Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry royal titles ‘irrelevant’ following USA move – expert

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Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 35, moved to the USA following their step away from the royal bubble. The couple and their son Archie Harrison settled in the States in March and moved into a new home in Santa Barbara last month.

In recent days, Meghan has been criticised for supposedly becoming involved in politics.

After the Duchess encouraged Americans to vote in the upcoming US elections, some critics felt she had overstepped the royal mark.

While Meghan and Harry were meant to remain politically neutral as senior royals, they are permitted more freedom of expression since relinquishing their roles.

Constitutional expert Iain MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk: “By convention, royals are expected to be politically neutral, thus respecting their constitutional positions.

“Like all conventions, there is much flexibility as to what is, and what is not, acceptable territory to become involved in, and the further away any royal is from succeeding to the crown the greater the latitude given.”

Although Meghan has shared platforms with high profile Democrats she has not explicitly declared her political leanings.

Despite calls for her to be stripped of her royal title, “no laws have been broken”, Mr MacMarthanne said.

He explained that there would be no way to remove Meghan’s title without taking away Harry’s too, as the only reason Meghan has her HRH styles is through her marriage to Harry.

The expert said: “In the instance of the Duchess of Sussex no laws have been broken, conventions are there to be tested, but above all else, suggestions that the duchess could be stripped of her title is to assume it was given to her.

“This is not the case. The duchess holds her styles and titles as a courtesy, derived from her husband.

Mr MacMarthanne even suggested that Meghan could go by her maiden name if she wished to.”

He said: “In effect, there is nothing to strip from her, she is at liberty not to use these titles and could, should she prefer, be known by her pre-marital name.”

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While staunch royal fans may be upset by Meghan’s apparent flaunting of convention, both she and Harry have agreed with the Queen that they won’t use their royal titles going forward.

Mr MacMarthanne claims that because of this the couple’s royal titles are ‘irrelevant’ when it comes to the work they plan to do in the USA.

He also flagged they were in the odd positioned of holding royal titles in “a country that rejected the monarchy.”

Mr MacMarthanne said: “As for the Sussex case, time will tell.”

He added: “It is arguably anomalous to be using any title whilst residing in a country that rejected the monarchy.

“The work the duchess does is not dependent on a title; together the Sussex’s have undertaken not to use their royal styles and titles, and for this to be up for review early next year.

“Talk of stripping the duchess of her courtesy titles, held by right through her marriage, seems irrelevant.”

Asked if there were any historic examples of royals losing their titles due to political inventions, Mr MacMarthanne said: “While there are no examples of royals losing their titles, styles, and their place in the succession because of a political position they alone have adopted, there is the notable example whereby titles were stripped and disclaimed in 1917 owing to a political situation, the Great War.

“By Royal Warrant issued by George V, German titles held by the British Royal Family were disclaimed, and British titles held by enemy Royals were stripped from them.”

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