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Titles and styles: How to address Harry & Meghan

Mark Thomas/ i-Images

With a deal now in place for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it was announced in quite a confusing statement that “The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.” Unfortunately, “HRH titles” is not actually something that exists. The HRH is a style of address, and the statement made it seem like all royal titles were being stripped.

Harry and Meghan are currently Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. If they stop using the HRH – it is not officially removed, mind you! – they will still be The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Then came the rumour that they would be styled as “Harry, Duke of Sussex” and “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.” The use of a first name will remind you of the situation of Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce from the Prince of Wales, and it is indeed a style used for the divorced wives of peers. Since we’ve have not had any divorce announcement, this simply cannot be correct.

Without the HRH, it is most likely that they will simply be addressed as “Sir” and “Ma’am” while official communications would still refer to them as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It appears that Buckingham Palace has now also realised the confusion they have caused, and perhaps we can expect some official statement in the next few days to clear up all the confusion.