A Republican Is Lobbying for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Be Completely Stripped of Their Titles

Republican Congressman Jason Smith from Missouri is calling for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to be stripped of their titles for making political comments.

dubbo, australia october 17 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex visit a local farming family, the woodleys, on october 17, 2018 in dubbo, australia the duke and duchess of sussex are on their official 16 day autumn tour visiting cities in australia, fiji, tonga and new zealand photo by chris jackson poolgetty images
(Image credit: Chris Jackson)
  • On Friday afternoon this week, Republican Congressman Jason Smith of Missouri sent a letter to the British Ambassador of the United States asking that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) be stripped of their royal titles after they spoke about the upcoming presidential election in a recent interview.
  • Smith's letter was obtained by the Daily Mail (opens in new tab) and, in it, he argued that even though they've stepped down as working royals and are now officially private citizens, they are still seen as representatives of the British family and should be held to the same rules about political neutrality as the rest of the Firm.
  • Smith argued that Harry and Meghan's public comments about politics constitute an "attempt to interfere in our election" and asked that his concerns be passed onto the Queen herself.

Now that they've stepped down as working royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) are allowed to do things they couldn't have done before—like talk publicly about politics. There are still some people, however, who don't think that should be the case, apparently.

Republican Congressman Jason Smith of Missouri (opens in new tab) is one of those people and he's actively fighting to have the Sussexes formally stripped of all of their royal titles (opens in new tab). Even though Harry and Meghan don't use their HRH titles anymore now that they've stepped back from their royal lives, they do still have titles. Harry is still Prince Harry and the couple are still the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (opens in new tab). Smith, it seems, wants to change that.

The Daily Mail (opens in new tab) obtained a copy of a letter Smith wrote Friday afternoon to Karen Pierce, the British Ambassador of the United States (opens in new tab). In it, he wrote: 

"As you know, the British Royal Family has long observed a policy of strict neutrality in regard to political matters. I am therefore concerned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's recent comments regarding the United States Presidential Election, especially given international conversations surrounding foreign interference in our elections and the Duke's status as a guest of the United States."

Referencing Harry and Meghan's Time 100 interview (opens in new tab), in which they urged American fans to vote in the upcoming presidential election, Smith called the couple's conduct "a serious breach of the British Royal Family's (opens in new tab) policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies."

Smith rejects the idea that Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) are actually exempt from these rules as long as they have their royal tiles and argued that the Sussexes making political comments (opens in new tab) amounts to a form of interference in a U.S. election.

"It is my view the titles and privileges they retain by permission of Her Majesty the Queen, given with the advice and consent of her government, prevent the Duke and Duchess from separating comments made in a personal capacity from their official position within the British Royal Family.

"Therefore, by allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles, and these political comments to continue, the British Government is effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment."

Smith ended his letter by formally asking that the British ambassador take his concerns to the Queen (opens in new tab) herself and ask her to strip Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) of all of their titles—or, you know, get them to stop talking about politics to their fans.

"I respectfully request the British Government ensure The Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer attempt to interfere in our election or be stripped of all titles, styles, and privileges which they currently retain. I respectfully request you convey these concerns to both Her Majesty The Queen and to Her Majesty's Government."

In their Time 100 interview (opens in new tab), Meghan discussed the importance of the upcoming election, but didn't advocate for a particular party or candidate, saying, "Now we're just six weeks out from election day, and today is National Voter Registration Day. Every four years, we are told the same thing: that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do, and you deserve to be heard."

Harry, for his part, opened up about his inability to vote throughout his life and encouraged those who can vote to use their voice in November.

"This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the U.S.," Harry said. "But many of you may not know that I haven’t been able to vote in the U.K. my entire life. As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity."

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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.