Things certainly seem to be on shaky ground within the British royal family after Prince Harry’s explosive memoir Spare revealed intimate details of the palace’s inner workings. It all begs the question of will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lose their royal titles, given they stepped back as senior members of the monarchy in 2020. Surely this added tension doesn’t help the situation.
On Monday January 10, 2023, Harry’s autobiography Spare hit the proverbial bookshelves, but not before most of the book was leaked on the Thursday prior, sending the press into a frenzy. Some of the most shocking revelations involved allegations of physical violence between Harry and his older brother, William, who got into an altercation when William allegedly called Meghan “difficult” and “rude”. After arguing, William was said to have grabbed Harry “by the collar, ripping my necklace and he knocked me to the floor.”
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Another allegation made by Harry in his book concerned his father, the now-King Charles, who used to make “sadistic” jokes about Harry’s real father. “He’d laugh and laugh, though it was a remarkably unfunny joke, given the rumor circulating just then that my actual father was one of Mummy’s former lovers: Major James Hewitt,” Harry wrote. What repercussions will this book have on Meghan and Harry in an official sense? Here’s everything we know.
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lose their royal titles?
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lose their royal titles? Nothing official has been announced yet, of course, but sources have said it’s a “very real possibility”. Insiders quoted in Us Weekly said: “There’s a very real decision to be made of course with respect to whether or not the Sussexes get to keep their titles.”
Buckingham Palace rarely comments on what’s in the news so it’s unlikely we’ll ever get confirmation. The source went on to say that if the monarchy does want to get revenge, there’s a simple way to do it: “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,” they said. “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.”
Harry, meanwhile, has made it clear he and his wife Meghan have no plans to relinquish their royal titles, even though he’ll never return to the UK or life as a working member of the monarch. In an interview with 60 Minutes the evening before his book launched, host Anderson Cooper asked: “Why not renounce your titles as Duke and Duchess [of Sussex]?” to which Harry replied: “And what difference would that make?”
He echoed this sentiment in a separate interview with Good Morning America the day his book hit stores, saying that it’s likely he’ll never leave California and return to work as an active royal. “I don’t think it’s ever gonna be possible,” he said. “Even if there was an agreement or an arrangement between me and my family, there is that third party that is going to do everything they can to make sure that isn’t possible,” he said, seemingly referring to the UK tabloids. “Not stopping us from actually going back, but making it unsurvivable,” he said.
In March 2020, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Meghan and Harry would remove themselves from their royal patronages. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family,” the Buckingham Palace statement read at the time. “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family,” the Buckingham Palace statement continued.
In their own statement, Meghan and Harry said: “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” adding they would balance their time between the UK and North America. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
For more about Prince Harry, read his memoir, Spare. Told for the first time in his own words, the book takes readers through the Duke of Sussex’s life with the British royal family, from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 to how the moment led to his decision decades later to move to America with his wife, Meghan Markle, and leave Buckingham Palace for good in 2020. “With its raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief,” the publisher’s description reads.
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