Why Meghan Markle Could Become ‘Princess Henry’

And why it's technically a downgrade from 'Duchess'.
prince harry and meghan markle on their wedding day. The pair sit in a carriage and meghan waves at the camera
Image: Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could soon have their titles stripped, if a new batch of reports are to be believed.

The couple were given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Queen Elizabeth, which she granted as a wedding gift back in 2018. Speculation that these titles would be revoked has run rampant since they stepped back from their roles as senior royals in 2020. While nothing has come of the rumours as of yet, the claims have continued to pop up across the past four years.

Most recently, royal expert Tom Quinn told The Mirror that King Charles is “desperate” to strip the couple of their titles. However, Quinn claimed the worry is that “it will look vindictive and make a bad situation worse.”

“[Charles] knows it would give Meghan and Harry’s another chance to claim they are being badly treated,” Quinn added.

Quinn previously told the outlet that Charles and Prince William “have had lengthy discussions about stripping Meghan and Harry of their royal titles,” but are “terrified” it would backfire.

Prior to that, in April last year royal historian Robert Jobson claimed that while Charles “is said not to be in favour” of axing Harry’s title, other senior royals are “less indulgent.”

But what’s more confusing than whether or not there are actually plans to strip Harry and Meghan’s current titles, is what exactly they would become in the aftermath.

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Will Harry Still Be A Prince?

In an extract from his book Our King, published in The Daily Mail, Jobson wrote: Ultimately, despite Charles’s enduring love for his son, he will come under increasing pressure if Harry continues to attack the monarchy. At that point, the King would have two options: put up with the spreading stain on his reign, or take action to limit its scope.”

“In short, Harry and Meghan could yet find themselves demoted to Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor of Montecito, California.”

Even if their Duke and Duchess titles were removed, both Harry and Meghan would still be more than just Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor, in terms of title.

First and foremost, Harry is a member of the royal family by blood. Accordingly, the title is his birth right and he would continue to be a Prince, even if his status as a Duke was revoked.

A previous report from The Evening Standard in 2020 claimed that the Queen had considered demoting Harry to the title of Earl, which would then have made Meghan a Countess. Nothing ever came of this and it hasn’t re-emerged as part of Charles’ reported plans.

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And What About Meghan?

This is where things get a little more complicated.

If both Harry and Meghan were to be stripped of their titles, Meghan could technically become a princess.

Per The Mirror, editor in chief of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward, told The Royal Beat that because Harry would still be a prince, Meghan would then become Princess Henry. This is because it is royal tradition that a princess takes up a royal title with her husband’s first name (Harry was born Prince Henry Charles Albert David).

“That really would [confuse the Americans],” Seward said. “I think [it’s] probably best just to leave it because it looks unkind, it looks unnecessary.”

Has Prince Harry Been Stripped Of His HRH title?

Despite retaining their titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan were both stripped of their ‘His Royal Highness’ and ‘Her Royal Highness’ titles after stepping back from royal duties.

What Are Archie and Lilibet’s Titles?

Harry and Meghan’s children, Archie and Lilibet were given royal titles when their grandfather, King Charles, ascended the throne. They are now Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

Prior to that, they were known simply as Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.

Image: Getty

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