- Earlier this week, news broke that Prince Harry will lose his honorary military titles as his and Meghan Markle's royal exit becomes permanent.
- The decision, which was made the Queen and announced by Buckingham Palace, is thought to be a disappointment for Harry, who had reportedly been trying to work out a way to maintain his military titles after the royal exit.
- Royal insiders worry that if Prince William is given the titles, it will only put more strain on his and Harry's relationship.
This week, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will officially be removed from their royal patronages and that Harry will be stripped of his remaining honorary military titles in light of the couple's decision to make their royal exit permanent.
In it's statement, the Palace explained:
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."
The decision is said to be a sore spot for Harry, who had reportedly been working on a way to maintain his military titles after stepping back from his duties as a full-time working royal.Now, the titles will have to be reassigned to other working members of the royal family. The Queen will ultimately decide who gets Harry's old titles, including Captain General of the Royal Marines, which The Sun describes as Harry's "most treasured" military title. Royal insiders are worried, however, that if the Queen decides to give Harry's titles (particularly Captain General of the Royal Marines) to Prince William, it will worsen the long-reported rift between the two brother.
"Who takes over from Harry is a thorny issue in the family so giving the Queen the final say is the right thing to do," a royal insider told The Sun.
Hopefully, this won't be an instance that strains Harry and William's relationship, though, since William isn't expected to take on Harry's old title with the Royal Marines. Instead, the top contender for the position is actually Princess Anne, who already holds another 33 honorary military titles. If appointed, Anne would become the first female head of the marines.
Other military titles formerly belonging to Harry that will have to be reassigned include Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington near Bury St Edmunds and Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving. In the end, only Queen Elizabeth II will be able to say who will take on these coveted roles.
"Ultimately, it’s the Queen’s decision," another source told The Sun. "The posts are in her gift."