The royal family rumour mill is well and truly in overdrive right now, following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement that the couple want to "step back" from their roles as "senior members" of the royal family. But, says one royal expert, were the signs that the couple wanted out there all along?
There's been a lot of chat recently about whether or not the Queen will strip Meghan and Harry of their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, which they received on their wedding day back in May 2018. A newly issued statement from Buckingham Palace also consistently referred to them as "Harry and Meghan" throughout, as opposed to "TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex" – something that hasn't been done before. Yet, when it comes to baby Archie's title, little has been said. Namely because he doesn't have one.
Yep, despite Archie by birthright being able to adopt the moniker The Earl of Dumbarton (as he's the first-born son of a duke), Harry and Meghan chose not to use it. Something that Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, told the Express, could be a clue that his parent's have had a "wider masterplan" to step back from their roles as royals for some time.
"The fact Archie isn't Earl of Dumbarton or styled HRH makes me wonder whether this wasn't already part of a wider masterplan," said Joe.
Another clue that Harry has wanted out of the spotlight for some time also comes in the form of a newly shared anecdote, from Ken Wharfe, Princess Diana's former protection officer. He said he once witnessed a "telling" squabble between William and Harry as children, whereby Harry supposedly said, "You'll be king one day, I won't. Therefore I can do what I want!".
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