Tory MP leads push to strip Harry, Meghan of titles
Harry and Meghan could be stripped of their royal titles if a conservative British MP gets his way. Photo: AAP
Royal family members who “trash” the institution could be stripped of their titles under a legislative change proposed by a British Conservative MP.
Isle of White Bob Seely has taken aim at California-based Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as he outlined his hopes to bring forward legislation in the House of Commons.
It came as the royals reportedly plan urgent talks amid the fallout from another royal racism row. This time, the King and the Princess of Wales have been drawn into claims there were concerns about the skin colour of Harry and Meghan’s then unborn son.
Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reports that aides to the King and Prince William will gather this week to discuss what to do about the latest claims. “All options” – including legal avenues – are said to be on the table.
“Discussions are being had, and we’ll continue those discussions this week, but not in a crisis talks manner,” a source close to Buckingham Palace told the newspaper.
“Conversations will be had and decisions made with care and time and professionalism rather than rushed over a weekend.”
Royal racism allegations stem from Harry and Meghan’s two-hour sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. During it, Meghan said the couple’s son Archie, now four, had been denied the title of prince and that there were concerns within the royal family about “about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
She declined to say who had voiced such concerns, as did Harry.
Last week, copies of a new book by royal author and Sussex ally Omid Scobie, Endgame, were pulled from the shelves in the Netherlands when they were found have identified two senior royals said to have been behind the questions.
British media was initially reticent to report the names. But over the weekend, the BBC revealed they were the Harry’s father, the King, and his sister-in-law, Catherine, Princess of Wales.
Scobie said he has denied any involvement, saying he “never submitted a book that had their names in it”.
Dutch translator Saskia Peeters has insisted she was given a manuscript that included the two names.
“The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them,” she said.
“I just did what I was paid to do and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.”
There is also pressure on the Sussexes to publicly respond to the allegations. So far, the only comment has come from a source close to the California-based former royals, saying Meghan “never intended” for the name to be “publicly identified”.
Seely said at the weekend he would present his Titles Deprivation 1917 Act Amendment Bill in the next couple of weeks in a bid to “strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their royal titles”.
“I’m not a republican and support the monarchy, but after the latest instalment of the couple’s feud with the rest of the royal family, I believe that parliament and the Privy Council should consider a nuclear option,” Seely said in an article for Britain’s Mail on Sunday.
“The duke and duchess can be Mr and Mrs like the rest of us.”
He said he felt he had to act “because of the attempt to use race to smear the royal family”, which he called “poisonously insidious”.
“My Titles Deprivation 1917 Act Amendment Bill would allow a vote in Parliament to advise the ancient advisory Privy Council to strip a member of the royal family of their titles,” Seely said.
“My aim is simple: if someone doesn’t want to be royal, that is a decision we respect – but they should not keep the titles and privileges if they trash an institution that plays an important part in our nation’s life.”
However, Seely’s bill faces an upward battle to become law.
He was not among the 20 MPs drawn out of the Private Members’ Bill ballot and therefore does not have priority to bring forward a proposal. His bill is highly unlikely to progress through the British parliament in its proposed form due to a lack of time to consider it.