Meghan and Harry exit 'taught royals lesson' says commentator
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle famously left their royal roles behind in 2020 to pursue a new life together in the US. After tying the knot in 2018, the couple had represented the Queen at official duties and were considered working members of the Royal Family. Their dramatic exit from royal life saw Harry lose several official royal patronages, as well as alterations to how he uses his royal title publicly.
When did Harry and Meghan leave the Royal Family?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dropped bombshell news on their now-defunct Sussex Royal Instagram account in January 2020.
The couple announced their intention to step down as senior royals and to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution”.
While the Sussexes initially hoped to support the Queen and “work to become financially independent”, the outcome of lengthy discussions with the Royal Family saw Meghan and Harry leave their official royal duties behind for good.
Buckingham Palace subsequently announced Meghan and Harry would not receive public funds for royal duties, nor would they formally represent the Queen in an official capacity.
After the announcement was made, the Queen released a statement which said after “many months of conversations and more recent discussions” she was “pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family”.
Harry and Meghan returned to the UK to complete their final round of royal engagements in March 2020.
Following the end of their royal duties, the Sussexes moved to the US and they now reside in California with their son Archie and daughter Lilibet.
Is Prince Harry still a Prince?
Harry was titled His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales from birth as his father, Prince Charles, is the heir apparent to the throne.
Under the convention set by King George V in 1917, Harry was entitled to hold the Prince title as he is the grandson of the monarch through his father.
Harry was given the title of Duke of Sussex by the Queen when he married in 2018, meaning his new wife Meghan also received the title of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex.
Under the convention, the monarch’s children, grandchildren through the male line and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales is entitled to a Prince or Princess title.
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The Queen made an exception to this rule in 2013 when she declared all of Prince William’s children would get royal titles, which is why Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all hold titles rather than just Prince George.
Although Prince Harry is a Prince, his son Archie and daughter Lilibet do not hold Prince or Princess titles.
Under the George V convention, Archie and Lilibet weren’t eligible for titles, as has also been the case for several of the Queen’s great-grandchildren.
However, when Charles is King in the future, Archie and Lilibet will be the grandchildren of the monarch through the male line, and then they would arguably be eligible for Prince or Princess titles.
How did Prince Harry’s title change following his royal exit?
As part of the terms of the Sussexes’ exit agreement made in 2020, it was confirmed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would no longer use their HRH titles.
There is some precedent for members of the Royal Family losing their HRH status if they are no longer working royals.
In the 1990s, royal divorces usually ended in ex-spouses losing their HRH status, as was the case for Sarah Ferguson and Princess Diana.
While both Sarah and Diana were allowed to keep their respective titles as Duchess of York and Princess of Wales, they were no longer permitted to publicly use the style of Her Royal Highness.
However, Prince Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie both hold the style of HRH, which is unusual given both are not working royals.
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