Prince Harry Being Stripped of His Duke of Sussex Title is Reportedly Being “Discussed at the Highest Level”

A new book says Harry and Meghan Markle would subsequently be known as Mr. and Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor—not the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

From the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Mr. and Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor? Apparently, according to Robert Jobson’s new book Our King, stripping Prince Harry’s title is being “discussed at the highest level,” presumably after not just stepping back as a working member of the royal family, but criticizing the royal family on screen (in his and Meghan Markle’s Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan) and on the page (in his tell-all, Spare).

According to The Mirror, the royal family has apparently discussed at length stripping Harry of his title. Though Harry’s prince title is a birthright and cannot be taken away, the Duke of Sussex title was a gift from Her late Majesty upon his marriage to Meghan in 2018. Mountbatten-Windsor is the familial surname of the royal family.

“It has long been suggested the couple should be stripped of their titles since they quit their duties and uprooted for a new life in California,” the outlet reports.

The late Queen never took action to strip Harry (and, vis a vis, Meghan) of his title, and “King Charles is understood to ‘not be in favor’ of axing Harry’s royal title and has ‘enduring love for his son’ despite having made the decision that Meghan should not accompany Harry to Balmoral when the family gathered after the Queen died,” Jobson writes in his book, out April 13. “The idea of stripping Harry of his Duke of Sussex title has been discussed at the highest level. The King is said not to be in favor, but other senior royals are less indulgent. Ultimately, despite Charles’ enduring love for his son, he will come under increasing pressure if Harry continues to attack the monarchy.”

Though Harry and Meghan maintain their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, in 2021 they were stripped of their honorary military appointments and royal patronages by Her late Majesty, with those appointments and patronages later distributed to other working members of the royal family. In addition to keeping the Sussex title, Harry and Meghan are also still afforded the His/Her Royal Highness stylings, though they rarely if ever use it. 

The couple's children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, previously went by Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, but when Harry and Meghan announced their prince and princess titles last month, their names changed on the royal family's website to reflect their parents' Sussex titles. They are now referred to as Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex in the royal family's official line of succession.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.