King Charles has stripped someone of the honor bestowed upon him by the late Queen Elizabeth. The King removed the OBE from Anthony Bailey, a former public relations professional who went through an acrimonious divorce with an Austrian princess.
King Charles has made the very rare move of stripping someone of the OBE.
Anthony Bailey, a prominent businessman with previous ties to the government, has been stripped of the OBE which he had held since 2008.
The king took this step as a result of Antony’s bitter divorce from Princess Marie Therese von Hohenberg of Austria.
Mr. Bailey received this honor from the late Queen in 2008 for his services to interfaith relations and charity. He was known by a number of prominent personalities, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as members of the royal family.
He was even part of Lord Nicholas Windsor’s wedding at the Vatican.
However, last year, after an ongoing bitter legal battle with his estranged wife, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
He was found guilty in contempt of court of violating his divorce agreement with Princess Marie Therese – granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked World War I.
The couple married in 2007, but divorce proceedings began in 2019. After a long battle over real estate in Portugal, as well as settlement money, the split reached the Supreme Court where Anthony was sentenced to 12 months in prison in February 2022.
Mr. Bailey has not yet served his sentence, having remained outside the British mainland since then. At the time, he told MailOnline: “(The divorce proceedings) made me lose everything I owned in Britain, from my home and my job to my beloved son.”
“This latest news will undoubtedly bring my ex-wife great joy. It is yet another example of what is fundamentally wrong with Britain’s deeply flawed divorce process, and why it is so long overdue to fix it.
Stripping someone of a title or honor is rare, and is usually reserved for first-degree crimes.
For example, convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was stripped of the Central Bank of Egypt after his conviction in 2020.
Others stripped of their titles include:
Anthony Blunt – Curator of The Queen’s Museum of Art has been stripped of his knighthood after it was revealed that he was a Soviet spy during World War II.
Naseem Hamed – The professional boxer’s MBE was taken away after his reckless driving caused a car accident and he fled the scene
Rolf Harris – OBE, CBE, OBE, former TV presenter, has been annulled after being found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on underage girls.
To a lesser extent, members of the royal family themselves have been stripped of parts of their titles in recent years.
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew have lost the right to use the titles His Royal Highness (His Royal Highness).
However, the possibility of Charles stripping Harry and Meghan of other titles – such as those of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – “isn’t going to happen”, according to one royal expert.
Author Robert Jobson told the Daily Express that even if the feud between father and son (and daughter-in-law) persists, or if Meghan runs for political office in America, removing her surname “will not change anything” that happens.
“It will shake everyone up and create a story that will shake the hornet’s nest again. As a result, we will not achieve anything,” explained Robert. “It is certainly unlikely that Harry will ever become king, so why play trouble?”