Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been demoted on the official Royal Family website – with only Prince Andrew below them. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced at the beginning of 2020 that they would be relocating from the UK to the US with their young son Archie Harrison. Buckingham Palace released a statement at the time saying the couple would subsequently be relinquishing their roles as working members of the Royal Family.
The departure – famously known as ‘Megxit’ – has seen Harry and Meghan only return to the UK together on a handful of occasions over the last two-and-a-half years.
But as the couple wait to see if King Charles III will confirm their children Archie and Lilibet can be called Prince and Princess, they have suffered a fresh blow.
Both have been demoted in the ‘Members of The Royal Family’ section on the Royal Family website, with Harry even below Princess Alexandra, a cousin of the Queen and 56th in the line of succession.
Daily Mail Diary Editor Richard Eden wrote on The Mail+: “I learn that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were demoted on the official royal website on Monday.
“They are still included in the ‘Members of The Royal Family’ section, but have been moved below King Charles’s first cousins, once removed.
“To add insult to injury, there is now only one member of the family below them — and that’s Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties after the scandal over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”
Mr Eden added that a royal source had told him: “I hope this doesn’t go down badly in Montecito. The change has been made because the Duke and Duchess are no longer working royals, unlike those who now appear above them.”
At the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey last Monday, Harry and Meghan were seated on the second row during the ceremony.
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Reports have circulated over recent months speculating Charles could look to slim down the number of working royals as King.
When asked about the website changes, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is not something we would comment on.”
On February 19, 2020, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had told the Queen that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.
This read: “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.
“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.
“The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”