Why Meghan Markle Could Become "Princess Henry" If She and Harry Are Stripped of Their Royal Titles

Why Meghan Markle Could Become "Princess Henry" If She and Harry Are Stripped of Their Royal Titles

Gather round because—sigh!—there's a fresh batch of claims that King Charles could be stripping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of their royal titles. Specifically, their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, which were granted to the couple by Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of their wedding back in 2018.

topshot britain us royals wedding procession
That fresh Duke and Duchess feeling!AARON CHOWN - Getty Images

Speculation that the Sussexes could have their titles stripped has been popping up like whack-a-mole pretty much ever since tension started between them and the other royals. But in April 2024, The Daily Mail published musings from royal historian Robert Jobson, who said King Charles was under increased pressure to "demote" the couple:

"The idea of stripping Harry of his Duke of Sussex title has been discussed at the highest level. The King is said not to be in favor, but other senior royals are less indulgent. Ultimately, despite Charles’s enduring love for his son, he will come under increasing pressure if Harry continues to attack the monarchy. At that point, the King would have two options: put up with the spreading stain on his reign, or take action to limit its scope. In short, Harry and Meghan could yet find themselves demoted to Mr. and Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor of Montecito, California.”

And more recently, royal expert Tom Quinn told The Mirror that King Charles and Prince William "have had lengthy discussions about stripping Meghan and Harry of their royal titles" but are "terrified this would backfire and make the situation worse."

So....👀....what would Harry and Meghan go by if their Duke and Duchess titles were dropped? Prince Harry will stay a prince no matter what—he was born into the title!—but things are a liiiiittle more up-in-the air when it comes to Meghan Markle.

Meghan Would (Likely) Become "Princess Henry"

At least according to royal expert Ingrid Seward, who told The Mirror (via NY Post), “I don’t think anything will happen to the titles because, if they lose their titles, Harry is still a prince of the blood and Meghan instead of being the Duchess of Sussex, [would] be Princess Henry." Honestly, has a nice ring to it!

Psst: if you're confused about the Henry of it all, Henry is Prince Harry's given name!

Orrrrr She Could Become a Countess

This is based on reporting from all the way back in 2020, when the Evening Standard claimed that the Queen contemplated making Harry use his lesser title, the Earl of Dumbarton, which would make Meghan a Countess. It would be similar to King Charles's brother Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who go by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

the earl and countess of wessex visit vauxhall city farm
Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Either Way, Meghan and Harry No Longer Use HRH

"HRH" is shorthand for "His Royal Highness" and "Her Royal Highness," honorifics that Meghan and Harry had to give up when they stopped being senior working royals.

commonwealth day service 2020
Gareth Cattermole - Getty Images

This was established via an "agreement" the Sussexes made with the Queen in January 2020. At the time, Buckingham palace put out a statement saying “The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles, as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.”

Annnnd that's everything we know! It truly seem unlikely that King Charles will actually strip Meghan and Harry of their titles, but if he does decide to be that petty, it sounds like they'd still be Prince and Princess. Which some (me) might say is even fancier-sounding than Duke and Duchess, so that's that on that!

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