Meghan Markle and Prince Harry should refrain from using their Sussex titles in their business ventures, a royal expert has told Express.co.uk, as King Charles III cannot strip his son and daughter-in-law of their titles of his own esteem. The Duke of Sussex title was bestowed on Prince Harry, 38, 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.
But since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from royal life, questions have been raised over the continued use of the titles in their new lives.
They have been stripped of their HRH titles, as well as various other royal patronages and affiliations.
However, it would require an Act of Parliament to remove the Sussex titles from Prince Harry and Meghan.
But royal historian Marlene Koenig argued that the focus “should not be on removing titles”, but rather how they are used.
She pointed out that “you can live in America and have a title”, but that the “elephant in the room is the use of the title in business”.
Suggesting the utilisation of royal titles should perhaps have been clarified when the split between the Sussexes and the Firm was confirmed, there is “so much precedent” for the titles appearing in a different form.
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Ms Koenig told Express.co.uk: “Perhaps it would have been kinder and wiser to have said at the time that in business they should use the surname Windsor, or Mountbatten Windsor, or Sussex […] Meghan Sussex, Harry Sussex in their careers.”
She argued there is “no need for an Act of Parliament”, but that refraining from using the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex professionally would be the best route for Meghan and Harry to take.
Dr Bob Morris, of the Constitution Unit at University College London, previously told Express.co.uk that it was “very unlikely” Parliament would move to take away the Sussex titles.
He added: “At present it seems very unlikely that Parliament itself will wish to take any initiative and it would be for King Charles and the government in practice to determine the matter.”
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This may, however, depend on the contents of Prince Harry’s upcoming memoir, he said.
“Spare” will hit the international shelves on January 10, 2023, and has been touted by publishers Penguin Random House as “unflinching” in the Duke’s account of his life in the Royal Family.
Speaking of the highly-anticipated book, Dr Morris commented: “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.”
Earlier this week, Tom Bower, an unofficial biographer of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and a vocal critic of the pair, called for the couple to lose their titles in a fiery televised debate.
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?”