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To say that Prince Harry has been standoffish toward the rest of his family appears increasingly like an understatement.
From Harry’s side, we’ve seen him voice public criticism.
We’ve seen reports of discontent from the rest of his family in response to his choice of Meghan Markle.
He and Meghan have expressed interest, on several occasions, in gaining a measure of independence from the rest of the royal household. Eventually, we saw him and Meghan leave the United Kingdom altogether – they now reside in California.
While Harry’s point that he felt the need to respond to criticism of and meanness toward his wife, his relinquishment of royal duties seems severe. Of course, in publicizing his criticism of the royal family, he seems to fan the flames more intensely.
While there have been these various points of tension between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royal family, and while Harry’s relationship with the rest of his royal family has not been healthy, the difficulties appear to be fixable.
There has been room for members of the royal family to downplay things. Harry, for example, said that his memoir does not represent his intention to cut permanent ties with the royal family.
It appears that this tension is not so serious because there’s the possibility for reconciliation to take place.
This is where we are now: there is considerable tension, a rift that is physically manifested by Harry’s move to California, and Harry’s lack of interest in the royal way of doing things.
But that’s all there has been: circulating emotions and strained relationships.
A New Development
The big story is that a new development is in the works: Harry and Meghan could be stripped of their royal titles. This new development represents a radical change from the previous status quo, outlined above.
This recent development is, on the one hand, a logical consequence of the recent history of strain and tension. On the other hand, it is so severe of a development as to be inconsistent with the laxity often implied by casual gossip.
In other words, you casually see reports of tension in the royal family pop up, and you don’t think much of it. And now there is this possibility for something really drastic – and officially so – to happen to Harry and Meghan.
Why This Matters
I think that Americans have the tendency to scoff at the concept of royal titles.
Americans think that these royal figures are just figureheads or celebratory pieces that nod to the past and don’t really play a meaningful role in the present time.
With such a conception of royalty in England, it is easy to dismiss the significance of what might happen to Harry and Meghan.
But, besides outlining the continued importance of the monarchy as an institution in England, we can put it in terms that American readers will understand and appreciate.
If Harry and Meghan lose their titles, then they stand to lose a lot of money.
While they might be said to benefit from gaining the independence from the royal family that they seemingly desire, official independence would happen at a severe detriment to their current and future earning power.
We are talking about millions of dollars.
Their social standing would also promise to take a significant hit.
Bob Seely is the lawmaker primarily responsible for advancing the legal prospect of Harry and Meghan being stripped of their titles.
In advancing this harmful and severe prospect, Seely does not claim to be an enemy of the royal family.
On the contrary, he claims to be serving the monarchy as an institution in drawing consequences from Harry and Meghan’s behavior toward the royal family.
‘If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex hate this country so much, they should either be giving up their titles or we should be helping them to do that.’
Tory MP Bob Seely reveals he is preparing a bill that would see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stripped of their royal titles. pic.twitter.com/CxRaojqOeJ
— GB News (@GBNEWS) December 8, 2022
Harry and Meghan, so his reasoning goes, have belittled and otherwise attacked this institution and, in so doing, have attacked a vital part of England’s life as a nation.
Seely’s bill would add an amendment to the 1917 Titles Deprivation Act.
This measure was inspired by King George V’s endeavor, in the wake of war with Germany, to remove Germans from the British royal family.
In 1919, accordingly, three Germans and one Austrian were stripped of their British royal titles.
Seely’s amendment would give power to the Privy Council, which consists primarily of past and present senior politicians who advise the sovereign family, to strip Harry and Meghan of their royal titles.
You can bet on the development of this royal tension at some of the main political betting sites.
One option is to choose “yes” or “no” in response to the question of whether Harry and Meghan will lose their royal titles by June 1, 2024. The “no” is chalked at -700.
Furthermore, you can bet on whether either Harry or Meghan will visit the United Kingdom in 2024. The “yes” is favored but at a much more modest -200.