Meghan, Harry lose HRH title: Careful what you wish for

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To step back from official royal duties was a decision that the couple took "after many months of reflections and internal discussions."

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

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Published: Mon 20 Jan 2020, 10:53 PM

Who would have thought? Before Brexit came Megxit. When, on June 23, 2016, the Brexit ball was set in motion with a referendum that turned in a surprise vote, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were yet to meet each other. They did, in July 2016, and apparently hit it off instantly, with news of their romance confirmed in October of that year. Almost on a cue, the British press went after Meghan with the sort of vengeance and fury it usually pulls out from cold storage for commoners who get interested in royalty (read: princes). Princess Diana of Wales is the most prominent case even as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is no alien to the alienation either.
And now, having borne the brunt of the press and faced the trials of being in the British public eye for over three years, the American-born Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry have decided to throw in the towel and resign from royalty. Yeah, they've done just that, haven't they? To step back from official royal duties and be financially independent was a decision that the couple took "after many months of reflections and internal discussions." But even if they didn't really want to forego the 'Her Royal Highness' and 'His Royal Highness' prefixes, the queen has, quite perspicaciously, made it untenable for them to use their titles. Was this something they really wished for?
To be sure, the royal couple always had their own spin on royal traditions - like moving into a refurbished Frogmore Cottage instead of 1 Kensington Palace or spending Christmas in Canada, away from the rest of the royal family. But it's one thing to have a candid, seated-on-the-steps picture as your official wedding portrait instead of a formal, standing one and quite another to give up royalty altogether. To quit 'The Firm' and be free of the compulsions of the royal protocol may do good to the couple, but they may not be able to wish away the much-talked-about media scrutiny. If anything, commercial demands will mean that the couple is now fair game for media and their celeb status is there to be exploited for maximum impact. Wasn't that exactly what they said they didn't want? Oops.
Hope the British public doesn't end up with the same feeling the day after Brexit.

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