Whew. What a week its been for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Not only did they announce they'd be "stepping back" as full-time working members of the British royal family, as well revealing they'll be moving to Canada, Queen Elizabeth also decided they can no longer use their HRH titles. Instead of being known as His/Her Royal Highness, they will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
The Queen's shocking decision to forbid Harry and Meghan from using HRH titles was front page news. Now, though, it's being reported she also wanted to strip them of their shared Dukedom. If she had decided to do that, Harry and Meghan would no longer be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—a title which Queen Elizabeth bestowed on them as a wedding gift.
According to The Evening Standard, Queen Elizabeth wanted to make Harry use his lesser title the Earl of Dumbarton. If she had gone through with this idea, Meghan would have been demoted to a Countess. This most likely would have been perceived as a major slight against Harry and Meghan, which led to Queen Elizabeth, as well as Prince Charles, to decide against it. Her Majesty reportedly feared looking "petty" to the public.
A royal insider anonymously spoke to the Standard, explaining that “the Sussex title is one of the ancient royal dukedoms given to him ahead of his wedding to Meghan, along with other titles." At the time of his wedding, though, Harry was planning on to be a career royal. Obviously that changed and so "removing it was seriously considered and discussed at the highest level.”
Though Harry admitted he felt "great sadness" over his decision to leave the royal life behind, Harry and Meghan's agreed upon title change in order to live a happier, more peaceful life with their son Archie. Their statement on the matter was short and sweet: "The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family."