Prince Harry Will Fight to Win Back His Honorary Military Titles

Prince Harry hopes to regain his honorary military titles when he and Meghan Markle review the terms of their royal departure next month.

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals in March 2020, Harry lost his honorary military titles: Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command. Multiple royal insiders have since stated that for Harry, who spent 10 years in the British Army, the loss of his titles was a particularly painful aspect of his royal departure. And according to the Telegraph, the Duke of Sussex is now planning to win them back.

The Sussexes will review the terms of their departure with the royal family in March, one year after they officially stepped down as senior royals. At the meeting—which is expected to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic—Harry hopes to regain his military titles. "His military work is one of the most important things to him," a friend told the Telegraph. "Of course he wants to keep them."

It's not clear whether he'll be able to persuade the royals, however: The Queen is reportedly staunchly opposed to allowing the Sussexes to retain some aspects of their royal lives while pursuing independence and privacy in the U.S. The Telegraph reports that "[s]everal names have been mooted as the Duke's replacements, including the Princess Royal as the first female Captain General of the Royal Marines, although more recently it has been claimed that some in the force have pushed for the Duke of Cambridge, who served with the RAF, to take on the mantle."

But Harry, who continued his military work after leaving active service by establishing the Invictus Games Foundation, "firmly" believes he's best suited to the role, according to the newspaper. What's more, a friend of the royal told the Telegraph that he always intended to travel back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K., but the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted his plans this year.

Earlier this week, Harry won "substantial damages" from Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, over "baseless, false, and defamatory" claims that he'd turned his back on the military since moving to the U.S. His lawyer, Jenny Afia, said in court, "The duke's commitment to the men and women who have put their lives on the line, to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and to military families, is steadfast and unquestionable."

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

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.