We’ve all heard about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s shocking decision to resign from the royal family and their official responsibilities. While the couple claimed they needed more privacy for their growing family, an explosive interview with Oprah revealed that their decision was influenced by more than just press and public criticism. They were at odds with members of the family who wished to remain anonymous.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, understandably, have dominated the news, but they are far from the only members of the royal family who have resigned. Many others have left the royal family in the past, whether voluntarily or forcibly.
Prince Andrew’s controversial ties to Jeffrey Epstein forced him out
Prince Andrew is Prince Charles’ younger brother and Queen Elizabeth’s son. He had an official position within the royal family that came with status, a title, and public responsibilities until recently. In 1999, the Duke of York became friends with Jeffrey Epstein. They had a long friendship and were often seen together in public, including at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
Even if Prince Andrew’s association with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who allegedly committed suicide while awaiting trial for his crimes, had landed him in hot water, he could have weathered a casual tie to a disgraced public figure.
It was too much to overlook when Prince Andrew was accused of sexual assault in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s exploits. Prince Andrew eventually announced a “voluntary” decision to step down from his royal duties as a result of the PR scandal, easing the pressure on the royal family’s reputation.
Princess Diana’s divorce cost her an ‘HRH’ title
Prince Harry has often spoken about his mother’s influence in his life, and it appears that this extends to his decision to step down from royal duties for his own happiness and well-being. Princess Diana was once married to Prince Charles, which elevated her to a position of power in the royal family. It was an international scandal when the couple divorced in 1992, amid allegations of Prince Charles’ infidelity.
Princess Diana was stripped of her “Her Royal Highness” title, as well as many of the royal benefits she had previously enjoyed, after the couple divorced in 1996. She did, however, keep a few advantages. According to People, she kept her Kensington Palace apartment and continued to receive an allowance.
Prince Philip renounced his royal titles for love
Not all stories about royal family members stepping down are filled with scandals. Prince Philip, the father of Prince Charles and grandfather of Princes Harry and William, was once linked to royal titles in Denmark and Greece. He had to give up those titles in order to become Duke of Edinburgh and be eligible to marry Queen Elizabeth.
After more than 70 years of marriage to Queen Elizabeth, it’s safe to say Prince Philip was confident in his decisions.
Peter and Zara Phillips were shielded from the limelight
Despite the fact that a female monarch has ruled for so long, the royal family is still patrilineal. The fact that the children of Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter, did not automatically receive titles is one example of this. The Queen, on the other hand, gave her grandchildren, Peter and Zara Phillips, courtesy titles.
Princess Anne and her husband, Mark Phillips, politely declined the offer, preferring to give their children a more normal upbringing away from the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny and the expectations that come with official royal ties. The kids were able to grow up away from the spotlight, pursuing their own hobbies and passions without receiving the same level of attention as their cousins.