Ah, the irony. Vocal critics of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Twitter have been calling for the couple to lose their royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex amid their increasingly outspoken approach to describing royal life. Most recently, Prince Harry doubled down on comments he’d made in the explosive Oprah interview on a podcast with Dax Shepard, and the seeming criticism of Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II that he furthered has renewed calls for them to be stripped of their honorifics — a situation that British historian Kate Williams informs us could actually have the opposite result they’re hoping for.
Historian Williams, a history professor at University of Reading, wants Twitter to know that the public’s latest demand of the would royals would technically elevate their titles, diminishing the point of “dropping” them entirely.
“Harry’s title of Prince cannot be removed,” she explained via Twitter. “Thus if they were no longer Duke and Duchess, they’d be Prince and Princess. Which would, one might argue, be even more appealing on the world stage…”
Cries to remove titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex from Harry and Meghan. But Harry’s title of Prince cannot be removed. Thus if they were no longer Duke and Duchess, they’d be Prince and Princess. Which would, one might argue, be even more appealing on the world stage..
— Prof Kate Williams 💙 (@KateWilliamsme) May 16, 2021
WIlliams extrapolates further in a series of tweets, adding that, “Meghan’s title would be Princess Henry of Wales,” which would be her title through marriage. “She does not use it now due to the Sussex titles. But if the Sussex titles removed, she would be quickly called in general speech Princess Meghan or indeed Princess Meghan of Wales….”
“[This] would look…bad considering all the others who kept theirs and would totally backfire,” she continued. “But still it keeps being called for, this time after Harry goes on a podcast and suggests mildly that Charles didn’t have a 100 percent happy childhood – which has been said, in detail, by sources around Charles for years.”
The podcast in question was an episode of Armchair Expert, co-hosted by Dax Shepard, in which Prince Harry revealed his desire to “break the cycle” of “pain and suffering” he experienced during his childhood. Many interpreted his words as jabs at Prince Charles and the Queen, though Prince Harry did specifically note he doesn’t want to “points any fingers” or “blame anybody.”
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) March 8, 2021
“So they return Frogmore money, military titles, patronages, make their money /work for charity but still this desire to ‘punish’ comes up,” Williams concluded via Twitter. “Even though said punishment wd be logistically near impossible and a PR disaster….Strange.”
Strange, indeed! But Princess Meghan…? We kind of like the sound of that.
Watch: A Timeline of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship