Harry and Meghan won't use 'Sussex Royal' brand
TORONTO -- Harry and Meghan are rebranding again.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back from royal duties last month, announced Friday that they will not use the word “Royal” for private initiatives going forward.
The couple is expected to announce a new name for their non-profit organization when they make their official “transition” from the Royal Family this spring.
“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,” reads an outline of the couple’s “Spring 2020 Transition” online. The statement reiterates that the pair will retain their His and Her Royal Highness prefixes but won’t actively invoke them.
Last year, the couple submitted trademark applications for the “Sussex Royal” brand and planned to launch the “Sussex Royal Foundation” this year. The trademark applications were filed “as protective measures,” the transition details stated, and have now been removed. The name “SussexRoyal” is currently both the address for Harry and Meghan’s recently launched website and their popular Instagram account.
But perhaps not for long: “In Spring 2020, their digital channels will be refreshed as they introduce the next exciting phase to you,” the outline continued.
CTV’s royal commentator Richard Berthelsen said the trademark withdrawal is not surprising and is “like resigning before being fired.”
The couple’s use of the word “royal” likely wouldn’t have been approved because of U.K. government rules surrounding the use of the word “royal.”
“(The Palace) could have relaxed the policies, as they do for royal weddings,” he added. “That’s how people are able to print up t-shirts and things like that with royal symbols on them.”
Harry and Meghan’s trademark efforts weren’t for souvenirs but a new private, financially independent life separate from the Royal Family. It’s unclear how the Duke and Duchess will move forward with those entities and what their new foundation will be called. Berthelsen said it’s possible they could maintain “SussexRoyal” for work exclusively within the Royal Family, but the Palace statement suggests they won’t. They can, however, continue to use their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, Berthelsen added, since those are essentially a given name that belongs to them.
They could adopt a more American-friendly brand like “Harry and Meghan” since their interests going forward appear to be about attracting American money, said Berthelsen, adding that Royal Family titles might not resonate as well in the U.S.
“Titles like Duke and Duchess and Sussex -- in American terms -- aren’t particularly meaningful,” he said.