Prince Harry has been facing calls to renounce his title of Duke of Sussex after choosing to establish himself as a private citizen while maintaining his HRH style. The Queen agreed her grandson and his wife Meghan Markle will be able to continue using the style as long as they do not use it in a business capacity. But to avoid further criticism, expert Marlene Koenig told Express.co.uk the Duke of Sussex could follow a precedent set in the early 20th century.
Ms Koenig said: “The Queen could issue a letters patent that removes the HRH and even his title of prince.
“Or they could do what happened in 1919, what Princess Patricia of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, did.
“She was married, she was the first royal wedding after the end of the First World War and she was marrying the son of an Earl, the Honourable Alexander Ramsay.
“She, being very shy and not having a public role, decided that, because her husband was a mere Honourable, and there was no discussion of him in 1919 getting his own peerage, she chose to be styled not as a princess. She relinquished, did not renounce.”
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Despite speculation about her marrying a high-ranking European prince due to her eligibility, Princess Patricia married Naval Commander Alexander Ramsay and asked permission to no longer be styled as a senior member of the Royal Family in public.
Ms Koenig continued: “So George V, her cousin, issued a letters patent that stated that she was relinquishing the use of the Royal Highness style and the title of princess.
“She would be styled as The Lady Patricia Ramsay with precedence before the marchionesses of England. She didn’t stop being a princess, in fact, in the 1937 and 1953 coronations, she wore the coronet in the role of a princess. She just wasn’t styled.
“So there is an opportunity that Harry could do a Princess Patricia and choose to be styled as the younger son of a Duke, because he is. His father is the Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of Rothesay.”
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The expert also suggested an announcement about Harry’s future status could be made once the trial period he and Meghan Markle agreed to with the Queen ends in March 2021.
She said: “He could choose to relinquish it which is different from being stripped.
“We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes so buckle up your seat belt and see what unfolds as we approach that year review.”
However, Ms Koenig hit back at the suggestion that Prince Harry could be stripped of his title because of the backlash some of his decisions since stepping down have generated.
The royal commentator noted any such move would be difficult for the Queen to pursue due to the strict requirements UK laws sets for depriving members of the British nobility of their titles.
She added: “Go back to 1917, with the Title Deprivation Act which removed the peerages from two members of the British Royal Family who were German and were enemies.
“That’s why they removed then and in 1919 the Royal Assent came that the Duke of Albany, the Duke of Cumberland and his son and an Austrian viscount were stripped of their peerages.
“And the Duke of Cumberland’s son could not inherit the peerage because he took arms against the United Kingdom. Has Harry taken up arms against the United Kingdom?”