Harry and Meghan are giving up royal titles and state funding
January 20, 2020 6:58 am
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will give up their royal titles and eschew some state funding in a deal brokered to end a crisis that broke out after the couple announced they would step back.
The news comes after a flurry of conversations and crunch talks with the Queen, who said Saturday that she was “pleased” to have found a “constructive and supportive way forward” for the Sussexes.
Earlier this month, in a carefully worded Instagram post and curated new website, Harry and Meghan announced their intention to exit the royal family. In it, they made clear what they wanted: to work to become financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen.
The question is now: did they get what they had hoped for?
The Sussexes had pitched for a hybrid role, where they would be allowed to pursue personal income, but also continue representing the Queen. But it appears they were offered two choices by the Palace — in or out. They chose out.
Meghan received the title Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Duchess of Sussex upon marriage in May 2018. Harry’s full title was His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
But the couple will no longer use the titles His and Her Royal Highness after announcing they would step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. This is quite unprecedented.
After her divorce from Prince Charles, Harry’s mother Diana had her “HRH” title taken away, and she was given the courtesy title of “Diana, Princess of Wales.”
Similarly, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York was also stripped of her HRH title after her divorce from Prince Andrew.
But the situation for Harry and Meghan is different — they have chosen, or been asked, not to use these titles because they no longer represent the Queen.
This decision is really about Harry and Meghan’s extraction from royal life, but the next question is what will happen to the Sussex Royal brand.
The role, outlined on Harry and Meghan’s Sussex Royal website following the couple’s first announcement, doesn’t currently align with the agreement announced by the Palace on Saturday. That whole new brand of Sussex Royal will probably have to be reworked, and we are waiting to see what that will look like.
The changes will take effect in the spring when Harry and Meghan will stop using the titles “HRH.” The situation will then be reviewed a year later, but in the meantime Harry can expect a lot of media scrutiny.
This latest announcement doesn’t mean that the couple will no longer move in Royal circles — we’ll still see them at functions that look a lot like Royal events.
We will probably see them undertaking commercial work, possibly media work, but we’ll have to wait and see who that will be with, or how that will be shaped. We know that the couple haven’t signed any commercial deals yet.
Harry and Meghan will have to bring in quite a substantial income to keep up with their current lifestyles — while the Prince of Wales will be financing them through his private estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, this is expected to be in the low millions and may not be permanent.