Is Meghan Markle Princess Henry of Wales? What does the royal title mean? Why is it trending online? Here's understanding the history behind it.
Even weeks after the explosive interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey, the British royal family has been in the spotlight on the world stage. Between Markle's allegations of royal racism and Harry's claims of The Firm's mistreatment of his wife, the monarchy is seeing a strain in both internal relations and public image.
That, compounded by the death of Queen Elizabeth II's husband of 73 years Prince Philip, has kept Buckingham under abject scrutiny that hasn't ceased since.
Consequently, so haven't headlines on the royal front.
Reports suggest that palace insiders, outraged with Harry accusing his father of passing on a "cycle of pain" to his family, during a podcast with Dax Shepard last week, are seeking removal of his and wife Markle's royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This has prompted pressure anew on the young couple from a section of royalist social media users demanding the same.
Revoking their Sussex titles, however, does not mean they will be left without any other.
Unpacking The Title Of Meghan Markle Princess Henry Of Wales
The titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex were gifted to the couple on the occasion of their wedding on May 19, 2018, by the Queen. It is only through a patent issued by her that their Sussex titles can be taken back.
But even if the monarch does take this particular title back from them, they will still be in ownership of the Prince and Princess titles. By virtue of being born into the British royal family, Harry's Prince title cannot be revoked. Further, being wedded to him, Markle too will hold the Princess title for life.
As per tradition, however, the full title she owns is Princess Henry of Wales. Henry is for the name Prince Harry was christened with at birth - Henry Charles Albert David.
Historian and professor Kate Willams weighs in on the Meghan Markle Princess Henry matter
Meghan’s title would be Princess Henry of Wales. That is her title through marriage but she does not use it now due to the Sussex titles. But if the Sussex titles removed, she would be quickly called in general speech Princess Meghan or indeed Princess Meghan of Wales....— Prof Kate Williams 💙 (@KateWilliamsme) May 16, 2021
Though she can be referred to as Princess Meghan in common parlance, the monarchy will recognise her as Princess Henry since she is not of royal blood. Other young women in the royal family like Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are recognised by their own names beside their titles, and not of their partners, through the royal bloodline.
When the young couple decided to step away from the royal life on January 8, 2020, Buckingham announced in a statement they would no longer use their His/Her Royal Highness honorifics.
Markle, who is currently pregnant with her second child after Archie, will notably be mother to the first-ever British royal born in the United States.