King Charles refuses to back new plot to axe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal title


In spite of repeated calls for punishment from commentators and the public, an Act of Parliament would be needed to change the law to allow the couple to have their titles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex removed.

But the Government and the Royal Household have shown no sign of wanting to back an attempt to get it through at Westminster today (Friday). “We’re not getting involved in that,” one royal source said, while others indicated there was no support in Downing Street for a change.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, is due to ask the House of Commons to give a second reading to her Removal of Titles Bill today.

She has called for a change in the law to break the link between her city and Prince Andrew by allowing him to have the title of Duke of York removed, either by the monarch or on the recommendation of a joint committee of Parliament.

Her proposed law, a Private Members’ Bill, would also apply to the Sussexes and any other royals but it looks doomed to failure without Government support.

It is so far down the list of proposed legislation to be discussed today, sources in the Commons believe it will not even be aired. And it is not even on the order paper for the next opportunity for backbench MPs to put forward Bills on January 20.

The King, anxious to maintain some sort of relationship with his son and daughter-in-law is not keen.

His attitude is in sharp contrast to his successful efforts to persuade MPs to bring in a new law to make Princess Anne and Prince Edward counsellors of state to sideline Harry, Andrew, and Princess Beatrice, also a non-working member of the family, from standing in for him when he is abroad or too ill to perform his constitutional duties.

The Counsellors of State Bill was rushed through Parliament in four weeks and given royal assent, making it law, on December 6.

The 74-year-old monarch sidestepped a question yesterday about whether he had seen the Sussexes’ Netflix series as he got on with the day job.

He joined the Archbishop of Canterbury for a reception with Christian communities at King’s House in King’s Cross, central London.

The King, also joined by the Bishop of London, the Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, Lead Pastor of Jesus House, and Pastor of the Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church, met volunteers running community projects for parents and children, refugees and asylum seekers and prisoners at Pentonville jail.

He looked happy and relaxed during his visit which came just hours after Harry and Meghan dropped the first three episodes of their Netflix docuseries.

Charles III wished everybody a “blessed Christmas” and thanked them all for their continuous hard work.

As he left, he paused to watch a choir from the local all girls Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school sing “What If” by India Arie in the entrance.

He then stopped to greet crowds of people taking pictures on the street and wished more people a “very Happy Christmas” as he walked to the nearby Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church for an advent service.

There he sang along and tapped his foot as a band played an energetic gospel-style rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful by the King’s Cross Church band.

Later back at Buckingham Palace, the monarch held audiences for foreign ambassadors. Aides said it was “business as usual”.


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