Prince Harry’s ‘hypocrisy’ around royal title ‘puts Queen in awkward position’

Prince Harry has been accused of "hypocrisy" for continuing to use his royal title despite disavowing the "genetic pain" of growing up in the Palace.

Speaking to celebrity host Dax Shephard on this Armchair Expert podcast this week, the 36-year-old revealed he had wanted to leave since his early 20s and end the cycle of "genetic pain and suffering" which he was brought up with.

He also quoted some words of wisdom from his wife Meghan Markle, who advised him to seek happiness outside the Royal Family.

"My wife had the most amazing sort of explanation to that, which is 'You don't need to be a princess. You can create the life that will be better than any princess'."

In his previous chat with Oprah Winfrey, Harry also said his dad and brother are "trapped" in their royal lives and "don't get to leave".

His criticism of the monarchy has won him praise from UK republicans, but Australian commentator Daniela Elser is less impressed.

"If Meghan – and by extension Harry – don't need to be princesses or princes to 'create a better life' why are they still using their royal titles?" she writes in a new column for news.com.au.

"And, if one doesn't need to be a princess, why would someone need to be a duke or duchess?"

Elser described the "clear pattern" that has emerged in which Harry and Meghan publicly criticise the Royal Family, sparking a new media cycle of outrage before the couple "goes back to announcing spiffy new business deals and using their Duke and Duchess titles".

"If the royal family is such a toxic institution how can he and Meghan keep using their titles in good conscience?" she asks.

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  • "The million dollar question, or should that be the $180 million question, here is – would Harry and Meghan be snagging such stratospherically lucrative contracts if they were just Mr and Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor?"

    She says the couple seem "more than happy" to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when it benefits them financially while slamming the Palace the rest of the time.

    "This disconnect between the Sussexes' continued, bruising criticism of the palace and their continued willingness to deploy their titles during money-making ventures or brand-building public appearances is just becoming even more and more blatantly obvious."

    Elser acknowledges Harry probably had a challenging childhood, "but to point out the many, many faults of his upbringing and to keep using the titles said at- fault family bestowed on him just seems hypocritical".

    "Harry and Meghan can't have it both ways, taking a contra-monarchy standpoint whenever anyone with a microphone wanders into their midst but then still claiming membership of the institution when it comes time to earn a crust," she writes.

    "If the royal family is the source of such hurt and anguish for Harry, if he needed to move literally across the world to get some respite from the very real toll being a part of the institution was taking on him, how can he want to keep using an appellation that represents the very organisation that has pained him so much?"

    Elser says the situation also puts the Queen in an awkward spot and her options are "limited", given she can't strip the couple of their Sussex titles without getting Parliament involved.

    She suggests Harry "wipe the slate clean" by ditching the Duke title and embracing life as an independent private citizen.

    Harry's representatives have been contacted for comment.

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