It is “very unlikely” that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will lose access to their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, Express.co.uk has been told, as speculation swirls around continued connections between the US-based royals and the Firm ahead of the release of Harry’s “wholly truthful” memoir.
On Wednesday, a royal commentator suggested the removal of Prince Harry’s Dukedom could be King Charles III’s “final ace card up his sleeve”, depending on the contents of the tell-all memoir that will hit the shelves next year.
Prince Harry, 38, was given the Duke of Sussex title as he tied the knot with Meghan at Windsor in May 2018.
A statement from Buckingham Palace at the time said the Queen was “pleased to confer a Dukedom” on her grandson ahead of the couple’s wedding.
Harry also gained the titles of Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
The title of Duke of Sussex had not been used by Royal Family members for years, after it was created by King George III in 1801.
The then-monarch gave the title to his son, Augustus Frederick, who died in 1843.
He had no heirs to inherit the title, and the Duke of Sussex title fell out of usage.
But since Prince Harry gained the title, he and Meghan have surrendered several royal affiliations in order to pursue independent lives in the United States.
The couple announced in 2020 that they were stepping back from royal life, and have since lost access to their HRH titles, as well as a raft of royal patronages and military roles.
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He added: “Depending what is said, perhaps it will be a case where behaviour that may amount only to bad taste is best ignored and not merit the attention of statutory deprivation.”
On Thursday, royal expert Daniela Elser posed the question: “If Harry goes scorched earth with “Spare”, could he leave his father with no choice?”
Conceding that the sovereign “himself cannot do away with the second Duke of Sussex with a quick flourish of his accursed fountain pen but would take an act of Parliament”, she also raised the possibility that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could stop using the titles publicly without parliamentary action.
Earlier this week, Tom Bower, the unofficial biographer of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and a vocal critic of the pair, called for the couple to be stripped of their titles.
He told Good Morning Britain on Monday: “I don’t think they should be allowed to call themselves Duke and Duchess anymore, and I think the only way in which they can be undermined and reduced in importance in America is to say ‘Well, if you think that of us, this is our family, this is Britain, then you don’t need to keep your titles anymore.'”
He added: “After all they trade on their titles, they make their money by always parading themselves as the duke and duchess and the prince.
“So if they want to make their money out of trashing Britain, then why should they be recognised as the Duke and Duchess?”