The past year has been all about extreme highs and extreme lows for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. They welcomed their first child, but they've also struggled mightily with their life in the public eye, most especially with the British tabloids. And now it seems they're about to close out the year with another moment of drama. If a certain petition gets its way, Markle and Prince Harry could lose their royal titles.
After Markle married Prince Harry in May 2018, Queen Elizabeth II honored the union by giving them new royal titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But, apparently, not everyone was happy about this appointment of new titles, namely some of the residents of East Sussex.
Back in January, resident Charles Ross began a petition to the Brighton and Hove Council to have the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex taken away from Markle and Prince Harry, according to The Union Journal. The online petition has since received more than 3,800 signatures and is now set to be debated in council. His reason? "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," his petition states.
Realistically speaking, the only person who can actually strip Markle and Prince Harry of their royal titles is the Queen herself, since she was the one who bestowed them in the first place in May 2018. Also it seems this petition doesn't just go after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but any royal title.
"The petition aims to establish a precedent that Brighton and Hove Council will no longer afford official hospitality to those with Royal or aristocratic titles nor make usage of those titles in official documents as these titles are arbitrarily and unfairly acquired," the petition reads.
Not everyone supports this petition; according to The Daily Express, British Monarch's Society founder Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills told the publication in a statement that "such a petition shows utter disdain and contempt for The Crown, not to mention copious amounts of disrespect to, and for, the Royal family which undertakes thousands of engagements per year on behalf of the nation, in right of Her Majesty as The Crown." The council is expected to debate this issue today, Dec. 19.
As for Markle and Prince Harry, their thoughts on the subject remain unknown. They are currently in the middle of a six-week break from royal duties as they spend the holidays with their baby boy. But after all of the criticism and difficulty they've experienced in the British tabloids over the past year, perhaps they wouldn't hate the idea of losing one of their titles.