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British Royals

Weekend papers focus on royal news and ask whether Harry and Meghan should lose their titles

Mark Thomas/ i-Images

The weekend papers in the UK have plenty to say about royal matters with one headline focusing on a much discussed topic of recent months. The Mail on Sunday quotes unnamed royal sources who feel the time is right for the Duke of Sussex to start being know as just Harry.

The paper’s main front page story carries the headline ”Royal aides want Harry and Meghan to give up their titles”. Inside, it reports that some senior courtiers now believe it is time for the couple to offer to stop using ”Duke and Duchess of Sussex” and instead be known by their first names.

It follows Harry’s appearance on the podcast, Armchair Expert, hosted by Dax Shepard in which he said he had moved to the US to ”break the cycle” which he said had seen ”pain” passed on from his father. He also suggested that Prince Charles had experienced unhappiness in his own childhood. The Duke told the podcast that ”he’s treated me the way he was treated. There is a lot of genetic plain and suffering that gets passed on anyway. Isn’t life about breaking the cycle? There’s no blame.”

The newspaper reports that this implied reference to the Duke of Edinburgh, a month after his death, has caused upset as have perceived criticisms of the Prince of Wales as a father. When the podcast was first published, supporters of the Sussexes highlighted that Prince Charles has made no secret of his own unhappiness at parts of his childhood experience.

Harry and Meghan agreed to stop using their HRHs when they stepped back as senior members of the Royal Family in early 2020. Harry was made Duke of Sussex on his wedding day in 2018. He also given the titles of Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel at the same time as the dukedom. The couple’s son, Archie, could use his father’s earldom as a courtesy title but his parents said, at the time of his birth, he would be known as Master and use his father’s family name of Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Duchess of Sussex won a court case against the Mail on Sunday earlier this year. She had sued for breach of privacy and infringement of copyright over the paper’s decision to publish parts of a letter she had sent to her father, Thomas Markle.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times also leads with a royal story, reporting that Prince Charles wants to widen access to some of the most famous royal residences in Great Britain when he becomes king. The paper reports that would mean more opportunities for paying visitors to see inside places including Balmoral, Sandringham and Clarence House as well as Buckingham Palace. All of them would still be used as homes by the Royal Family.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.