9 royals who rejected their titles, and the surprising reasons why

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9 royals who rejected their titles, and the surprising reasons why
  • Japan's Princess Mako became the most recent royal to reject a title in October.
  • As a female, the princess had to give up the title in order to marry a "commoner."

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so that he could marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, in 1937.

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so that he could marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, in 1937.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor. AP Images

King Edward gave up his title to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American woman, in the summer of 1937.

At the time, the Church of England did not allow divorcees to marry in church. Therefore, Edward could no longer remain head of state — and subsequently, head of the church — if he wanted to marry Simpson.

He passed the throne down to his brother, George VI, who would later pass on the throne to the current Queen, Elizabeth II.

Edward was given a replacement title — he and Simpson became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but were not allowed HRH status.

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Thailand's Princess Ubolratana dropped her title for a similar reason.

Thailand's Princess Ubolratana dropped her title for a similar reason.
Princess Ubolratana. AP Images

By choosing to marry a "commoner," Peter Jensen, an American she met while attending MIT, Princess Ubolratana was forced to give up her royal status, according to The Guardian.

Although the pair divorced in 2001, Ubolratana still isn't allowed HRH status — but instead goes by "Tunkramom Ying," which translates to "Daughter to the Queen Regent," the publication reports.

The ex-royal embarked on an acting career after returning to Thailand in 2001, starring in Thai films "Where The Miracle Happens" (2008), "My Best Bodyguard" (2010), and "Together" (2012), according to IMDb.

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The late Prince Philip had to reject titles from his home countries in order to marry into the British royal family.

The late Prince Philip had to reject titles from his home countries in order to marry into the British royal family.
The Duke of Edinburgh. Hannah McKay/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, but had to reject these titles in order to marry Queen Elizabeth II. He renounced his right to the Greek and Danish thrones and took his mother's surname, Mountbatten.

He was granted a British HRH and Duke of Edinburgh title on the eve of his wedding on November 20, 1947, according to Britannica.

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Mark Phillips didn't accept a royal title when he married Princess Anne in 1973.

Mark Phillips didn't accept a royal title when he married Princess Anne in 1973.
Princess Anne on her wedding day. Bettmann/ Getty Images.

It is said Phillips was offered an Earldom by the Queen, but turned it down for reasons unknown to the public, The Express reports.

The couple's children, Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips, were subsequently born without royal titles.

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Sweden's Princess Madeleine married Christopher O'Neill, a British-American businessman, at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in 2013.

Sweden's Princess Madeleine married Christopher O'Neill, a British-American businessman, at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in 2013.
Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill. AP Photo/TT, Jonas Ekstromer

In order for O'Neill to claim his royal title, however, he would have had to take the family's surname, Bernadotte, and give up his American and British citizenship — which he declined to do, according to HuffPost. Similarly, Madeleine did not take O'Neill's name.

The couple have three children: Princess Leonore (age 7), Prince Nicolas (age 6), and Princess Adrienne (age 3).

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Norway's Princess Märtha Louise announced that she would stop using her title for "commercial contexts" in 2019.

Norway's Princess Märtha Louise announced that she would stop using her title for "commercial contexts" in 2019.
Märtha Louise. AP Photo/Michael Probst

The royal had previously been using her title to promote her spiritual tour with her boyfriend, Shaman Durek, "The Princess and the Shaman."

"There have been many discussions about my use of title in a commercial context lately," she wrote in an Instagram post in August 2019.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rejected their HRH titles as part of their step back from royal duties.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rejected their HRH titles as part of their step back from royal duties.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Dominic Lipinski/ WPA Pool/ Getty Images

Markle and Prince Harry announced they would not use their HRH titles in an official capacity in 2020. The couple retain their duke and duchess titles.

Initially, they said they intended to "step back" from their senior roles, and still carry out duties on behalf of the Queen.

However, Prince Harry announced that they wouldn't be able to do this without public funds.

The couple's son, Archie, was not given a royal title upon birth.

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Japan's Princess Mako is the most recent royal to give up her title.

Japan's Princess Mako is the most recent royal to give up her title.
Princess Mako's fiancé has faced criticism for a financial dispute involving his mother. Reuters

The former princess married her college sweetheart Kei Komuro in October after a four-year engagement, Insider's Maria Noyen reported.

As a female member of Japan's imperial royal family, Mako's decision to wed a "commoner" means she will no longer have a royal title, according to Japan's 1947 Imperial House Law, The Japan Times previously reported.

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