Council responds to petition to strip Harry and Meghan's titles

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the WellChild awards at Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were the centre of a local in Brighton debate. Photo: Getty Images

A Brighton council has responded to a petition signed by thousands which campaigned to reject the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Labour leader of the council Nancy Platts dismissed the petition saying that there were “more pressing issues” to deal with.

On 1 July of this year, campaigner Charles Ross launched a petition for the Brighton and Hove City Council to stop recognising Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “arbitrarily and unfairly acquired” royal titles.

While the authorities of the East Sussex seaside town do not have the power to strip the royals of their titles, Ross called “to establish a precedent” so that the local council “will no longer afford official hospitality to those with royal or aristocratic titles nor make usage of those titles in official documents”.

The document has since attracted some 3,881 signatures.

Not a ‘personal attack’

Yet at a council meeting yesterday, Ross attended to represent the campaign, reported Brighton publication The Argus.

He clarified that it was not a “personal attack” on the duke and duchess themselves but instead “an ideal opportunity to put [Brighton] on the map as a forward-thinking and modern city that rejects archaic and outdated feudal ceremony and doffing our caps to the aristocracy in favour of social justice and fairness for all.”

Council dismisses petition amidst more ‘pressing’ matters

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) arrive to visit the Royal Pavilion in Brighton in East Sussex, southern England, on October 3, 2018. - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first joint official visit to Sussex on October 3. (Photo by Tim IRELAND / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TIM IRELAND/AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit the Royal Pavilion in Brighton in East Sussex, southern England, on 3 October 2018. [Photo: Getty]

The council’s response was to dismiss the petition.

“We have more pressing issues – of homelessness, the climate crisis and the effect of austerity and ensuring the economic wellbeing of our residents,” councillor Platts said.

“We respect the views on both sides but, given the pressing issues we have got, we need to make good use of council resources.”

Conservative leader Steve Bell also acknowledged the importance of listening to both sides, but questioned whether the 3,881 signatories should be considered representative of the 1.8 million residents of the wider country of Sussex.

Founder of the British Monarchists Society, Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills celebrated the council’s decision in a statement released this morning.

“The British Monarchists Society applauds the sense of Brighton and Hove council not to proceed forward with motions of a petition to strip the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of their title in regard to official council documents as proposed by petition.”

The local issue comes amidst an increasingly problematic time for the Royal family, with news breaking this morning that Prince Phillip has been hospitalised days before Christmas.

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