Buckingham Palace is working to revise its guidance on how Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are to be addressed after reports that the Duchess of Sussex’s new title made it sound as though she were divorced.
The palace last week said the two would no longer use their royal titles – His and Her Royal Highness – beginning this spring, but would instead be addressed as “Harry, Duke of Sussex” and “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.”
The problem is that such formatting was adopted by Sarah Ferguson – now addressed as “Sarah, Duchess of York” – after she divorced Prince Andrew in 1996. And Harry’s mother was known as Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce from Prince Charles.
It’s one of the first hiccups, but not likely the last, in the complicated process of carrying out the unprecedented deal the Queen reached with the couple last week after the two said they wanted to scale back their royal duties.
According to the palace, the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not subject to change, but updated guidance for how the names should be formatted is being prepared.
Buckingham Palace said its previous guidance on the royal couple’s title was erroneous, and it is now conferring with the Garter King of Arms – who specializes in matters of titles and protocol – to issue updated guidance.
Meghan was given the title Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry in May 2018.
Harry’s full title was His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.