Is It Time For Prince Harry To Be Removed From The Line of Succession?

Updated: February 19, 2021

It's final, Buckingham Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not return as working royals.

In a statement released, the palace made it clear the Queen was disappointed over the decision, granting her and Prince Philip's lifetime dedication to public duty.

The Queen and Prince Philip are the role models of dedicated royal service

Consequences of Harry's decision

Though it is undoubtedly believed that Meghan is the driving force behind the decision to quit royal roles and that Prince Harry has been obligated to support his wife, all of them will suffer the consequences of the decision.

As royal patronages belonged to the crown, and the Sussexes are no longer working royals, all royal and military patronages will be stripped from them and redistributed to other members of the royal family.

Once a close family unit. Prince Charles and his sons, Princes William and Harry

Prince William will now carry the heavy loads of royal duties, which he hoped would be shared with his brother, as Prince Charles prepared for a larger role in the monarchy.

Prince Harry might no longer be allowed to wear his military uniform and medals in any event and might be barred from representing the Queen in any form.

As non-working royal family members never wear royal household badges to any events, Prince Harry will no longer don't the Royal Victorian Order sash in any public events.

So how this latest situation affects Prince Harry's relationship with his blood family and his position in the line of succession?

As of today, it is relatively unknown. Although the palace statement emphasized that the Sussexes remained the much loved family members, the extent of this royal split will make them largely isolated from the rest of the royal family.

The most popular Windsor prince

Before his marriage, Prince Harry was the most popular prince of the British royal family than his brother, Prince William. 

Prince Harry while still active in the military

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh loved him because among their grandchildren, it was only Harry who expressed dedication to serve the military. 

Apart from Prince Philip and Prince Andrew, Harry is the only British prince in modern times who fought under enemy's fire.

Once a Captain

In August 2017, after Prince Philip retired from public duty, he relinquish ed most of his military roles to Prince Harry.

Everything changed after his marriage.

Once the beloved prince

Since his birth in 1984, Prince Harry had lived a life of a privileged royal prince, a son of an heir to the throne, grandson to a reigning British monarch, and a spare to an heir. 

Once a close family unit

He had a mother who was greatly adored and loved by the world. For a time, he was greatly admired and loved. 

The public had forgiven his waywardness and some naughty indiscretion because for royalists, he epitomized the compassionate heart of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Waleses during early days

Serving His Country

Unlike his brother, Prince Harry skipped the university to directly train for a military career. He attended the Royal Military Academy and then devoted his life to the army, reaching the rank of a captain. 

Apart from his grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and uncle, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Harry is the only royal family member in modern times who had served in the front line under enemy's fire.

In 2007, he was dispatched to Afghanistan for a tour of military duty where he served as a tank commander.

The star of the Windsors

For years until his marriage in 2018, he was the most popular member of the House of Windsor apart from his grandparents, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Even famous and well-loved than his brother, the Duke of Cambridge. 

Accompanying William to Eton College
Official public event 

However, it took a marriage to a starlet American commoner, Meghan Markle who was already divorced when they met, to ruin his popularity and loyalty to his family, and so they say. 

But how and why it happened? 

It's a long and quite complicated story. But the friction apparently began when Prince Harry started discussing marriage with his family. 

Apparently, Prince William told his brother to never rush into marriage with a woman he barely knows. 

Prince William and Prince Harry were once inseparable

But Harry was insistent, and declared his intention to marry Ms. Markle, whose circumstances as a divorced woman would have been unthinkable for a wife of a prince so close to the throne if today is 20th century.  

Soon, intrigues started to emerge that the royal brothers were not in speaking terms because their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, apparently couldn't get along.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their May 2018 wedding

The fire of royal feud erupted when the Sussexes moved to Frogmore House in Windsor followed by their bombshell announcement to leave the royal family for a more liberating life in North America.

Eventually, they were stripped of their HRH styles to prevent them from cashing in with their royal titles. They were also told to stop using Sussex royal brand for their business dealings. 

The couple finally settled in Santa Barbara, California with their son and started discussing, to the Queen's courtiers' horror, television deals. 

However, the most talked-about intrigues are the brothers' silent feud and the cold treatment between their wives. 

The palace would not admit that the royal brothers, who grew up very close to each other, were not in good terms. 

The friction reportedly was finally resolved even before the lockdown in the UK was lifted and the two had occasional "zoom moments". Though details were not disclosed.  

Life Outside The Palace

Prince Harry is the first modern British prince to give up royal duties in favor of a care-free life. 

Many had doubted his endurance to live a life outside the royal blanket. And royal insiders feared the consequences of his decision.

One British king had already cost his throne because of a woman. Although Prince Harry has no direct throne to lose, the circumstances of giving up royal roles seemed quite the same.

The Queen's uncle, King Edward VIII, gave up the throne in 1936 to marry a twice divorced American commoner, Wallis Simpson, whom the British establishment considered unsuitable to fit the bill for a Queen Consort.

