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Jack Slater

King Charles sensationally removes title following bitter split

King Charles has stripped someone of a title, something which is considered very rare

King Charles has sensationally stripped someone of the honour they were bestowed by the late Queen Elizabeth. The King has removed the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) from Anthony Bailey, a former PR professional who went through a bitter divorce with an Austrian princess.

King Charles has made the very rare move of stripping someone of their OBE.

Anthony Bailey, a prominent business professional with past ties to the government, has been stripped of the OBE he has held since 2008.

The King took the move as a result of Anthony’s bitter divorce from Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg from Austria.

(Image credit: Alamy)

Mr Bailey was awarded the honour by the late Queen in 2008 for his services to inter-religious relations and charity. He was known by a number of prominent figures, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, plus members of the Royal Family.

He was even part of Lord Nicholas Windsor's wedding at the Vatican.

However, last year, following an ongoing bitter legal fight with his estranged wife, he was handed a 12-month prison sentence.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He was found in contempt of court for breaching his divorce agreement with Princess Marie-Therese - the great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination kickstarted the First World War.

The pair married in 2007, but divorce proceedings started in 2019.  After a drawn-out battle over properties in Portugal, plus settlement money, the split reached the High Court where Anthony was handed a 12-month prison sentence in February 2022.  

Mr Bailey has yet to serve time, as he has remained off British soil since. At the time, he told the MailOnline, “[The divorce proceedings] have seen me lose everything I've ever had in Britain, from my home, my job and even access to my beloved son.”

“This latest news will no doubt bring great joy to my ex-wife. It is yet another illustration of what is fundamentally wrong with the deeply flawed divorce process in Britain and why its overhaul is long overdue.”

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stripping someone of a title or an honour is a rare occurrence, usually reserved for crimes of the highest order.

For example, convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was stripped of his CBE after he was convicted in 2020.

Other people who have been stripped of their titles include:

  • Anthony Blunt – the Queen’s art curator was stripped of his knighthood after it was revealed he was a soviet spy during World War Two
  • Naseem Hamed – the professional boxer’s MBE was taken away after his reckless driving caused a car crash and he fled the scene
  • Rolf Harris – the former TV presenter had his MBE, CBE and OBE rescinded after he was convicted on 12 counts of indecent assault on underage girls.

To some lesser extent, royals themselves have been stripped of parts of their titles in recent years.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew all lost the right to use the HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles.

However, the likelihood of Charles stripping Harry and Meghan of further titles – like their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles – is “just not going to happen”, according to one royal expert.

(Image credit: Getty)

Author Robert Jobson told the Daily Express that even if the feud between father and son (and daughter-in-law) was to continue, or if Meghan were to run for political office in America, her title being removed is “just not going to happen."

“It's just going to rock everybody and create a story that will shake the Hornet's Nest again. And as a result, it's not going to achieve anything.” Robert explained. “It’s definitely very unlikely that Harry will ever be King, so why play a problem?”

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