The Queen Is Apparently Being Encouraged to Strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of Those Royal Titles

Any guesses who is allegedly leading the charge here?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After their step back as working members of the royal family in January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were allowed to keep their titles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But, according to OK!, “since the pair have continued to use the titles whilst shading the royal family in multiple public interviews, Queen Elizabeth may take away the denominations for good.”

Apparently high-ranking individuals within The Firm—the working arm of the royal family—are telling Her Majesty to remove their titles, likely citing media appearances like Meghan’s recent cover of The Cut—where she goes by Meghan, the Duchess on the cover and, in the article, is critical of the royal family.

“The highest levels of The Firm are telling the Queen that she needs to banish Prince Harry and Meghan Markle once and for all,” a palace insider told the outlet, adding that Prince William is the one leading the push. (!)

“Prince William evangelizes the Queen’s ‘never complain, never explain’ example,” the source says. “It is widely accepted by the royal family that staying silent is usually best, and airing one’s dirty laundry, especially as a member of the monarchy, never turns out well. If Harry and Meghan no longer have titles, it would [be] easier to argue that a response isn’t warranted.”

According to the outlet, “no one was more angry over [The Cut] article than the Duke of Cambridge.” In the lengthy piece, OK! reports, Meghan “dissed royal protocols, insisted she and Harry were ‘happy to’ leave the U.K., and seemed to blame the rift on them [the royal family], noting of the tension, ‘none of it had to be this way.’”

This isn’t the first time William has put his foot down about a member of the family that he disagreed with. Back in June, William said it was either him or his embattled uncle Prince Andrew that would attend the Order of the Garter ceremony—but not both. Ultimately, though he originally planned to attend the ceremony, Andrew did not show. Though the circumstances are vastly different between Andrew and the Sussexes, the insider says that William’s focus is on Harry and Meghan and whether their titles should be kept intact.

“Prince William is desperate to preserve the credibility of the royal family,” the source tells the outlet. “Expect that he will demand a review of the agreement that allows them to retain their Duke and Duchess titles.”

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.