British Royal Family

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for the Queen's supposed gaffe over Harry and Meghan's royal titles

One small detail sent the internet into meltdown.

By Jess Pullar
When it comes to the royal family, everything they do is considered and careful in the public domain - right down to each perfectly primped tress of hair.
That's why when the Queen issued a rare personal statement in regards to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan following the Sandringham Summit, it was only natural for fans and followers to read into every minute detail for any hidden signals or messages.
Of course, people will make something out of anything, and it seemed all too obvious when one particular phrase in the Monarch's statement was quickly pointed out as a possible hint at the future of the Sussexes royal titles.
The internet went into meltdown over a small detail in the Queen's personal statement about Harry and Meghan. (Getty)
In her statement, the Queen detailed her family's "constructive discussion" on the future of Prince Harry and his family, which took place at Sandringham a few hours earlier.
She confirmed that she was supportive of the pair's desire to "create a new life as a young family," despite adding that she would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family.
But it was a small detail she added before this that really caught the eyes of royal watchers.
Instead of using the pair's formal royal titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Queen simply called them "Harry and Meghan".
An interesting point to note given that all formal communication from the Palace is known for strictly using the formal titles of its members.
The Queen addressed her grandson and his wife a little differently following the Sandringham Summit. (Getty)
So does this really mean that Harry and Meghan might lose their titles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they transition from being full-time working members of the royal family?
Well, not necessarily.
There were a few factors at play here that one should consider before jumping to conclusions.
Let's take a quick step back and look at the situation as a whole - attended by her heirs Prince Charles, Prince William along with Prince Harry and Meghan, the Sandringham meeting was no casual family gathering.
In fact, the royals were well aware of the fact that thousands, if not millions of people were waiting and watching for any whisper to come out from it.
With this in mind, you can't argue that the stakes were very high. Possibly the highest they've ever been.
The world waited with baited breath as the Queen and her heirs discussed the future of Meghan and Harry. (Getty)
Now imagine that kind of pressure, and consider the fact that the Queen then issued a personal statement (something that rarely happens) mere hours after the meeting adjourned.
That's one very swift turnaround - especially given the complexity of the scenario.
This, along with the fact that we're pretty sure the Queen uses Meghan and Harry's first names to their faces (seriously, can you imagine saying "Pass us the gravy will ya Duke of Sussex?"), we're not surprised to see her use their non-royal titles in a personal statement.
WATCH: Spot the Queen's sneaky photo of Meghan and Harry at Buckingham Palace in the below clip. Story continues...
That being said, there's no quelling the possibility that Meghan and Harry may well lose their titles as they embark on a new, independent chapter outside of the royal family.
As outlined by the Queen in her statement, the Duke and Duchess will no longer rely on public funds in their new lives.
If this is to be taken at face value, this technically sets them apart from a number of other royals who do receive public funding - even in small doses.
But much like common law, royal protocols and rules must adapt to the times - the Queen herself has made sure of that.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 is case in point. When Princess Charlotte was born, an historic new rule stipulated that she would retain her claim to the throne, despite having a younger brother.
And though we're entering murky waters in Meghan and Harry's situation, there's no reason why the Queen wouldn't allow them to keep their titles at her discretion.
Meghan and Harry's titles still remain a question mark. (Getty)
Either way, Meghan and Harry are certainly already taking the first steps towards a life less confined by royal requirements.
What's a title anyway when you're thriving in Canada with a new baby son and an undeniable influence that can drive wide-spread change in an instant?