Following their wedding in May 2018, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Since then, Harry and Markle have faced intense scrutiny, and they have resigned from their senior royal positions and moved to Montecito, California. Several petitions have been circulated online requesting that the Duke and Duchess be stripped of their royal titles.
Meghan and Harry were “welcomed with open arms at the time,” according to royal expert Hilary Fordwich, who told Fox News Digital.
“We saw the royal wedding, we saw the outpouring from the public in support of them. She was welcomed with open arms at that time. Don’t forget Prince Harry was one of the favorites. He’s plummeted in the polls now but he was one of the Royal favorites.”
Since the fall in rank by the public and the rise of online petitions, Harry has faced scrutiny from the media and British citizens.
The Parallel Parliament filed a petition following the couple’s move to the United States with the description reading, “The title was given to them at marriage on the basis that they would be working royals serving the monarchy. As this is no longer the case, this title cannot be used for personal financial gain. It, therefore, has no purpose and must be removed.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received royal titles from Queen Elizabeth
Following their wedding in May 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, Harry’s father, King Charles III, continued to give royal titles to Harry and Markle.
“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel,” the royal website shared following the couple’s wedding day.
“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.”
Harry and Meghan step down as senior royals
In 2020, Harry and Markle will step down as senior royals and move to California. The couple spent $14 million on a $14 million home in Montecito, California, where they now live and raise their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1.
“We spent four years trying to make it work,” he continued. “We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling.”
Petition is created to strip the royals of their titles
Fordwich touched on the petition to remove their royal titles after their exit to Fox News Digital. “There has been a petition, a movement from the people of the county of Sussex, they’re supposed to represent, to remove them. Why? Because they’re taking the name but they’re not doing anything for the people of Sussex. This is a dilemma. This is not a celebrity role. It is a role of duty.
So you need to do your duty, and then hold the title. Why would anybody want the title if they don’t want to do their duty to the people of the county of Sussex? You either do or you don’t. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
She continued: “If you’re Duchess of Sussex and Duke of Sussex you’re supposed to serve the people and your duty is to be there and to go there and visit people’s homes and go to churches and go to schools and go to hospitals. That’s what the Duke and Duchess do.
That’s what they should do. For example, the queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, he’s the Count of Wessex and his wife is the Countess of Wessex. They go to Wessex and that’s what they do. So it’s very important to recognize that the people of Sussex are being served.”
The Parallel Parliament filed a petition following the couple’s move to the United States with a description that reads, “The title was given to them at marriage on the basis that they would be working royals serving the monarchy. As this is no longer the case, this title cannot be used for personal financial gain. It, therefore, has no purpose and must be removed.”
Buckingham Palace shared a statement in 2021 after Markle and Harry made their move to the United States. “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” the statement said. “While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”