The Queen considered stripping Prince Harry and Meghan of their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles in favour of making them an Earl and Countess instead, British media reports.

The Evening Standard reports the monarch, 93, decided against demoting Harry to the Earl of Dumbarton, with Meghan becoming the Countess, out of a desire not to appear "petty".

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A source told the newspaper that banning the couple using the HRH – short for his or her royal highness – was sufficient.

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"The Sussex title is one of the ancient royal dukedoms given to him ahead of his wedding to Meghan, along with other titles. Removing it was seriously considered and discussed at the highest level," a source told the paper's royal editor Robert Jobson.

News came after the Queen appeared with Prince Andrew at church on Sunday, who has been stripped of his royal duties but not his HRH title, in a sign of the turmoil the royal family has been engulfed in recent months.

Queen Elizabeth reportedly considered new 'progressive' titles for Meghan and Harry but ruled these out. File photo / John Stillwell, via AP
Queen Elizabeth reportedly considered new 'progressive' titles for Meghan and Harry but ruled these out. File photo / John Stillwell, via AP

On Saturday night UK time, the Queen issued a statement making clear there would be no "progressive new role" for Harry and Meghan. Instead, the couple would make their own way in the world without public funds or royal titles to their name.

In return, the couple will have the freedom to pursue commercial deals and will no longer participate in the royal rota system – which is how the royal family in Britain relates to the press.

On Monday, Prince Harry attended the UK-Africa Investment summit hosted by the UK government that brings together heads of state and government and senior leaders from across Africa to the UK.

The Duke met with the Saadeddine Othmani, Prime Minister of Morocco, Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi and Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi. He also met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines.

The event could be the last time the public sees Prince Harry in his royal capacity. There are no further engagements in his diary and it's believed he will soon return to Vancouver where Meghan and Archie have been staying. The UK visit has been the longest time so far the Prince has been separated from his wife and son.

On Monday evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Princess Anne and the Earl and Countess of Wessex will host a reception at Buckingham Palace.

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On Sunday evening, the Prince Harry outlined the reasons for his dramatic decision to step back at a speech for a charity he founded in Lesotho, Sentebale.

He said the decision to step down had been made with "great sadness" and after the wedding Meghan and he "were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve."

"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.

The pair have made it clear they wish for a more 'peaceful' life, over all other pursuits. File photo / Dominic Lipinski, via AP
The pair have made it clear they wish for a more 'peaceful' life, over all other pursuits. File photo / Dominic Lipinski, via AP

"What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible.

"I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life."

However the couple still face a range of questions over what the next 12 months will bring, including whether they will be able to use the Sussex Royal brand they have already trademarked.