Buckingham Palace accidentally implied that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are divorced. As the couple begin their exit as senior members of the royal family, they will retain but forgo use of their HRH titles, with the Palace announcing earlier this week that they would be referred to as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The latter name, however, implies a rift in their relationship, as the styling is typically only used for divorced women in the royal family.
As Sky News points out, Princess Diana's name was styled to Diana, Princess of Wales following her divorce from Prince Charles. The same can be said of Sarah, Duchess of York.
"The palace [on Saturday] made an announcement about what the duke and duchess were to be called," Sky News' events commentator Alastair Bruce said. "But it inadvertently gives all the wrong messages because, in convention, the style suggested is the one adopted to express divorce."
"What had been suggested was 'Meghan, Duchess of Sussex' but placing the first name and comma before the title is the template for a divorced wife," Bruce continued. "As an example, Harry's mother was styled after her divorce as 'Diana, Princess of Wales' and the same format applies, post-divorce, to 'Sarah, Duchess of York.'"
The Palace confirmed to the outlet that they are reviewing Markle's title and how she and Harry will be referred to in the future as they continue their transition away from their royal duties. An announcement from the Palace is expected sometime soon addressing the accidental confusion and the duchess' proper styling. It is believed that the couples' name stylings will revert to Duke and Duchess of Sussex.0comments
Along with forgoing usage of their HRH titles, the couple's agreement with the Queen entails that they "step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments" and "no longer receive public funds for Royal duties." The couple have also "shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage," which cost more than $3.1 million.
Although Markle and Harry, along with eight-month-old son Archie, will continue to call Frogmore Cottage home, they will also be settling down in North America, where they will be splitting their time. After Markle returned to Canada last week, Harry joined her and Archie on Vancouver Island earlier this week.