Meghan can use ‘genuine’ Duchess of Sussex title on new book, experts confirm

Meghan Markle is able to use her royal title on the cover of her new book The Bench, it has been confirmed.

Some people had criticised the Duchess of Sussex for using the title on the cover of the book after she and husband Prince Harry stepped away from their royal duties last year.

The couple announced on January 8 last year that they would step back from senior positions within the Firm following talks at Sandringham with Prince Charles, Prince William and the Queen.

Meghan and Harry have since relocated with their son Archie Harrison to California, having spent the intervening period living in Canada, in hopes of a more private lifestyle.

And now, the front cover of Meghan's new book presents her name and title – Duchess of Sussex.

This led to outcry from some royal fans, with royal author Angela Levin previously saying the use of any title in this context is "ridiculous".

"The fact that she wants to cling on to her royal title and the book is written by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is laughable," the Prince Harry biographer told The Sun Online.

"Because they wanted to get away from the Royal Family, they hated the Royal Family – they felt trapped.

"They didn't like it, they wanted freedom and they’ve got freedom. You can’t have everything you want like that."

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She added: "You don’t use your royal position to make commercial gain. Not many people sign a book with their titles, it’s just ridiculous."

But Meghan is able to use the title, experts have told the Daily Star.

Debrett's, which produces the reference classic Peerage and Baronetage – the only up-to-date printed reference guide to the United Kingdom’s titled families: the hereditary peers, life peers and peeresses, and baronets, and their descendants – has confirmed Meghan is able to use her Duchess of Sussex title.

An expert from Debrett’s told the Daily Star: "When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, the Queen conferred upon him the titles of The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

"From that moment on, his wife was styled HRH Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, or HRH The Duchess of Sussex.

"When the Sussexes stepped back from Royal duties it was announced they would no longer use the HRH and, as the Royal Family's official website states: ‘The Duchess’ official titles are The Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel'."

An expert from Nobility.co.uk also told the Daily Star: "Yes she can use that title [The Duchess of Sussex], in fact the use of the title is up to the title holder, provided the title is a genuine peerage which it is."

The Duchess of Sussex's debut story is titled The Bench and focuses on the father-son relationship.

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As revealed in a statement released last month on Archewell.com, Meghan's book is "about the special bond between father and son—as seen through a mother’s eyes".

Explaining this story is very close to her heart, the statement continued: "Inspired by her own husband and son, The Duchess of Sussex’s debut touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between fathers and sons and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family."

The book has been illustrated by Christian Robinson. Among the illustrations, there is a ginger-haired soldier hugging his son while the mother looks on in tears.

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Commenting on the release of book, Meghan said: "The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born.

"That poem became this story. Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolour illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens.

"My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine."

Meghan's book is published by Random House Children's Book in the US and Puffin in the UK and will be released on June 8.

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