Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will no longer be able to use the word “royal” in their branding as they start a new life in Canada following their shock decision in January to step back from royal duties.
The decision follows weeks of talks between the couple and the British royal family about how they will present themselves to the world in the future.
The couple agreed last month with Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, that they would no longer work as royals after their surprise announcement that they wanted to carve out a “progressive new role” which they hope to finance themselves.
“They might be able to pursue their work through a foundation, but that entity will not be called the Sussex Royal Foundation, and the couple can no longer use “Sussex Royal,” and have removed their application for a worldwide trademark on the brand,” Town and Country magazine reported on Saturday.
A statement on their official sussexroyal website reads:
“As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally.
“The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to.
“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 will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.’
“For the above reason, the trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed.
“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.
As things stand, Harry and Meghan use the brand extensively.
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The couple’s Instagram account, which has 11.2 million followers, uses the name sussexroyal, (as of February 22 had not been modified) as does a website set up by the couple which they used to declare they were seeking to be more independent.
These will now have to be rebranded.
They also applied to trademark the phrases Sussex Royal and Sussex Royal Foundation for use on books, stationery, clothing such as pyjamas and socks, charity campaigns and the provision of training, sport and social care.
The trademark applications that were filed have been removed, the spokeswoman said.
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The future role of the couple has been subject of intense public scrutiny in Britain. There has been much debate about the extent to which the couple should be able to commercialise the royal brand while living independently, at least partly abroad.
Earlier this week, Prince Harry and Meghan announced they will formally step down from their roles as working members of the royal family at the end of March.
Harry has spoken of his sadness at being forced to give up his royal duties, saying there was no other option if he and Meghan, an American actress, were to seek an independent future away from stifling media intrusion.
Under the arrangement, Harry will remain a prince and the couple will keep their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles as they begin a new life split between Britain and North America, where they will spend most of their time.