In recent months, there have been calls for Prince Harry to lose his HRH style and the title of Duke of Sussex, and a constitutional expert has stated that people should “cease calling him by any style or title that refers to his royal past.”
Despite leaving the Royal Family last year, Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, kept their HRH titles and titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. However, the Sussexes’ commercial activities since stepping down, particularly their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, have prompted calls for the Queen to depose them.
According to a constitutional expert, the Queen’s enduring affection for her grandson, as well as the lack of recent historical precedents for the removal of royal titles, such a move is unlikely.
Instead, he defended Harry’s desire for privacy, claiming that the debate over Harry’s titles has become irrelevant.
“This whole debate has become emotional and fraught, and as a result, the focus of where the conversation should be has become misplaced,” constitutional expert Iaian MacMarthanne told Express.co.uk about the row over Harry’s title.
With the birth of new Royal Family members, the academic argues, Harry’s royal status will dwindle over time.
“The harsh reality is Prince Harry will see himself slip further down the line of succession throughout his life,” Mr MacMarthanne explained.
Mr MacMarthanne explained that Harry is a “non-entity” in terms of the Firm since he and Meghan left.
“He may be a much-loved family member, a media poster boy, but he is now a non-entity in monarchical institutional terms, and he will be lucky to make it as a footnote in history,” he added.
When comparing Harry to previous heirs to the throne’s younger siblings, the academic argued that he “might be forgotten.”
“He is the Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew of his generation,” Mr MacMarthanne said. Who today remembers HRH The Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood; HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; HRH The Prince George, Duke of Kent; or HRH The Prince John, all royal children and siblings, Elizabeth II’s aunts and uncles?”
“This is monarchical reality, and it’s also Prince Harry’s reality,” he added.
Despite promising the Queen that they would not, Harry and Meghan have continued to trade off their Duke and Duchess titles.
Meghan’s children’s book The Bench was published under the title “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex,” while Harry’s upcoming memoir was referred to as the Duke of Sussex in a recent press release.
Mr MacMarthanne, on the other hand, defended Harry, claiming that people should respect his desire to be known as “the man he has become,” rather than a royal.
“Rather than worrying about the titles Prince Harry holds or his place in the line of succession, perhaps we should all respect the Prince’s wish to be seen “not as the prince he was born, but as the man he has become,” and stop referring to him by any style or title that refers to his royal past,” he added.
“Why can’t we call him Harry Mountbatten-Windsor, or Harry, as he requested shortly after his departure?”
“Let him have it if he wants a new future free of royal restrictions and nomenclature.”
Mr MacMarthanne argued that the world should “move on” and Harry’s prince title should be retired.
“How about we embrace Harry’s wishes, his genetic pain, and the many narratives he now offers and exclaim, ‘Prince Harry is dead, long live Harry!’ and we all move on and give this man the privacy he demands and has requested and for which he forsook and rejected his royal birthright?” he added.
“Only by discussing him as a prince or considering his position in the line of succession do we give life to and condone his own contradictions and hypocrisies.”
“Wouldn’t it be kinder and more supportive if we helped him transition to the life he claims he wants, one in which he is both private and non-royal?”
“Let’s just call him Harry from now on and ignore his place in the succession; after all, barring a catastrophic event unprecedented in royal history, he and his heirs will never succeed to the throne.”
Mr MacMarthanne claimed that by referring to him as “just Harry,” the divisive debate over his and Meghan’s titles could be put to rest.
“By adopting this approach, everyone will get what they want: an even more slimmed-down monarchy than first imagined (Prince Charles); privacy and freedom to make money (Harry); and the removal of Harry’s titles and place in the succession (an aggrieved section of the British public,” the expert concluded.