Over the past few weeks, the world is abuzz with the “Megxit” or Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepping back from their royal duties. What’s the latest about this landmark news that surely kicked off the New Year with a surprise?
Their baby, Archie is now affected
In a recent report on Fox News, the controversial British royal wife Meghan Markle is fighting for the protection of their eight-month-old son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. She, together with Prince Harry and their son, received criticisms from the decision they made in the first few weeks of January 2020.
The couple announced their wish to “step back” as senior members of the royal family and divided their time between the United Kingdom and Canada to make their own income. The official announcement is posted on their Instagram account, “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year is starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.”
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the statement said.
Both Queen Elizabeth II and the Buckingham palace supported their decision and then confirmed they “would no longer use HRH titles once Megxit is complete in the spring of 2020,” Fox News added.
What the HRH title means for Meg and Harry
The world followed the story of Meghan Markle, a successful television actress in Hollywood, and her marriage to Great Britain’s Prince Harry—from the time they were dating to their wedding day to the moment Markle received the title “Her Royal Highness.” Harry’s title was “His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.”
Now that the royal grandmother herself announced they also no longer have to use their HRH titles, what does this mean for them? Read to find out more.
These titles aren’t only of big importance for the couple, but for the entire British royal household. In fact, it isn’t only them who were once stripped of these royal titles out of several and various causes. Aside from the must to drop these titles, they will also not be able to represent the Queen like before as working members of the family, CNN shared.
Since the early 1900s, the title is issued to the sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters of the monarch, even among the in-laws. It is bestowed upon the decision of the reigning monarch. Until the First World War, these were utilized liberally.
It was in 1917 when George V decided to restrict the titles to only a few royals, especially with the growing suspicion that time about the German origins of the Windsor house, which is the renamed version of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
What comes with it
Then, Queen Elizabeth II went lenient with these rules, awarding this status to several senior royals. How important is it? The title is used in official invitations, letters, news stories, and addresses for instance, in a public event. With the recent change, both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be addressed with these titles anymore.
However, the decision does not mean they will lose the duties that come along with the HRH title. It only means they cannot refer to themselves as HRH, and cannot represent the Queen once it is in full effect. Prince Harry remains a Prince and Meghan still is the Duchess of Sussex.
What happens to the couple after
For those who first heard about the Megxit, they might think the couple got disowned or were banished from the royal family (which makes Queen Elizabeth II like an evil villain, right?). But it doesn’t mean such. There are several misconceptions about it, and it is right to find out what this really means.
The effectivity of the decision will be this spring, but the palace did not announce any official date. With their royal titles being taken away from them, they will also step back from all official military appointments. TIME reported they will also “stop receiving public funds” usually allotted for fulfilling their royal duties.
What are their future plans? There could never be anyone more excited about this than the couple themselves. They are now in Canada and on Monday night, January 20th, they started to build their new lives.
They will remain at their $14 million waterfront property at Vancouver Island in the next weeks and months to come. They will also raise funds for their pet-related causes, and the couple might also get a job at Netflix studios. Ted Sarandos of Netflix expressed interest in hiring them, according to Page Six.
The couple has several connections, especially among Middle Eastern royalties, they have various platforms and causes, and for certain, a public speaking stint for either of them would rake in millions. They are also working toward launching their Sussex Royal Foundation, in cooperation with Sunshine Sachs, a New York City-based PR firm. The plot thickens.
Who else got their titles stripped in British royalty
Here is what’s clear from this roller coaster ride: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren’t the first in history who got stripped of their royal titles. They might be the most popular royal couple who earned publicity for this matter, part of it is because Markle is a Hollywood celebrity. Below is the rundown.
The grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II to Prince Edward and Princess Anne
There are various reasons why the palace will ultimately decide to strip royal figures of their titles. For instance, they expressed their desire to lead a more private life. This is what happened with the grandchildren of the Queen to Prince Edward and Princess Anne. You wouldn’t even be familiar with them, but Anne’s children Peter and Zara do not hold any titles, while Edward’s children, James and Lady Louise use their secondary titles.
Spain’s Juan Carlos I
The importance of the royal family, for societies that still retain the monarchy, to the sovereignty of the country is emphasized because of the people’s interests over them. Spain’s King Juan Carlos I thought it was a good decision to give up his title after encountering health problems and scandals in 2014. He followed the same fate as King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who had to give up their reign to focus on their health and avoid issues that the public may bring up about them.
List of royals, monarchs who also found themselves in the same situation
Edward VIII of the 1930s decade
A British prince in the 1930s also married an American and he was Edward VIII. In 1936, he married divorced socialite Wallis Simpson. But theirs is more of a palace gossip turned scandal. With the opposition of the Church of England and the prime ministers, they believed it would be impossible for the couple to stay in the monarchy after the marriage, so Edward VIII decided to give up the royal title and pass his duties to his brother, George VI.
Japanese Princess Ayako
For the Japanese, it is automatic that if female members of the royalty marry someone outside the aristocratic clan, they have to give up their titles. Princess Ayako was among those who found herself under the implementation of this rule. She is the daughter of Prince Takamado, one of the cousins of Emperor Akihito.
She married the shipping industry professional Kei Moriya in 2018. However, despite this, she still receives around $950,000 yearly, but without fulfilling her duties for the royalty.
The timeline of the relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is one that involves a blend of what a Hollywood couple might go through. As spring fast approaches, the time when the world will see the effectivity of this decision, there are more exciting changes to watch for in the British royal family.