Meghan Markle has been accused of “bigging herself up” by using her royal title during a message for children and parents in a viral video.
The Duchess of Sussex continues to use the aristocratic title that was given to her when she married into the royal family, despite quitting the monarchy three years ago.
Prince Harry also continues to style himself Duke of Sussex, and the couple use the royal titles that were given to their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, at the point King Charles III became monarch in September 2022.
However, the issue has proven controversial, and some of their most vocal detractors in the media have called for them to be stripped of their titles.
A TikTok post from five days ago showed a clip of Meghan introducing herself using her royal title and compared it with how other royals have greeted the public.
Meghan said, “I’m Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex,” while the Prince of Wales said, “my name’s William.” The Princess of Wales said, “I’m Catherine and this is William next to me,” and Princess Beatrice said: “My name’s Beatrice.”
The montage was posted by @lampshadebond with the onscreen caption: “The egotistical one bigging herself up.”
The clip of Meghan comes from a 2021 video in which she read her children’s book The Bench for Brightly Storytime, which creates resources for parents to encourage reading to children.
There may, of course, be other moments in which she has introduced herself simply as “Meghan,” in the same way as William and Kate.
Meghan’s Video for Brightly Storytime
In the full video, Meghan said: “Hi and welcome to Brightly Storytime. I am Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and today I am going to read you my book called The Bench.
“This is illustrated by Christian Robinson, and I asked him to do something special for me and use watercolours, which isn’t the normal medium he works with, but he did it to make this extra special,” the duchess added.
“I hope you love the pictures as much as you love the words. I wrote this as a poem for my husband and our son, Archie, and then turned it into a book so you can enjoy it, too.”
The duchess was criticized by some in the British press at the time, with the U.K. newspaper Daily Mirror running the headline: “Meghan Markle divides opinion after introducing herself with royal title to children.”
Most of the criticism contained in the story was based on the reaction to the video on social media, including one post on X, formerly Twitter, that read: “And of course she introduces herself as the duchess of sussex. She won’t let the title go will she?”
What Meghan Has Said About Royal Titles
Royal titles have been a contentious issue not only among fans but also for the duke and duchess themselves.
Meghan told Oprah Winfrey in a TV interview in March 2021 that there had been discussions within the palace about not giving prince and princess titles to their children, which the duchess appeared to link to the separate question of whether they would get police security.
“All the grandeur surrounding this stuff is an attachment that I don’t personally have, right? I’ve been a waitress, an actress, a princess, a duchess,” she told Oprah.
“I’ve always just still been Meghan, right? So, for me, I’m clear on who I am, independent of all that stuff. And the most important title I will ever have is Mom. I know that.”
It is unclear why Meghan felt that Archie and Lilibet’s security situation was conditional on them getting royal titles. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were only offered police protection in their early lives and have now been without it for years.
However, Meghan added: “The idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be…”
Ultimately, Archie and Lilibet did get their prince and princess titles automatically when Charles became king in September 2022. Harry and Meghan began using the titles for the first time publicly when it was announced they had held a christening for Princess Lilibet.
The couple’s spokesperson said in a statement: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3, by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
William Brown is chief royal correspondent for Regalrumination.com, based in London. You can find him on X, formerly Twitter, at @TheCrownUp and read his stories on Regalrumination.com‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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