In the nine months since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family, the press has made a big deal of the surprising ways in which the couple has asserted their independence.
In fact, if this were a contest of some sort, we think it's safe to say that the average commoner's take on the situation would be that Harry and Meghan have "won."
There's the $100 million Netflix deal and the warm welcome that the Sussexes have received in Los Angeles, and America in general.
There's Meghan and Harry's almost-equally lucrative deal with Spotify that promises to increase their popularity via a wealth of "uplifting" podcast content hosted on the nation's most popular audio-streaming service.
But most importantly, there's been a general turning of the tide of public opinion, as many who questioned the wisdom of Harry and Meghan's decision are now able recognize just how much the couple has gained.
Of course, all that freedom didn't come without a price.
Harry and Meghan were stripped of most of their titles, as well as the majority of the power and privilege they enjoyed as royals.
The couple is still permitted to refer to themselves as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in formal correspondence, but they've reportedly been instructed not to use their titles in day-to-say life.
(So if you're an LA resident, and Harry cuts you off on the 405, you need not refer to him as "Your Grace" before flipping him off.)
Most of these changes are symbolic and punitive in nature, and Harry is no doubt accustomed to the Queen's fondness for arcane forms of punishment that appear meaningless to non-royals.
But some of the titles he lost reportedly held great importance to Harry.
The ones that he earned through his military service, and the inherited ones that strengthened his connection to his late mother are, for obvious reasons, of tremendous significance to both Harry and his admirers.
The good news is, the royals have yet to appoint someone new to the military and peerage posts vacated by Harry.
The bad news is, the positions probably won't remain vacant for much longer.
A significant deadline is fast approaching, as the royal exit deal between the Sussexes and the rest of the royals is set to expire on March 31.
According to a new report from UK tabloid The Sun, Harry and Meghan are soon to engage in a series of "friendly video calls" with the Queen and company ahead of Harry's planned trip to London in January.
The goal of both the calls and the face-to-face meeting (which might be delayed due to Covid restrictions) is to reach a deal that might enable Harry to hold on to some of his most cherished titles.
"Harry regrets losing those titles and keeping them open for as long as possible keeps that olive branch out," a "top aide" told The Sun.
"Don’t be surprised if they are not filled even after March 31."
Royal expert Andrew Morton confirms that talks have been scheduled, and if Team Harry is unable to get his titles restored, they at least want to keep the posts vacant pending further negotiations.
"Although they will do some of it by Zoom, Harry wants to meet face to face to tie it all up," Morton explained.
"Things seem to have calmed down. Harry has been in contact with the Queen more often than you would think. But certain things you need to be there in person to sort," he added.
"They will need a few weeks. That could be done after April, depending on COVID."
The top aide added that the Sussexes are realistic about their chances, and they understand that it will take some hard bargaining to change the Queen's mind.
"Expect things to drag past March 31," said the aide.
"The Sussexes have laid their stall out very clearly."
The Queen is 94 years old, and it seems that most elderly people in her position would would grant a simple request if doing so would make onen of their grandchildren happy.
Of course, QE2 hasn't lasted 65 years on the throne by just caving in and giving up in the face of opposition!