Prince Harry Is Struggling to Get Over the Loss of His Military Titles

Prince Harry is still devastated about losing his honorary military titles after stepping down as a senior royal last year, an inside source told Grazia.

  • Prince Harry is still devastated about losing his military titles (opens in new tab), a royal insider told Grazia.
  • Harry lost the honorary titles Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving when he and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals.
  • "It stung, and even today he has not been able to move on from that," the insider said.

For Prince Harry, one of the hardest aspects of stepping down as a senior royal was the loss of his honorary military titles: Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving, and, most crucially, Captain General of the Royal Marines. And according to royal insiders, Harry is still struggling to process the withdrawal of his titles, as well as the loss of his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.

"It stung, and even today he has not been able to move on from that," a source told Finding Freedom co-author Carolyn Durand, writing for Grazia (opens in new tab). Durand explained, "Indeed, his service to the global veteran community—which inspired him to create the Invictus Games—was not only his most important legacy to date, it was also the most meaningful to him."

Harry reportedly spoke openly of his sadness (opens in new tab) at the Mountbatten Festival of Music last March, the last official event he attended as Captain General. Speaking to senior military figures, including Royal Marines head Major General Matthew Holmes, Harry said, "I am so proud to have served as the Royal Marines Captain and am devastated that I am having to step down." He added, "I feel I’m letting people down, but I had no choice."

Meghan Markle, too, was devastated on her husband's behalf. (opens in new tab) Finding Freedom authors Durand and Omid Scobie quoted an insider who said of the loss, "That’s been a tough pill to swallow, and the one that has been most painful to Meghan witness him go through. It’s the one that made Harry emotional."

Meghan reportedly told a friend the decision to remove Harry's titles was "so unnecessary," according to Scobie and Durand. "And it’s not just taking something away from him, it’s also that entire military veteran community," she continued. "You can see how much he means to them, too. So why? The powers are unfortunately greater than me."

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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.