Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have dropped the Sussex Royal brand name after the Queen objected to the couple using the word “royal” in their private venture.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said on Friday that the couple had decided to drop the brand because of British 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 added. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘SussexRoyal’ in any territory."
The Duke and Duchess have begun to pull away from royal duties in a bid for greater independence and financial freedom. They will end their official roles on March 31 and vacate their office at Buckingham Palace. They will also no longer use their HRH titles. The entire structure will be reviewed by the Royal Family and the Sussexes in a year to “ensure the arrangement works for all parties.”
The loss of the Sussex Royal name will be a significant blow to the Duke and Duchess. The couple had spent months building their new careers around the brand and there had been expectations they envisioned using it as a charitable vehicle, similar to how former U.S. president Barack Obama has used his foundation.
They had already applied for a global trademark on the name and documents show they planned to use it on more than 100 products and services including clothing, magazines, newspapers, postcards, calendars as well as marketing and promotion of charitable campaigns, cultural activities, personal-development training and conferences. Documents show that they also registered “Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” which was expected to be their main charitable vehicle. They had also launched a slick Sussex Royal website and Instagram account.
However, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family are believed to have objected to the couple using “Royal” in the brand, fearing it could be seen as cashing in on their titles. The spokesperson said Friday that the trademark applications have now been withdrawn.
While it’s unclear what the Duke and Duchess will call their new venture, officials said they are “focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation.” Earlier this week, officials said the couple would continue working on causes such as mental health, Commonwealth issues, youth empowerment, gender equality and education.
Harry will remain involved with the Invictus Games, for wounded soldiers. He will also retain the ranks he earned while serving in the British army, but he will drop his honorary titles including serving as head of the Royal Marines. However, in a sign that the Queen has kept the door open for Harry to return to the royal fold, the honorary positions will not be filled for at least a year.
The Duke and Duchess are expected to divide their time between Britain and North America. They have been spending time in a mansion on Vancouver Island with their son Archie, but it’s unclear where their North American base will be, although Canada is the likely destination.
Their final official event will be the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey with the Queen on March 9. Harry is expected to attend the London Marathon in April in his capacity as patron, and the couple will be at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in May.