They may be members of the British Royal Family, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are facing the threat of being stripped of their royal titles. According to The Sun, the City Council of Brighton and Hove, a city in East Sussex, has to discuss the prospect of removing the couple’s royal titles after an e-petition received over 1,700 signatures from residents, which surpasses the 1,250 signatures required to bring a proposal to meeting.
Created by resident Chris Ross in July, the petition has the goal of making it acceptable for commoners to call the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by their less formal names.
“We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to reject the usage of the titles "Duke of Sussex" and "Duchess of Sussex" by the individuals Henry ("Harry") Windsor and Rachel Meghan Markle as morally wrong and disrespectful to the county of East Sussex,” the petition reads.
“As residents of Brighton and Hove we call on Brighton and Hove Council to not refer to these individuals by such titles which we believe to be entirely non democratic and symbolic of the oppression of the general public by the wealthy elite,” it adds.
“Neither will Brighton Council invite or entertain these individuals nor afford them any hospitality or courtesies above and beyond that of an ordinary member of the public,” the petition concludes.
Although the petition has surpassed its required signatures, it hasn’t won over everyone, and it has received plenty of backlash online from people who have called it a “joke” and claim that Ross doesn’t “speak” for every citizen of Brighton.
Speaking to The Argus, resident Liv Seabrook said that the petition is “a waste of council time” and “patently absurd,” as the city “has serious social problems and the council is going to waste time on the sentiment of a disgruntled citizen with nothing better to do than come up with a useless petition.”
It is likely that the Sussex’s have little to sweat about, though, as the council does not have the authority to strip royals of their titles. The title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex was gifted to the couple by Queen Elizabeth following their May 2018 nuptials, and can therefore only be revoked by the Queen.
Of course, Harry and Markle may not mind being stripped of their royal titles. The couple, who welcomed their first child together in May of this year, opted not to give son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor a royal title. Although a reasoning for the decision was not provided, it is believed that the couple is hoping to provide their son a more normal life outside of the public eye.