Plan to strip Harry and Meghan of titles, as William 'demands action' over racism row, with royals mulling legal action

3 December 2023, 10:08 | Updated: 3 December 2023, 10:11

William and Charles are set to meet next week over the royal racism row
William and Charles are set to meet next week over the royal racism row. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

Pressure is mounting on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle amid the racism row over their son Archie, as the royals are set to hold crisis talks, and an MP launches a plan to strip them of their titles.

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The royal family has been in the grip of a racism storm since the controversy of Omid Scobie's book Endgame earlier this week.

The book was printed in the Netherlands with two royals identified as those who asked Meghan about her son Archie's skin colour.

The copies were recalled and pulped as Mr Scobie blamed a translation error. The royal author, often said to be close to the Sussexes, has denied Meghan was behind the leaks and claimed the two royals were identified in a letter she sent to the King.

The royals are set for crisis talks next week over how to handle the row. Meanwhile Harry and Meghan are thought to have been snubbed for the wedding of Archie's godfather, while the Prince and Princess of Wales were invited.

Harry and Meghan in October
Harry and Meghan in October. Picture: Getty

Amid the controversy, Conservative MP Bob Seely is set to table a Bill that would deny Harry and Meghan the use of the titles 'Duke' and 'Duchess'.

The Isle of Wight MP said he felt he had to act because of the "use of race to smear the royal family", which he called "poisonously insidious".

Harry and Meghan have not called any of the royals racist themselves.

Mr Seely said in a piece in the Mail on Sunday that he wanted to revive old laws used to strip Germans of their British aristocratic titles in the First World War.

King Charles
King Charles. Picture: Alamy

He has asked for his Titles Deprivation 1917 Amendment Bill to be listed on the order of business for the House of Commons next week.

Charles and William have yet to meet to discuss their options over the row, but were thought to be considering legal recourse. William is said to "want action" after the allegations.

The King and Princess of Wales are due to confer next week to plan a response. In public the senior royals will present a "business as usual" stance.

A Palace source told Mail Online: "Most right-thinking people would expect an apology – who wouldn’t?

"Being falsely branded a racist in print is a serious allegation that must be treated seriously. All options are still on the table."

William and Kate on Thursday
William and Kate on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

Sources close to the royals were keen to stress that the discussions will not be "crisis talks".

One person told the Telegraph: "Discussions are being had, and we’ll continue those discussions this week, but not in a crisis talks manner.

"Conversations will be had and decisions made with care and time and professionalism rather than rushed over a weekend."

It comes after it emerged that Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster and Archie's godfather, has not invited the Sussexes to his wedding - instead opting to ask the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Omid Scobie
Omid Scobie. Picture: Alamy

The duke and Olivia Henson are set to get married at Chester Cathedral on June 7 in the wedding of the year where William is reportedly in the running for best man.

Meanwhile some have publicly defended the royals amid the accusations in Mr Scobie's book.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the alleged comments were "not remotely racist".

Sir Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, called it a "nonsense story".