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Tracking Power: Prince Harry is giving up his military titles to leave the royal family

Prince Harry participates in the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 11, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chief Master Sgt. John A. Zincone)
January 21, 2020

In a controversial decision that has shocked many, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is giving up his military titles to leave to Royal Family to move to Canada with his American wife, Meghan Markle.

As a result of his decision, Prince Harry will no longer be allowed to wear his uniform at official events and he will be giving up all of his military roles and titles. He will relinquish his role as the Captain General of the Royal Marines, a role he was previously criticized for due to only serving in a part time capacity, Express reported.

Lord West of Spithead, the former First Sea Lord, said, “The next time he [the Duke of Sussex] is at a military event he should be in civilian clothes because he is no longer involved with any military units. It is very unfortunate. It is very sad to be losing him from the military.”

Prince Harry said on Sunday that “there was really no other option” but for him to step back from the Royal Family, a decision he made Jan. 8.

The decision has caused some controversy, with some parties involved disappointed while others have supported his decision. Prince Harry is reportedly distressed about having to leave the British Army, which he served in for 10 years, the Daily Mail reported.

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He rose to the rank of Captain and completed two tours in Afghanistan, according to his royal biography. He passed his Regular Commissions Board (RCB), the qualification necessary to train at Sandhurst in September 2004.

Prince Harry completed the 44-week training at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and joined the Blues and Royals on January 25, 2006. “Officer Cadet Wales,” as he became known as, was then commissioned as an Army officer on April 12, 2006. He joined his regiment May 8 of that year, but left afterward for training to become an armored reconnaissance troop leader. By October, he finished training and rejoined his regiment in Windsor.

On April 13, 2008, two months after the Ministry of Defense confirmed that he had been serving with the British Army in Helmand, Afghanistan for more than two months, Prince Harry was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals). He was later given the role of Captain General of the Royal Marines from his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, upon retirement.

Queen Elizabeth II released a statement on Saturday in support of Harry, saying she hopes he and Megan “start building a happy and peaceful new life,” although expressing her disappointment.

“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the Queen said. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.”

She added that she understood that the couple has experienced challenges from the scrutiny from the western world and that she supports “their wish for a more independent life.”

“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” she said.

The Queen’s response was much more thorough than the Buckingham Palace, which issued a short, two-sentence response on Jan. 8:

“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

The controversial event is called “Megxit” because of the opinion that Meghan convinced Prince Harry into leaving his royal duties.

While the couple wants to become financially independent, Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, offered one year of “private financial support.”