A Sussex council has been forced to set a date to discuss stripping Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles after a petition to that effect got 1,700 signatures.
A disgruntled resident set up a petition to remove the royal couple’s Duke and Duchess of Sussex title. Charles Ross started the petition on the Brighton and Hove City Council website in July. At the moment, the petition now has more than 1,700 signatures, surpassing the 1,250 threshold for council to put it on a meeting agenda.
As a result, councillors have to give the bizarre request airtime.
Ross wrote in the petition: “We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to reject the usage of the titles “Duke of Sussex” and “Duchess of Sussex” by the individuals Henry (“Harry”) Windsor and Rachel Meghan Markle as morally wrong and disrespectful to the county of East Sussex.
“As residents of Brighton and Hove we call on Brighton and Hove Council to not refer to these individuals by such titles which we believe to be entirely non democratic and symbolic of the oppression of the general public by the wealthy elite.
“Neither will Brighton Council invite or entertain these individuals nor afford them any hospitality or courtesies above and beyond that of an ordinary member of the public.”
When the petition first emerged Sussex residents reacted with outrage, and one person tweeted: “Seriously!!! Mr Ross get a f****n life. I live in Brighton and you don’t speak for me.”
Another said: “What a joke people need to get a grip.”
Others called the petition an “embarrassment” and slammed it as “a waste of time”, with one person suggesting “the guy starting the petition needs to grow up”.
But because the petition gained enough signatures, a discussion must be had during the next meeting on October 24.
The request is unlikely to be backed by the council, who don’t have the power to remove their titles.
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman confirmed it will be debated by full council, but stressed the proposal is not council policy.
Queen Elizabeth gave Harry and Meghan the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they got married, and would be the one to strip them of it if she chose to.
This comes after reports that Meghan Markle hired a crisis management firm that once represented Harvey Weinstein in a bid to improve her image.