Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have agreed to drop the use of the word ‘royal’ from their future branding as a financially independent couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in talks with the Buckingham Palace team handling their transition away from frontline royal duties, with some complications around the use of Sussex Royal as the phrase to be associated with their charitable work and other causes going forward.
“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,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement, issued to address the ongoing media speculation over the issue.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ in any territory post spring 2020. Therefore, the trademark applications that were filed as protective measures, acting on advice from and following the same model for The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton), have been removed,” the spokesperson said.
The spring 2020 deadline refers to March 31, unveiled earlier this week as the formal date from when the couple will cease to formally represent Queen Elizabeth II and make their move to Canada, where they are expected to be based and travel to the UK ‘regularly’.
Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, are currently living in a mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada with their nine-month-old son Archie.
Harry remains sixth in line to British throne and will retain his military ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader but will not use his honorary military positions or perform any official duties associated with these roles.
The positions will remain unfilled during an agreed 12-month trial period for the transition, leaving an option open for him to resume those roles.
Similarly, the couple will retain their His and Her Royal Highness titles but have agreed not to use them in their new independent roles.
The couple had registered the website sussexroyal.com in March last year, where they laid out details of their future plans ahead of formal discussions with the 93-year-old monarch, Harry’s grandmother.
A detailed statement on the website notes that Harry and his former American actress wife will refresh their digital channels for the ‘next exciting phase’ in their lives.
“While there is not any jurisdiction by the Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory (either within the UK or otherwise) when the transition occurs Spring 2020,” a further detailed statement on their website notes.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become privately funded members of The Royal Family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests,” the statement adds.
The statement notes that the couple are not planning a new foundation but a non-profit entity to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by excellent foundations globally.
Meanwhile, they are set to return to the UK over the coming weeks to complete a series of formal engagements as royals before they step back from representing the Queen at the end of March.