and practicing barrister Anna Soubry, journalist Ash Sarkar, and historian and author Tim Stanley.

The panel discussed the question: ‘Have the allegations in Prince Harry’s book damaged the royal family?’

Mr Stanley denied that the monarchy has been damaged, an opinion which has been supported by a recent YouGov survey about the popularity of the royals versus that of the Sussexes.

The first survey following the release of the book concluded that the King and Prince William have gained favourability with the public while Harry’s popularity has plummeted to its lowest level ever.

Mr Stanley accused the 38-year-old prince of “perversely” wanting to return to the monarchy, despite his harsh criticisms of the institution.

The commentator said: “Perversely, he wants to come back. He called the family hierarchical. It’s a monarchy, hello? Of course, it is hierarchical.

“This is the strange thing. Harry attacks individuals within the institution, but when asked if he still supports the monarchy, he does.”

Much of the criticism launched at the duke has been around his double standards of behaviour for him compared to that of the royals and the press.

Left-wing journalist and activist Ash Sarkar voiced her anger at the Sussexes’ refusal to relinquish their titles amid their attacks on the Firm.

Ms Sarkar, a self-proclaimed Republican, told the panel: “I think he should give up his titles. That is what leaves me cold.

“I think Harry and Meghan have been treated abominably by the institution and by the press but spare me the words from a Duke and Duchess about equality when they complain that they have not been treated well.”

CBS News’ Anderson Cooper asked Harry during a promotional interview for the memoir why he continues to use his title of the Duke of Sussex.

The royal bluntly replied: “What difference would that make?”

The comments come as Tory MPs pile on the pressure by demanding that Meghan and Harry are stripped of their titles via a Private Member’s Bill which would enable a vote to amend the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act.

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This act was last used to remove the UK titles from German members of the Royal Family during the First World War.

Mr Stanley concluded that the book has not caused any damage to the monarchy, which as an institution has seen many of these dramas before.

He said: “In a better age, Harry and William would have resolved this with pistols at dawn, but now it is done through Netflix.

“But the monarchy survives because its significant does not rest on the individuals within it, but upon its constitutional role.”

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