Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to drop ‘royal’ from their branding

Announcement marks U-turn, just months after trying to trademark 'Sussex Royal'

Jane Dalton
Friday 21 February 2020 20:40 GMT
Harry and Meghan: A timeline

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are dropping the word “royal” from their “Sussex Royal” branding, less than a year after they set up the website and a SussexRoyal Instagram account.

The announcement marks a U-turn in the couple’s plans for their new charitable foundation, as it also comes just two months after they tried to register “Sussex Royal” as a trademark for the organisation when it is launched.

That attempt was blocked following a complaint from an Australian doctor.

A spokeswoman for the couple said: “While the duke and duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation, when it is announced this spring, will not be named Sussex Royal Foundation,” the spokesperson said.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘SussexRoyal’ in any territory post-spring 2020.”

The couple said on Wednesday that their lives as working royals would end on 31 March when they stop representing the Queen and become financially independent.

They shocked the royal family last month by announcing their wish to “step back” from their duties as senior royals. It was then agreed that while the couple would retain their formal HRH titles, they would no longer use them.

Harry and Meghan registered the website in March last year, detailing the couple’s plans for their roles in the monarchy and relationship with the media.

The SussexRoyal Instagram account, started last April, has amassed 11.2 million followers.

Although they will embark on a new life in North America, sources have stressed they “will be in the United Kingdom regularly” and retain the same charitable goals, supporting causes from the Commonwealth to mental health.

They will attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on 9 March, likely to be their last official appearance as working members of the monarchy, with the Queen and other senior royals.

The event, a major engagement in the Queen’s calendar, is normally attended by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

A spokesperson has previously said that as a grandson of the Queen and the second son of the heir to the throne, Harry remains sixth in line to the throne and the Sussexes’ status in the order of succession is unchanged.

In May, the couple will also join spectators in The Hague at Harry’s flagship charitable event, the Invictus Games, and he is expected to attend the London Marathon in April, in his role as patron.

What has been dubbed “Megxit“ begins on the day the financial year traditionally ends, and the arrangements will be reviewed after a year.

Additional reporting by PA

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