These are some of the royals who have resigned, retreated or resigned, and recently the Duchess of Kent swapped Her Royal Highness for life. Diana took a year off – a long sabbatical when the rigours of life in the spotlight became too much for her and her husband Prince William. Prince Charles, son of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, was married to Wallis Simpson and the heir to the title of Prince of Wales and Prince Harry’s younger brother.
Here, we analyse what has happened to some of the royals who have lived outside the palace and the reasons behind their decision to quit.
After less than a year as king, King Edward VIII abdicated from the throne and lost his royal status. This paved the way for the current Queen’s father to succeed his older brother and become King George VI. Although senior royals, including the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William, agree that the couple will lose their titles when they step down in March 2020, they disagree on the reasons for their decision.
Under British rule, he transferred the throne he had given up to marry Elizabeth (divorce was forbidden at the time) and gave it to her. With the birth of their first child, Prince George, and their second son, George III, they learned to reconcile life and work. Her family grew, as they did in the 1960s, but they also had to learn to reconcile work life and preside over her son’s marriage to his first wife, Princess Margaret.
Even a few years ago, when a shocking personal scandal rocked the House of Windsor – Charles’s controversial marriage to Princess Diana ended in divorce after a car crash in 1997 – it was conceivable for a senior member of the Royal Family to resign. Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their engagement, leaving everyone in the Royal Family, myself included, with a host of questions. The decision, unprecedented in royal history, means the couple intend to remain part of it without the pressure and demands of senior members, just as Meghan and Harry will retain their royal titles.
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On Friday night, a royal source said the couple had got what they wanted, with an aide saying they will be known as Harry and the Duke of Sussex, while Meghan will be “Megan, Duchess of Essex” from the spring. Harry will still be able to carry the title “His Royal Highness,” although courtiers insist he will always remain a prince and member of the Royal Family, even though he is no longer a “working member.” But the loss of the title “HRH” casts a shadow over their relationship and their future as a couple.
The couple will become financially independent and will no longer receive any public funding for their work or duties. They will be able to use their title “HRH,” but they have agreed not to take money from the Sovereign Grant, money from the Exchequer, and to carry out their duties under their own name.
Prince Philip is an unwavering part of the Royal Family who has stood by the Queen since she married in 1947. Prince Philip gave up the title after marrying Queen Elizabeth II, son of King George VI and Queen Victoria, but is still a member of her family.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lost their title as Prince of Wales after their wedding in November 2017. The couple will also reimburse the British taxpayer for the cost of renovating their home in Windsor, known as Frogmore Cottage, which they will keep as their base in the UK.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they are giving up their royal titles to pave the way for financial independence and splitting their time between the UK and North America. In early January, they explained that their decision to work to become financially independent and raise their son in the United States and not the UK had made them more content with their new lifestyle.
The news of the couple shook the world, but even more so was the news that Queen Elizabeth II would soon follow suit. The result is far more than Prince Harry had hoped for and he will end up regretting his decision to give up his royal title and his wife of 25 years.
Ideally, Harry and Meghan hoped to create some sort of new progressive role within the institution, but not in the traditional sense of the word.
The couple’s decision came in November, when they took a break from royal duties. On January 18, the Prince announced that he would give up his royal title and repay the money spent renovating his new home at Kensington Palace in London. The announcement came after the couple announced they were retiring and becoming financially independent.