A Tory MP, Bob Seely, has called for a change in the law to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their titles amidst the royal racism row. Seely condemns what he calls “poisonously insidious” claims against senior members of the royal family and seeks to update wartime powers that would allow Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to become Mr and Mrs Sussex. Arguing that they should not retain their titles if they undermine an institution that holds great importance in the nation’s life, Seely refers to this proposal as the “nuclear option”. The call for change comes in response to a book that alleges the King and Princess of Wales expressed concerns over the potential skin color of the Sussexes’ unborn child, Archie. Although Buckingham Palace dismissed these allegations two years ago, they resurfaced recently with the Dutch edition of Omid Scobie’s book, Endgame. The MP’s Titles Deprivation 1917 Amendment Bill aims to introduce legislation that would allow a vote in parliament to advise the privy council to strip a member of the royal family from their titles.
The controversy surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex grew significantly after the allegations in Scobie’s book garnered international attention, leading to its removal from shelves in the Netherlands due to an alleged error. Omid Scobie denies that this was a publicity stunt and claims that he had not intended to include the names of the Royal Family members. Despite the denials from sources close to Harry and Meghan, Seely suspects that few people believe them.
Seely’s proposed Titles Deprivation 1917 Amendment Bill draws inspiration from a law originally implemented during the First World War. The law was initially intended to strip enemy German nobles of their British titles, but Seely seeks to adapt it by removing references to “enemies” and “present war”. This proposed bill would grant parliament the power to advise the privy council to remove titles from members of the royal family. Seely emphasizes that his support for the monarchy remains intact; his intention is simply to ensure that if someone no longer wishes to be part of the royal family, they should not retain the titles and privileges associated with it.
In his article for The Mail on Sunday, Seely expresses his belief that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should be treated as any other citizen. He argues that the couple should be referred to as Mr and Mrs like everyone else, as they no longer wish to fulfill their royal duties. Seely highlights the allegations made in Scobie’s book as particularly damaging, stating that accusations of racism are “poisonously insidious” and leave a lingering stigma, even if they are false and impossible to prove. He counters these allegations with examples of the late Queen and King Charles’s extensive efforts to connect with individuals from various backgrounds, including ethnic minorities and those from Commonwealth nations.
The ongoing controversy surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shows no signs of abating. Seely’s proposal has ignited debate, with critics raising concerns over the potential consequences and implications of stripping titles from members of the royal family. The Duchess of Sussex, in particular, has faced intense scrutiny from the media and the public since joining the royal family. While some argue that Seely’s proposal is a necessary response to the Sussexes’ actions, others argue that it jeopardizes the stability and future of the institution itself. The discussion surrounding this issue is likely to continue, as individuals express their differing opinions on the matter. Regardless of the outcome, it is evident that the controversy has ignited a broader debate about the role and relevance of the royal family in contemporary society.