Amid the backdrop of official duties and family grief this week, the Royal Family has reportedly been dealing with other negotiations behind closed doors.
It’s no secret that King Charles is keen to make his legacy that of a slimmed-down monarchy and according to multiple reports, one of the by-products is the titles being conferred – or in this case, not conferred – upon his son Prince Harry’s two children.
Under long-held traditions of the monarchy dating back to the 18th century, and with King Charles’ ascension, the Sussex children are entitled to receive titles of His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Archie of Sussex and Her Royal Highness Princess Lilibet of Sussex, in-keeping with conventions set out George V in 1917 which state the grandchildren of the monarch automatically receive royal titles.
But according to The Suntense discussions have been taking place behind closed Palace doors between the Sussexes and the King over what category of royal Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, will be put into.
According to the publication, Charles has agreed to name them Prince and Princess – but has drawn the line at “HRH”, leaving Harry and Meghan “furious”.
The HRH title entitles royals to a salary and to police protection.
At a time when the United Kingdom is grappling with an economic crisis that’s seen the cost of living skyrocket, it’s not exactly surprising that Charles is keen to tighten the royal belt.
And speaking to members of the taxpaying public in London, it seems many of them are behind him all the way.
“The statement was made, and this was part of the change in the royals, they’ve already changed it to ‘if you’re not working royals, you aren’t in the game (with HRH) and that’s it. And we support it,” David, 69, from Scotland told news.com.au.
“I think he’s doing the right thing. For me personally, the Queen didn’t deserve all this heartache over the last two years. There’s never been an apology for it and that makes me cross. It’s a fair decision from King Charles,” Jackie, 71, Bedfordshire said.
Tracey, 52, from Northampton was also “happy with the decision” for the Sussexes to not be given HRH titles.
“They decided to step away which is fine, I didn’t have a problem with that – although I have had a problem with what they’ve done since – but there’s no way taxpayers should be paying for anything when they’ve decided to step away and make their own money,” she told news.com.au.
Kevin, 53, from Northampton agreed: “They’re making millions from Netflix, so why should the taxpayers be paying? The royal family here work for the country, and they (Harry and Meghan) chose not to.”
Emma, 34, Middlesborough, was more generally sympathetic to Harry and Meghan’s situation, but still agreed that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for any of their costs.
“They are still part of the family, but Harry has chosen to distance himself from it,” she said. “I guess people would be pretty annoyed by it (if they got HRH status). They’ve chosen to start their life in America, so if Harry’s not going to be involved in (the royal family), maybe the kids shouldn’t be as well.”
Max, 30, from Colchester admitted it “would be nice” if Harry and Meghan’s children could be HRH but still supported King Charles’ reported decision to withhold the titles.
“I’d rather they not, it would be nice if they could, but with everything going badly quite economically (in the UK) at the moment, it’s probably not the time to do that sort of thing,” he told news.com .au.
“It should be the closest family (getting taxpayer funding) now, it’s more modern and it doesn’t need to extend to everyone.”
This latest ruling follows the decision made more than two years ago when Harry and Meghan quit frontline royal duties and moved to California, which saw them unable to use His and Her Royal Highness titles themselves.
In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, they made it clear how frustrated they were by that ruling, as it meant they were unable to access taxpayer-funded security and protection. And according to The Sunthey’re now “furious” that their children won’t be given HRH status, either.
The HRH title also gives royals access to a salary, and means people are supposed to bow or curtsy when they approach.
According to The Suntense discussions have been taking place all week among the royal family over the issue, with Harry and Meghan reportedly pointing out that Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have HRH status but are not working royals.
“Harry and Meghan were worried about the security issue and being prince and princess brings them the right to have certain levels of royal security,” a source told the publication.
“There have been a lot of talks over the past week. They have been insistent that Archie and Lilibet are prince and princess. They have been relentless since the Queen died.
“But they have been left furious that Archie and Lilibet cannot take the title HRH.
“That is the agreement – they can be prince and princess but not HRH because they are not working royals.”
It’s understood King Charles III is holding off on any official confirmation of the titles until the official mourning period for the Queen has ended.
Originally published as New blow for ‘furious’ Harry and Meghan amid HRH battle