‘Their titles should be stripped’: Row breaks out between royal experts on GMB over Prince Harry memoir

‘I don’t think Harry and Meghan should be allowed to call themselves duke and duchess anymore,’ royal expert Tom Bower said

Laura Hampson
Tuesday 01 November 2022 07:21 GMT
Royal biographer calls for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to have titles removed over memoir

A royal expert has called on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to be stripped of their titles ahead of Prince Harry’s memoir release.

Tom Bower appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (31 October), alongside fellow royal expert Dr Tessa Dunlop and presenters, Susanna Reid and Ed Balls.

When asked what new information people should expect from Harry’s memoir Spare, which will be released in January, Bower claimed that the Oprah Winfrey interview was “hugely damaging” for the British royal family.

He also alleged that Harry and Meghan Markle have made their fortune “solely by damaging and destroying the royal family to promote their own fortune, and their own prestige and their own brand”.

“I don’t think they should be allowed to call themselves duke and duchess anymore, and I think the only way in which they can be undermined and reduced in importance in America is to say ‘Well, if you think that of us, this is our family, this is Britain, then you don’t need to keep your titles anymore’,” he said.

“After all they trade on their titles, they make their money by always parading themselves as the duke and duchess and the prince. So if they want to make their money out of trashing Britain, then why should they be recognised as the duke and duchess?”

Dunlop, who is the author of Elizabeth and Philip, argued that Bower’s comments were hypocritical as he has written several books on the royal family, thus making money from the institution too.

“Harry, he’s had a pretty rough ride in his young life, meanwhile you are sitting there in your little establishment position, raking it in off the back of their arguable ‘misfortune’ or ‘fortune’ depending on how you spin the coin,” Dunlop said.

“Arguably they have brought the royal family to a whole younger audience, you have young people on TikTok talk about Harry and Meghan, they care about them, this is a bit of exported British tinsel. Yes, they no longer belong in that family, yes they do a lot of sun-drenched photographs and they’ve dropped the royal regalia, so what? They’re a different generation from you Tom, let them be.”

Dunlop added that taking away Harry and Meghan’s titles would make Britain look “mean and mad” and that one of our “most important institutions” should be able to “cope with a little in-house criticism”.

“And by the way, [the then-] Prince Charles criticised his parents,” Dunlop added. “This has been done time and time again. The monarchy, if it’s got the big potential that it claims to be, it should take those blows.”

King Charles famously criticised his parents in the 1994 biography by Jonathan Dimbley, The Prince of Wales, in which he said that the Queen was a “distant mother” and he was “forced” to marry Diana by Prince Philip.

The debate has seen mixed reactions on social media, with some agreeing that Harry and Meghan should keep their titles, and others saying their titles should be stripped.

“If I left an organisation that had a title, a company car, all expenses travel I would not expect to keep the perks of that job,” one person said.

Others said they are “sick” of people “going after” Meghan and Harry.

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