In a recent change, the official website of the royal family has removed references to Prince Harry’s “His Royal Highness” title. The Duke of Sussex’s webpage underwent an update following reports by Express that he was still referred to by this title in his biography. As of Tuesday, the references have been replaced with “the Duke or the Duke of Sussex.” These alterations were made in connection with Prince Harry’s endeavors to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in 2016. Notably, the title shift occurred after his marriage to Meghan Markle in May 2018 when he was conferred the dukedom.
Despite these amendments, the royal family’s website is not entirely up-to-date since the passing of Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth is still referred to as the reigning monarch, King Charles as “the Prince of Wales,” and Queen Camilla as “the Duchess of Cornwall,” as highlighted by Express.
In response to inquiries, Buckingham Palace explained that the extensive website, which encompasses more than five thousand pages of information about the royal family’s life and work, is being periodically reviewed and updated post the demise of Queen Elizabeth II. This ongoing process aims to ensure the accuracy and currency of the content.
The disposition of Prince Harry and Meghan’s titles was disclosed subsequent to their announcement of stepping back from active roles within the royal family in 2020. Following discussions at the Sandringham Summit involving Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William, Buckingham Palace announced that the Sussexes would not utilize their HRH titles anymore due to their changed status within the royal family.
Although Prince Harry and Meghan have relinquished their official royal duties and relocated to California, their formal titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain intact. In more casual settings, they often refer to themselves as “Harry” and “Meghan.”
Prince Harry maintains his position in the line of succession to the throne, holding the fifth spot after Prince William and his three children. Similarly, Prince Harry and Meghan’s children, 4-year-old Prince Archie and 2-year-old Princess Lilibet, are also part of the line of succession, following their father.
When King Charles ascended the throne, changes were made to the titles of Archie and Lilibet. The palace updated the official royal family website to reflect their updated titles as Prince and Princess. This shift follows the precedent established by King George V in 1917, conferring prince or princess titles to the male line grandchildren of the sovereign. Although Archie and Lilibet did not initially receive these titles as great-grandchildren of the monarch, they were granted the titles due to their status as grandchildren of the reigning monarch.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex emphasized that the titles of the children had been settled for a while, in alignment with Buckingham Palace’s stance.