Royals who have been stripped of their titles: Prince Andrew and beyond

Royal families are intended to serve as a nation’s picturesque brood, which is why it comes as such a shock when one is stripped of their royal titles.

Oftentimes, royals are stripped of their titles due to their involvement in scandals, but sometimes the cause can be less sensational and as simple as a divorce.

Other times, laws and regulations have made edits to royal titles and families, meaning some that once held titles of their own no longer do.

Here’s a look at some of recent history’s most significant royals who lost their titles.

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Andrew, Duke of York is no longer using his HRH title after a sexual assault scandal will see him head to court.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York is no longer using his HRH title after a sexual assault scandal will see him head to court. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Queen Elizabeth II‘s second son, Prince Andrew, was stripped of his royal titles on Thursday.

The 61-year-old royal became the center of a scandal when his association with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein gained traction in the public eye.

Andrew is  facing a lawsuit alleging that he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was just 17. When a judge refused to dismiss the suit, his mother gave him the ax.

Andrew had already stepped back from his royal duties, but Buckingham Palace announced that as the lawsuit carries on, Andrew has been tripped of his royal and military titles.

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One royal source told Fox News Digital that the Duke of York will no longer use “His Royal Highness” or HRH in any official capacity.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Diana was stripped of her HRH title after her divorce from Prince Charles.

Princess Diana was stripped of her HRH title after her divorce from Prince Charles. (BettmanViaGettyIMages)

When she and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, Diana Spencer lost her HRH title and was simply known as Diana, Princess of Wales.

Placing a comma between the name and title as such is generally reserved for widows and those divorced from the royal family, much like Diana’s former sister-in-law and Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who is now known as Sarah, Duchess of York.

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In 2018, The Mirror reported that Queen Elizabeth was content with allowing Diana to keep her royal title as she is the mother of the future king, but Charles insisted she be stripped of the title.

Infanta Cristina of Spain

Infanta Cristina of Spain's dukedom was revoked in 2015 when she was set to stand trail for tax fraud.

Infanta Cristina of Spain’s dukedom was revoked in 2015 when she was set to stand trail for tax fraud. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Infanta Cristina of Spain was formerly also known as the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca until she was caught up in a political corruption scandal that has rocked Spain for over a decade.

Initially, the focus was just on her husband, but she was eventually named a suspect herself in 2013 and charged with tax fraud and money laundering and ordered to appear in court. She argued that she was unaware of her husband’s illicit dealings.

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Eventually, money laundering charges were dropped, but tax fraud charges were upheld and Cristina was set to stand trial. Eventually, her brother, King Felipe VI, stripped her of her dukedom but allowed her to retain her place in the succession of the throne and her title as Infanta.

In 2017, Cristina was acquitted of the charges, though her husband was sent to prison.

Former Princesses Mako and Ayako of Japan

Princesses Mako (left) and Ayako (right) both renounced their royal titles in Japan to marry commoners.

Princesses Mako (left) and Ayako (right) both renounced their royal titles in Japan to marry commoners. (Getty Images)

Japanese law dictates that should a member of the Imperial family marry a commoner, they be stripped of their royal titles, as was the case for this pair of distant relatives.

Perhaps most notable is Mako, the niece of Japan’s current emperor Naruhito and eldest daughter to Fumihito, Crown Prince of Japan and Kiko, Crown Princess of Japan. 

In October 2021, Mako married a paralegal named Kei Komuro, thus stripping herself of her royal titles. Having previously been known as Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako, she is now known formally as Mrs. Kei Komuro, or informally as her own name, Mako Korumo.

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Proceeding Mako in marrying a commoner was Ayako, formerly known as Her Imperial Highness Princess Ayako of Takamado. Her late father was a cousin to the previous Emperor of Japan, Akihito, who abdicated the throne to his son in 2019 due to his age and declining health.

When she married a commoner by the name of Kei Moriya in 2018, Ayako was stripped of her titles and has henceforth been known as Mrs. Kei Moriya formally.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s grandchildren

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (left) took royal titles away from his grandchildren from his youngest two children, Princess Madeleine (center) and Prince Carl Philip (right).

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (left) took royal titles away from his grandchildren from his youngest two children, Princess Madeleine (center) and Prince Carl Philip (right). (Getty Images)

In 2019, Sweden‘s King Carl XVI Gustaf decided to make some sweeping changes to the royal family.

“His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State,” a palace statement at the time.

The palace announced that the children of Carl XVI Gustaf’s own two youngest children – Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland and Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland – would no longer hold royal titles and will no longer be expected to perform royal duties.

The five grandchildren whose titles were stripped have retained their titles as Princes and Princesses, but their spouses will have no claim to such titles.

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Both Carl Philip and Madeleine have expressed support for their father’s decision, saying their glad that their children will grow up without the titles and responsibilities that come with them.

The children of Carl XVI Gustaf’s eldest child, Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, have retained their HRH titles.

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