Queen warned: Meghan & Harry title row may ‘give anti-monarchists chance to flex muscles’

Prince Harry: Katie Nicholl discusses royal’s comments

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Palace aides have reportedly called for Meghan and Harry to have their titles removed in the wake of the Duke of Sussex’s remarks made during the latest episode of the Armchair Expert podcast. Many royal fans also joined this call, urging the Queen to intervene. However, two royal authors have expressed concerns over the ripple effect this move could have on the monarchy, suggesting it could open the door for republicans to call for the removal of the titles of other members of the Royal Family to the point of stripping down the whole institution.

Royal biographer Angela Levin wrote on Twitter: “Only parliament can remove Harry and Meghan’s royal titles. Not the palace.

“Is anyone else concerned that this might encourage anti-monarchists to try to overthrow the entire monarchy?”

Royal commentator Robert Jobson agreed with her analysis, and in a reply to her tweet said: “It would certainly give anti-monarchists a chance to flex their muscles.”

Instead of taking the drastic measure of removing their title, the Queen should ask Meghan and Harry not to style themselves as Duchess and Duke, just as she has done after Megxit with their His/Her Royal Highness statuses, Mr Jobson said. 

He continued: “The Queen should instruct them they should not use them.

“Harry and Meghan have made it clear they reject the institution and what it stands for.

“Why use titles then for books and other projects?”

These analyses were welcomed by a royal fan, who in a reply to Ms Levin said: “Yes I am. Don’t remove titles and styles. It will only add fuel to the fire.”

The Queen could remove Meghan and Harry’s HRH styles and titles of Prince and Princess through Letter Patents.

However, she does not have the power of taking away their peerage, despite having created Harry and Meghan Duke and Duchess on their wedding day.

That would take an Act of Parliament, to be later sanctioned by royal assent.

During the podcast led by Dax Shepard, Prince Harry likened the life in the Royal Family to “a mix of the Truman Show and being in a zoo”.

He also shared a view on the traditional depiction of princes and princesses and appeared to criticise Prince Charles for his upbringing.

Moreover, he spoke about how he did not want to be a working royal in his 20s and his mental health struggles, overcome with the help of therapy.

The comment on parenting reportedly incensed palace aides, with one telling the Mail on Sunday: “People are appalled that he could do this to the Queen when the Duke of Edinburgh is barely in his grave.

“To drag his grandfather into this is so shocking and disrespectful.

“The Duke of Sussex has now spent a significant amount of time emphasising that he’s no different to anyone else and attacking the institution which he says has caused him so much pain.

“There is a growing feeling that if you dislike the institution that much, you shouldn’t have the titles.”

Prince Harry’s latest remarks appear have been hijacked by Republic, an organisation calling for the abolition of the monarchy in favour of an elected head of state.

The group wrote on Twitter on Thursday when sharing an article about the Duke’s podcast: “Reading beyond the headlines and it sounds a lot like Harry is coming around to opposing the monarchy.

“It’s clearly not good for the royals, it’s definitely not good for Britain. Time to bring the show to an end.”

Graham Smith, the CEO of Republic, went as far as claiming the Duke of Sussex harbour sentiments that are “democratic and republican at heart”.

He said: “Harry is clearly not interested in the royal life, and wants a better upbringing for his children than the one he was given by Charles.

“When he quotes Meghan saying ‘You don’t need to be a princess, you can create the life that will be better than any princess’, that’s a democratic, republican sentiment.

“That’s a call to bring the monarchy to a close.

“It’s time we all moved on. For the sake of Harry and William’s children, and for the sake of British democracy.” 

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