Culture

Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use royal titles

Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use the titles of His and Her Royal Highness moving forward “as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

The couple will also no longer formally represent The Queen.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to repay £2.4m of taxpayer money for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home, the statement added.

The new arrangement comes into effect in spring this year, the palace said.

The statement comes after senior royals held talks on Monday about the future role for the couple, who this month announced they wanted to “step back” as senior royals.

Prince Harry and Meghan received the titles of His and Her Royal Highness upon marriage in May 2018.

Harry’s full title was His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel while Meghan became known as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. She was the first person to hold that title.

The only previous person to hold the title of Duke of Sussex was an anti-slavery campaigner and supporter of rights for Catholics and Jews, according to the Royal Collection. Prince Augustus Frederick, son of George III and Queen Charlotte, gained the title in 1801.

The titles are granted under the British monarchy’s system of “peerage,” which traces back to feudal times. Originally, the monarch would bestow titles on servants who pledged loyalty in exchange for protection or land, making them a peer of the realm. Today, it is used for relatives of the monarch.

Titles are decided by the Queen when a relative either comes of age or gets married.

CARDIFF, WALES – JANUARY 18: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watch a performance by a Welsh choir in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Ben Birchall – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen can choose from five titles for a man — duke, marquess, earl, viscount or baron — and for a woman — duchess, marchioness, countess, viscountess and baroness. Dukedom is the highest of all five.

Typically, family members are given the titles of Duke and Duchess, but the Queen can choose to bestow more than one title.

In the case of Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, he and his wife, Kate Middleton, became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but the Queen also granted Prince William the titles of Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.

Prince Charles — Harry and William’s father — is the Duke of Cornwall, and the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, was given the title Duke of York.

But breaking with tradition was the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, who chose the title Earl of Wessex when he married.

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