Royal commentator Daniela Elser argued Buckingham Palace finds itself “stuck in a bind” when it comes to Meghan and Prince Harry’s titles. The expert believes the Queen may attract huge criticism if she ever decided to ask her grandson to return her wedding present.
In an op-ed written for News.com.au, Ms Elser said: “For one thing, it would make the 95-year-old monarch look quite petty and vindictive.
“For those squarely in the pro-Harry and Meghan camp, this sort of move would confirm their view that the Queen is a mean-spirited nonagenarian out to punish the only bi-racial member of her extended family.
“The Sussexes, in turn, could bask in a sort of PR martyrdom that would strengthen their anti-Establishment, ‘speaking truth to power’ brand.”
Given Sarah Ferguson was only stripped of her Her Royal Highness (HRH) style and not of her title, which she has continued to use for commercial purposes over the decades, after her divorce from Prince Andrew, the Queen may also “look like a hypocrite” if she decided to take away Harry’s dukedom, the expert added.
Finally, Ms Elser said, Meghan and Harry could be stripped of their Sussex titles but, as Harry acquired his princely status by birth, he will never stop being a Prince and Meghan could style herself as a Princess if she stopped being a Duchess.
Lady Colin Campbell, who two weeks ago launched a petition asking Harry to give up his title of Duke, also believes losing this title would not be damaging for the Sussexes.
Speaking in favour of the Duke asking the Queen to put into abeyance his title, Lady C told the Daily Star: “It is the best solution because it frees Harry to be able to indulge himself without consequence and without doing damage to the institution of the monarchy of the British nation, the British people and himself.
“So from that point of view it frees him and he is big enough that he doesn’t need the royal title, he’s gone beyond that, he doesn’t need them, they are shackles that he could well do without.
“He doesn’t need them – he is too big for them now.”
Now Express.co.uk is asking its readers whether they think Meghan and Harry would be damaged by the loss of their titles of Duchess and Duke.
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Meghan and Harry stepped down as full-time working royals at the end of March last year.
The couple retained their full titles but were asked to no longer use their HRH styles.
Moreover, they lost their royal and military patronages, which were returned to the Royal Family and are to be redistributed among working members of the Firm.
Meghan and Harry’s remarks on the Royal Family as well as the use of their titles in their for-profit ventures have attracted the criticism of members of the public and royal watchers alike over the past year.
The reproach expressed by commentators has even resulted at times in calls on the Queen to strip the Duke and Duchess of their titles.
Last month, after Prince Harry took part in an episode of the podcast Armchair Expert, some royal aides were left baffled by his comments on Prince Charles’s parenting and upbringing and reportedly called on the Duke to relinquish his title.
One aide told the Mail on Sunday: “The Duke of Sussex has now spent a significant amount of time emphasising that he’s no different to anyone else and attacking the institution which he says has caused him so much pain.
“There is a growing feeling that if you dislike the institution that much, you shouldn’t have the titles.”
Several Britons appear to think Meghan and Harry should lose their titles in the wake of their remarks on the Royal Family.
YouGov carried out a poll on May 17 on 4,567 British adults, which found 44 percent of the surveyed believed Meghan and Harry should no longer be Duchess and Duke.
Moreover, 20 percent believed Meghan and Harry should keep their titles but not use them.
Of the remaining people polled, 17 percent said the Sussexes should neither lose their titles nor stop using them and 20 percent did not know.
Meghan and Harry’s decision to use their titles in their commercial enterprises, including on the front cover of the Duchess’ upcoming book The Bench, also attracted the criticism of a few commentators, who accused the pair of exploiting their royal status for commercial gain.
Former Good Morning Britain’s host Piers Morgan wrote in a column for the MailOnline after the Sussexes shared details of Meghan’s debut book: “Yes, she continues to cynically exploit her royal titles because she knows that’s the only reason anyone is paying her vast sums of money to spew her uniquely unctuous brand of pious hectoring gibberish in Netflix documentaries, Spotify podcasts or children’s books.
“Of course, her equally cynical publishers don’t give a damn about any of this shocking double standard.”