MP plans Bill to strip Harry and Meghan of royal titles

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Duke and Duchess of Sussex/Netflix

Harry and Meghan could be stripped of their Sussexes titles in the new year through a vote in the House of Commons, an MP has suggested.

The Netflix documentary which aired on Thursday has now become "a political issue", according to Conservative MP Bob Seely.

Harry, who moved to the US to live with his wife Meghan after splitting from the Royal family two years ago, has been criticised for attacking the Royal family and media outlets in Britain during the couple's tell-all Netflix documentary.

In it, Harry accused the royals of having a "huge level of unconscious bias" and Meghan said the media wanted to "destroy" her.

Mr Seely said he plans to bring forward proposed legislation that could eventually strip the couple of their royal titles.

The Isle of Wight MP suggested he could bring forward a short private members' bill in the new year that, if passed, would see MPs vote on a resolution that could give the Privy Council the power to downgrade the couple's royal status.

He said he had been thinking about the bill even before the Netflix documentary emerged, and said: "There is a political issue."

Mr Seely added: "As well as trashing his family and monetising his misery for public consumption, he is also attacking some important institutions in this country."

Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham also weighed in, saying he was "ashamed that this deeply embarrassing couple bear the title of our great county". He added that it is "time to take the title back from someone so clearly lacking any respect".

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Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth more than £100 million, with Netflix and Spotify after quitting as senior working royals, with the docuseries the first major output for them on the streaming giant.

Mr Seely asked why Harry continues to use his title of duke, while "at the same time trashes the institution of monarchy and his family".

Bob Seeley: If Harry doesn't give up titles - Parliament should remove them

The Isle of Wight MP doubled down on his comments on Friday morning.

He said: "Harry and Meghan Windsor’s Netflix narcissism isn’t just a case of monetising misery, family dysfunction or sad soap opera.

"The royals are part of the UK constitution, & when Windsor trashes family he trashes it. Let’s not pretend it’s not political.

"Harry Windsor should voluntarily relinquish his titles. If he doesn’t, Parliament should act to remove them.

"If Harry Windsor doesn’t like the monarchy, don’t be part of it, but don’t use your titles and trash the institution.

"Parliament’s experts have been looking at some old laws.

"One, The Titles Deprivation Act 1917, stripped German royals of their UK titles during WWI. A change of wording would update the law, allowing Parliament to remove Harry’s titles.

"The change of wording would be something like the following:

  1. The Titles Deprivation Act 1917 is amended as follows.

  2. In the Title, omit 'Enemy'.

  3. In the title of section 1 (Forfeiture of title of peer or prince held by enemy), omit 'held by enemy'.

  4. In subsection (1) of section 1, remove 'have, during the present war, borne arms against His Majesty or His Allies, or who have adhered to His Majesty’s enemies', and substitute 'is referred to the committee by a resolution of the House of Commons'

"And hey presto, the Duke and Duchess become Mr and Mrs Windsor, and they can live in privacy for the rest of their lives, whilst the proper, ‘working' royals can continue to serve our nation, as William and Kate (and Edward and Anne) do so brilliantly."

Some 94pc of readers say they should be stripped of titles

On Thursday, Telegraph readers were asked if Harry and Meghan should lose their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

By Friday morning, the poll received more than 18,000 responses - and an overwhelming 94 percent agreed that they should be stripped of their royal titles.

You can still have your say below.

Meanwhile employment minister Guy Opperman said the couple are "utterly irrelevant" to the progress of the UK and the royal family.

He told BBC's Question Time: "I think they are clearly a very troubled couple, which I think anybody looking at them can say is a sad state of affairs.

"That having been said, I agree that they are utterly irrelevant to this country and the progress of this country and the royal family that we all, I believe, support."

He added: "I don't think it has a fundamental impact on the Royal family. I certainly won't be watching it. I would urge everyone to boycott Netflix and make sure that we actually focus on the things that matter."

However, he said the extent to which the couple's lives were "picked over" by the media when they were living in the UK was "unacceptable".

Mr Opperman said: "I do think there is a legitimate question as to media intrusion into some people's private lives. That is an ongoing debate, which quite clearly the degree of extent to which their lives are picked over is something that, when they were living here, was unacceptable."

In the documentary - of which the fourth, fifth and sixth episodes are due to be released next Thursday - Harry said members of his family questioned why Meghan needed more protection from the media than their wives had been given, but he said they failed to grasp the "race element".

The couple took aim at the British press, with Meghan claiming "salacious stories" were "planted" in the lead-up to their wedding, and the couple saying they were "playing whack-a-mole" as the articles appeared.

Harry also spoke about what he called the Windsors' "unconscious bias".

Princess Michael of Kent wears controversial blackamoor-style brooch in 2017 - Mark Cuthbert
Princess Michael of Kent wears controversial blackamoor-style brooch in 2017 - Mark Cuthbert

The third episode of the documentary referred to an event in 2017 when Princess Michael of Kent wore a blackamoor-style brooch which was deemed to be racist.

Harry said: "In this family, sometimes you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. There is a huge level of unconscious bias.

"The thing with unconscious bias, it is actually no-one's fault. But once it has been pointed out, or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right. It is education. It is awareness. It is a constant work in progress for everybody, including me."

Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth more than £100 million, with Netflix and Spotify - Netflix
Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals, thought to be worth more than £100 million, with Netflix and Spotify - Netflix

After the documentary aired, a row broke out over whether the Royal family and the palaces were given the right to reply to the couple's controversial show.

A senior palace source said Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and members of the family were not approached for comment on content in the series.

However, a Netflix source said the communications offices for the King and the Prince of Wales were contacted in advance and given the chance to react to Harry and Meghan's claims.

Both Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace confirmed they did receive an email purporting to be from a third-party production company from an unknown organisation's address and attempted to verify its authenticity with Archewell Productions and Netflix, but never received a response.