A council will debate a petition next month calling for it to ‘reject’ the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s titles after it was signed by more than 1,700 people.
Campaigner Charles Ross proposed the motion that Prince Harry and Meghan’s titles are ‘morally wrong and disrespectful to the county of East Sussex’ in July.
It has since passed the 1,250 names required for discussion by Brighton and Hove City Council, and it will be presented at a meeting for debate on October 24.
The petition is trying to get the council to agree that all royal titles should not be used in its documents and proceedings because they are ‘entirely non democratic and symbolic of the oppression of the general public by the wealthy elite’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wave to the crowds in Brighton on a visit on October 3, 2018
A petition has passed the 1,250 names required for debate by Brighton and Hove City Council
The petition, which has been signed 1,705 times as of 8am today, also calls on the council to ‘not invite or entertain’ the couple, who married in Windsor in May 2018.
The council cannot strip the couple of their titles, which are given by the Queen, but the petition calls on officials to stop calling them the Sussexes in official documents.
How the Queen gifted the Sussex titles to Harry and Meghan on their wedding day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they married last year.
The royal groom’s dukedom is the highest rank in the British peerage and marked his marriage to the actress.
Meghan became the first ever Duchess of Sussex as her new husband was made the first Duke of the county in 175 years and the second in history.
Harry also received Scottish and Northern Irish titles, becoming the Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, making Meghan the Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel.
All royal titles are given by the Queen and it was up to the monarch to choose which one to bestow on her grandson and his wife in May 2018.
Harry’s thoughts on the title would have been taken into account by the Queen in a private discussion between the Prince and his grandmother.
Tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on their wedding.
Prince Augustus Frederick was the first Duke of Sussex. He married twice, but both took place without the consent of the monarch, so neither of his wives could become a ‘Duchess of Sussex’.
The couple were well received on a visit to Sussex last October as they were greeted by huge crowds of well-wishers, with Hove MP Peter Kyle praising them at the time for reflecting Brighton’s diversity and calling them ‘a great example’.
The petition launched on July 1 states: ‘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.’
Mr Ross added that the petition ‘aims to establish a precedent that Brighton and Hove Council will no longer afford official hospitality to those with royal or aristocratic titles nor make usage of those titles in official documents as these titles are arbitrarily and unfairly acquired’.
But Hove resident Liv Seabrook called the petition ‘a waste of council time’ and said it was ‘patently absurd’ to suggest the council could remove royal titles.
Ms Seabrook said: ‘Our city has serious social problems and the council is going to waste time on the sentiment of a disgruntled citizen with nothing better to do than come up with a useless petition.
The Duchess of Sussex receives a bunch of flowers from a well-wisher in Brighton last October
Prince Harry greets excited schoolchildren in Brighton as part of a tour of Sussex last October
Brighton and Hove City Council, which meets at Brighton Town Hall, will discuss the petition
‘There are financial aspects of the monarchy that can usefully be discussed. I for one can confidently say I have never felt the slightest bit oppressed by the fact that we now have as part of our Royal Family, a Duke and Duchess of Sussex.’
It comes after the couple faced criticism over taking four private jet flights in 11 days last month despite them speaking out about environmental issues in recent months.
The Duchess also guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue, in which she featured ethical and sustainable clothing brands and interviewed Michelle Obama.
Harry interviewed ethologist Dr Jane Goodall for the edition, and the pair spoke about climate change and the issues younger generations will face.
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