Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been “demoted” on the official Royal Family website – with only Prince Andrew below them. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced at the beginning of 2020 that they would be relocating from the UK to the US with their young son Archie Harrison. Buckingham Palace released a statement at the time saying the couple would subsequently be relinquishing their roles as working members of the Royal Family.
The departure – famously known as ‘Megxit’ – has seen Harry and Meghan only return to the UK together on a handful of occasions over the last two-and-a-half years.
But as the couple wait to see if King Charles III will confirm their children Archie and Lilibet can be called Prince and Princess, they have suffered a fresh blow.
Both have been moved in the ‘Members of The Royal Family’ section on the Royal Family website, with Harry even below Princess Alexandra, a cousin of the Queen and 56th in the line of succession.
Daily Mail Diary Editor Richard Eden wrote on The Mail+: “I learn that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were demoted on the official royal website on Monday.
“They are still included in the ‘Members of The Royal Family’ section, but have been moved below King Charles’s first cousins, once removed.
“To add insult to injury, there is now only one member of the family below them — and that’s Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties after the scandal over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”
Mr Eden added that a royal source had told him: “I hope this doesn’t go down badly in Montecito. The change has been made because the Duke and Duchess are no longer working royals, unlike those who now appear above them.”
At the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey last Monday, Harry and Meghan were seated on the second row during the ceremony.
In June at the Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the couple were also seated behind the Queen’s cousins, the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester.
This is despite the fact Harry remains fifth in the line of succession, behind the Prince of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince Louis of Wales.
In the ‘Succession’ section of the Royal Family website, the Duke of Sussex is followed by his two children, who are still listed as ‘Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’ and ‘Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor’.
Since the Queen’s death earlier this month, Archie and Lilibet are technically a prince and princess due to rules set out by King George V more than a century ago in 1917.Reports have circulated over recent months speculating Charles could look to slim down the number of working royals as King.
When asked about the website changes, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is not something we would comment on.”
On February 19, 2020, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had told the Queen that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.