herald

Monday 23 July 2018

She's not a princess, but Meghan could become Duchess of Sussex

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo: Dominic Lipinski
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Photo: Dominic Lipinski

Meghan Markle is expected to become the Duchess of Sussex when she marries Prince Harry.

The former actress will become a fully-fledged member of the British royal family, with an HRH title to match.

Tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on the morning of their wedding, with Harry looking set to become the Duke of Sussex.

He is expected to be given a dukedom by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

Genealogist Charles Kidd said he believed the Duke of Sussex would be chosen for Harry, meaning Meghan would become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.

Prince William and Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: Chris Ison
Prince William and Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: Chris Ison

"They're quite limited in the titles that are available. The Duke of Sussex is the front-runner without any doubt," he said.

"I think the others are highly unlikely. Clarence hasn't been used for a long time and it's been sort of tainted by bad luck.

"One Duke of Clarence was the eldest son of Edward VII and there have been a lot of fairly salacious stories surrounding him.

"Another Duke of Clarence was executed for treason and allegedly drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

"Connaught, with its links to the Republic of Ireland, might not be suitable at the moment.

"The dukedoms of Cumberland, Albany and Teviotdale are all suspended, meaning there could be claims to those titles."

Windsor, last used by the abdicated Edward VIII, is likely to be off the table.

Although it would reclaim the title for a new generation, Wallis Simpson - the last Duchess of Windsor, who sparked the abdication crisis of 1936 - was, like Meghan, an American divorcee.

Other options could include Avondale and Kendal.

Surprise

Harry, whose full name is Prince Henry of Wales, could turn down a title, but that would be a surprise move.

In that case, Meghan would be known as HRH Princess Henry of Wales.

She is not entitled to be "Princess Meghan" because she is not a princess in her own right, only through marriage.

William and Kate, known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were also given titles linking them to Scotland and Northern Ireland, becoming the Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus, meaning Harry and Meghan might also be given multiple ones as well.

Meanwhile, plans to clear rough sleepers from Windsor's streets ahead of the royal wedding on May 19 have been dumped.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead proposed fining the homeless up to £100 (€113) for "aggressive begging" or leaving bedding in public places.

However, widespread public outrage, a petition and high-profile criticism meant the authority dropped the initial plans.

Protesters organising on Facebook said they plan to camp out with rough sleepers in solidarity.

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