Royal Family LIVE: Prince Harry under pressure as petition over titles signed by thousands

Prince Harry: Royals 'hurt' over comments says expert

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Lady Colin Campbell, author of Meghan and Harry: The Real Story and other books, started a petition “inviting” Prince Harry to “voluntarily ask The Queen to put his royal style, titles and rank into abeyance”. Launching this online petition, Lady C claimed relinquishing his titles would free the Duke of Sussex from “constitutional conflicts” and would allow him to “indulge his personal beliefs” as a fully private citizen living in the US with no official links to the Royal Family.

The description of Lady C’s petition explained: “As a purely private citizen, with no royal rank, style or title, he will be able to indulge his personal beliefs, as is the right of all private citizens, without the consequential possibility of damaging the institution of the Monarchy or relations between Friendly Powers, and will be free to articulate beliefs, no matter how objectionable, without the fallout that is otherwise inevitable as long as he possesses royal status.”

This petition does not call on the Queen to act but, rather, on the Duke of Sussex to ask her to put his titles into abeyance.

This move, Lady C wrote, would “resolve conflicts that would otherwise be inevitable”.

She said: “His invitation to The Sovereign, being of his own accord, will resolve conflicts that would otherwise be inevitable, and will permit him to enjoy the credit of having put both national and international interests above his own, personal ones, in the process gaining him respect that he otherwise will not enjoy.” 

The royal commentator believes Prince Harry, by giving up the royal titles, would choose a “dignified solution”.

She told the Daily Star: “It is a dignified solution for all concerned. To humiliate no-one and protect everyone.

“I think it’s a humane way of solving a very regrettable situation.”

Losing his titles would not damage Prince Harry’s post-Megxit life and work, Lady C argued, as she believes he is “big enough” as a brand he does not need to be called a Duke, and would simply make it clear he is speaking and acting as an individual rather than a member of the Royal Family. 

She said: “It is the best solution because it frees Harry to be able to indulge himself without consequence and without doing damage to the institution of the monarchy of the British nation, the British people and himself.

“So from that point of view it frees him and he is big enough that he doesn’t need the royal title, he’s gone beyond that, he doesn’t need them, they are shackles that he could well do without.

“He doesn’t need them – he is too big for them now.”

Prince Harry and Meghan officially stepped down as senior royals at the end of March 2020.

While they can no longer represent the Queen and the Crown with royal duties and visits and returned their royal and military patronages, they have retained their full titles. 

However, prior to stepping down, they were asked not to use their His/Her Royal Highness (HRH) styles, and have abided by this demand.

Over the past few months, Prince Harry and Meghan spoke publicly about their mental health, their life as members of the Royal Family and their struggles within the palace.

During their landmark interview with Oprah Winfrey first aired in March, Prince Harry said he decided to leave the Firm as a senior royal because of a “lack of understanding and lack of support.

More recently, the Duke of Sussex accused members of the Firm of “total neglect” when he and Meghan asked for help in the wake of intense online abuse.

Harry launched this accusation during the docu-series The Me You Can’t See which was released on Apple TV+ earlier this month. 

During an episode of the podcat Armchair Expert, he spoke about the US Constitution’s First Amendment while he was discussing the media “feeding frenzy”, saying it was “bonkers” – a remark which attracted the criticisim of several Americans, including Texas senator Ted Cruz.

In the run-up to last year’s presidential election in the US, Meghan and Harry had spoken about the importance of voting and rejecting misinformation and online hate.

Their remarks led Republican Congressman Jason Smith to write an open letter to the British Government in which he said that, by allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles while making political comments, Downing Street was “effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment.”

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8.30am update: Kate wants to make up with Prince Harry and Meghan ‘for sake of Archie and his cousins’

Kate wants to make things up with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the sake of Archie’s relationship with his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, according to a royal expert.

Royal commentator Camilla Tominey said the Duchess of Cambridge “remained keen to bury the hatchet” with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex despite their controversial Oprah Winfrey interview.

Highlighting how close Kate is with her sister Pippa and brother James, Ms Tominey added that Prince William’s wife appears to want to patch things up with Harry and Meghan for the sake of young Archie’s relationship with his cousins.

Writing in the Telegraph, the royal expert said: “Having grown up being close to her own siblings, Pippa, 37, and James, 34, the Duchess remained keen to bury the hatchet even after the interview aired to a global audience of millions, seemingly for the sake of two-year-old Archie’s relationship with his cousins.”

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