Before the terms of Sussexit were announced on Saturday, I felt like (maybe) CB didn’t understand what was at stake with the titles. I felt like many casual royal-watchers didn’t get what was at stake for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which is a larger conversation about just how insular, medieval and parochial the royal system really is. Is it a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, globally, that Harry and Meghan are “not using” their HRHs? No. But it’s a HUGE deal for royalists and it’s a huge deal within the Windsor industrial complex. And we still don’t honestly know if Harry and Meghan chose to “stop using” their HRHs or if the palace chose that as a punishment. Here’s more though: according to the Evening Standard, there were high-level discussions about another punitive action: removing their Sussex titles.
The Queen considered stripping Harry of his royal dukedom as well as his HRH title and allowing him to use only the lesser title of earl, the Evening Standard has been told. As “The Duke of Sussex” is one of the ancient royal titles, downgrading Harry and Meghan’s rank in line with their reduced level of official duties was discussed, sources said.
It is understood the suggestion was that the sixth in line to the throne would have been referred to by one of his lesser titles, the Earl of Dumbarton, with his wife being known as a countess — putting them on a par with Prince Edward and Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
But the Queen and Prince of Wales did not wish to appear “petty” and felt banning the couple from using HRH in public and for commercial use — while still retaining it — was sufficient.
A source said: “The Sussex title is one of the ancient royal dukedoms given to him ahead of his wedding to Meghan, along with other titles. Removing it was seriously considered and discussed at the highest level.”
[From The Evening Standard]
Again, I believe that it was discussed. I believe that Harry and Meghan were prepared for the worst case scenario, which would have been being stripped of their Sussex titles and their HRHs and everything else. They were prepared for the worst. And maybe what saved them was Charles and the Queen having a brief moment of clarity that they would have looked like giant, petty a–holes for removing Harry and Meghan’s titles and status just because the Sussexes didn’t want to be targeted with harassment and abuse any longer. Also, I’m going to keep bringing this up: we’ve heard NOTHING about any high-level conversations to strip Prince Andrew of his dukedom or his HRH and he abused trafficked teenagers and was BFFs with a convicted pedophile rapist.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
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