THE Queen is unable to strip Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of the Sussex title because of strict UK law.
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The Queen has been urged to remove the Sussex title from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now the royal couple have signalled they are not planning to resume their duties as working royals. Her Majesty prevented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from using their Sussex Royal brand and HRH styles for business but the couple can still count on their styles to open doors for them. Royal expert Marlene Koenig however pointed out it would be “very difficult” for the Queen to proceed with the removal of the titles because of strict UK law.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Koenig said: “She could issue a letters patent that takes the HRH but that doesn’t change anything.
“Meghan doesn’t have a title, Meghan shares her husband’s rank. The peerage was created for Harry, not Harry and Meghan, it’s for Harry and his male descendants.
“The peerage can be removed by and act of Parliament with Royal Assent.”
Like other royal brides, the Duchess of Sussex came into her style by virtue of her marriage to a titled member of the Royal Family. Similarly, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge is only a Duchess and Princess of the United Kingdom because Prince William is both a Duke and a prince.
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Queen Elizabeth would have to assent to an Act of Parliament for Harry to lose his title (Image: GETTY/PA)
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit their careers as working royals in March (Image: GETTY)
The modern legislation regulating the removal of royal titles was created in 1917 to address the awkward position of British nobles who had fought against the United Kingdom during World War I or had German origins.
Ms Koenig continued: “Go back to 1917, with the Title Deprivation Act which removed the peerages from two members of the British Royal Family who were German and were enemies.
“That’s why they removed then and in 1919 the Royal Assent came that the Duke of Albany, the Duke of Cumberland and his son and an Austrian viscount were stripped of their peerages.
“And the Duke of Cumberland’s son could not inherit the peerage because he took arms against the United Kingdom. Has Harry taken up arms against the United Kingdom?”
Prince Harry and the Queen have always been very close (Image: GETTY)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said they wanted to continue support the Queen (Image: GETTY)
Ms Koenig added a formal request to deprive Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their titles would have to be tabled in Parliament through a bill, and the Queen would be forced to wait through the legislative process before deciding whether to give her assent or not to the proposal.
But with Harry neither being a traitor nor a convict – an additional cause for a royal to be stripped of their titles – it is unlikely the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will see their status change.
Harry and Meghan also signalled their commitment to support the the Queen when they first announced plans to take a step back from their royal careers.
In a note published on their former website Sussex Royal, the Duke and Duchess said they would be available whenever “called upon” to represent Her Majesty and the Royal Family.
Meghan Markle is the Duchess of Sussex by virtue of Prince Harry being a duke (Image: GETTY)
Royal Family history: The Duke of Cumberland was one of four royals deprived of their titles (Image: GETTY)
However, following talks with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William at Sandringham, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex agreed their job as royals would come to an end.
Harry and Meghan have since relocated to the United States with their one-year-old son Archie and settled in Santa Barbara after spending the early months of their newfound independence in Los Angeles.
The pair spent the lockdown volunteering to support vulnerable communities and have remained in contact with their patronages throughout the pandemic.
Their new non-profit organisation Archewell was scheduled to be launched in the spring but plans had to be postponed because of the health crisis, allowing the couple to focus on other causes close to them such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
In September, it was confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex struck a multi-million deal with Netflix to produce documentaries and educational content.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK