IIRC I was buying armor for a progeny in the store, while standing outside a town inside my borders. As my army moved off 'phantoms' of the chars stayed there in that spot. Clicking on them didn't bring them up, they were still in my army and could be accessed normally, but phantoms remained. Quitting and reloading showed no phantoms, until I equipt/equipted items on all chars (not just the ones I bought items for) except my Sov -- then the phantoms reappeared in that same spot.
Using the save below, there are no phantoms. Select a champion or progeny, equip/unequip an item and you'll see the phantom appear in the square above and to the left of the army.
phantom chars save