It was a decision that scandalized the royal family which haunted them for many years. 

Due to the similarity, it did not take long for many observers to dismissively compare Meghan Markle to Wallis Simpson for creating such mess.

Prince Harry and his grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Early this year, just before the world plunged into the pandemic crisis, the separation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the royal family was finalized and the couple permanently settled in America. 

In great contrast to the reasons of giving up their senior royal roles to protect their privacy (because they loathed the press coverage), the Sussexes were all over the media, appearing on videos, commenting on social issues, and even crossing the line of talking politics. 

Controversial Appearances

Just recently, Prince Harry broke royal protocol by appearing in a video voicing out his opinion about US politics. 

For royal observers, this is in direct defiance to the creed of the royal family to never comment publicly on politics, worse, in US politics where Harry is not a US citizen and not eligible to vote.

One palace official was quick to defend that the prince is speaking in a private capacity and not as a member of the royal family. 

But it seemed not the case. 

Prince Harry, though not doing royal duties anymore, is still very much a member of the House of Windsor because he has not given up his right to succeed to the British throne.

Royal protocol dictates that royal family members should be apolitical and should never meddle on politics.

The rule of a monarch is purely ceremonial or stately affairs and never government affairs. 

Meghan's Real Intention

So what's really Meghan Markle's real intention in marrying Prince Harry if she detested royal roles? Royal brides are expected to have understood the royal protocol that marrying a prince is like marrying into the institution.

At the time of their engagement, she was old enough to understand the circumstances she would be facing the moment she joined the very public life of the British royal family. 

For royalty whose lives were bound for so many protocols and customs, royal duty always comes first, never mind what follows next. 

And Prince Harry, as a son of a future king, is very much aware of his responsibilities toward the establishment he was born with.

When Meghan heavily complained of unfair public treatment, one could not help wondering if she really understood her decision to marry into the monarchy. 

And her intention seems slowly emerging, she has no plan to give up her status of being an actress in exchange of a palace duty. 

She wants popularity and wants her voice to be heard. Being a member of one of the most famous families in the world, if not powerful, makes her easier to be heard, to channel her causes, her voice, her ambitions, across the globe.

Prince Harry's Right to Succeed

When the Sussexes stood firm to leave the royal life, the Queen seems very considerate and still was not hard on her grandson. She even affectionately sympathizing on their intention to become financially independent.

However, as they lived a status of celebrities, and continue to get themselves involved in so many issues, which some of it are dragging them into uncomfortable situation,  Prince Harry puts himself in a hot water of living a double standard life. 

Their actions created further damages to Prince Harry's connection to the royal family and his position as sixth in line of succession to the British throne.

The Queen and Prince Harry

As of the present, he is still eligible to succeed together with his son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. Thus, still very much a member of the royal House of Windsor.

Just imagine if something would happen to the Cambridges and Prince Harry is next in line?

What will happen to the establishment known to uphold royal customs with a monarch that abhors royal duties and a wife that hated the institution? 

A Queen Consort that could not bring herself to accept the royal duties to which the royal family members are extremely devoted and expected to abide?

Is it time to remove the Duke of Sussex from the Line of Succession?

The intense public discussion now is this, if Prince Harry doesn't want to take royal roles and his wife hated the institution then why should he be kept and his descendants in the line of succession? 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry

Anybody who is in line to succeed should embrace wholeheartedly the roles expected for a monarch and should respect the customs and protocol.

So if Harry and Meghan could not live up to the expectations then what's the point of retaining him in the line of succession?

Just imagine if something will happen to Prince William and his three young children, and Prince Charles will only have  a few years to serve as a king, then the British throne will have a king who doesn't want to do the role and a Queen consort who loathed the institution!

The Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children

So many royals below Harry in the line of succession who deserved to be called "royals", devoted to the roles and have dedicated their lives to the institution, upholding the royal tradition.

Apart from Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, next in line are Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, his children, James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise.

Then there's Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, who has been praised for being a hardworking royal.

The York family

The Earl of Wessex has a very quiet family life, his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, represented the royal family very well and with dignity. 

She herself has a career of her own when she joined the royal family but had to give it up to assume royal roles full time.

So, is it time for Queen Elizabeth II to strip Prince Harry of his right to succeed and that of his descendants? 

Such action entails a lot of discussion among the Queen's advisers, even the parliament.

Prince Charles and his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry

The Current Line of Succession

Below list is the first 15 persons in the line of succession to the British throne:

  • Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales
  • Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge
  • Prince George of Cambridge
  • Princess Charlotte of Cambridger
  • Prince Louis of Cambridge
  • Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex
  • Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
  • Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
  • Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli-Mozzi
  • Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank
  • Son of Princess Eugenie
  • Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex
  • James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn
  • The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
  • Princess Anne, the Princess Royal

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