BY: EBENEZER NKUNDA
Earlier in the New Year, Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, released a surprising announcement: They plan to give up their royal titles and become financially independent. What this means is that the couple will no longer be referred to as “His or Her Royal Highness”. This news, which the couple announced on their Instagram, came as a surprise not only to the public but also to the rest of the royal family, as Harry and Meghan did not consult anyone before releasing. Even though this is unprecedented, it was always predicted that this would happen at some point.
Ever since Harry and Meghan went public with their relationship, the media relentlessly criticized Meghan; that criticism only increased after their royal wedding. Even though all royals are subject to criticism because they are in the public eye, Meghan’s was something different. She was violated constantly by the media. They would refer to her with racist remarks because she is a half-black woman and it continued after she had her son when articles came out saying she did not know how to care for a baby. Harry had expressed his feelings about the way his wife was being treated. He had already witnessed first hand how the media can ruin a person, as it did with his late mother Princess Diana.
With releasing this announcement, the couple originally wanted to become independent and still support the Queen; however, after talks with the Queen, it was not possible. They were given two options—stay with their titles and their royal duties or become entirely independent. They chose to become independent. What this means is that their new titles will be Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. They will repay the £2.4m public funds used to refurbish Frogmore House, their official residence in Windsor. They will also no longer receive public funding through the Sovereign Grant, although it will remain funded privately by Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales. Harry, who was a former soldier, will have to give up his honorary military titles, including that of captain-general of the Royal Marines, passed on to him by his grandfather, Prince Philip.
The Queen of England later released a statement expressing her approval of the couple’s decision, saying she understood why they made the decision to give up their royal titles. They will always be members of the family, but without their titles, they are no longer royals. They will no longer carry out royal duties or do royal tours. This is a complete end to their royal life.