UK RULES around the use of the word royal are forcing Meghan and Harry to undergo another rebrand.
The couple, who sent shockwaves around the world – and seemingly though the British monarchy – when they announced their desire to step down as senior royals earlier this year, have been using the name Sussex Royal. But yesterday it was revealed that they won’t be permitted to attach the word royal to their brand going forward.
They had intended to name their charitable organisation Sussex Royal Foundation, and were working to trademark the name but have since revoked their legal action.
A statement responding to Buckingham Palace’s decision appears to point to a continued struggle between Meghan and Harry and the palace.
Writing on their website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “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.”
“Both supporters and naysayers eagerly await their next moves”
Supporters shouldn’t be worried about the impact it will have on the duo’s profile or pursestrings. Harry has already signed up to produce a series on mental health with Oprah and Apple TV, and Netflix deals are rumoured to be in the pipeline too. Plus, regardless of whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will remain of interest to the public and brands.
Their Instagram account, which has more than 11 million followers is unlikely to lose popularity, even if they’re reduced to simply being the world’s most successful modern “influencers”.
In fact, interest in the couple is set to increase as both supporters and naysayers eagerly await their next moves and look to see how they navigate their new life.
Blessing in disguise
It’s natural that Harry and Meghan would have wanted to incorporate the word royal into their future branding. After all, Harry has been a member of The Firm his entire life – and remains a prince. But the restrictions around the use of the word are likely to be a blessing in disguise for the pair.
For one, it’s one less thing for volatile critics to take umbrage at.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s use of public funds was placed under renewed scrutiny after they announced their plans to forge a new kind of royal life.
Likely a result of anticipating a backlash and feeding into a desire to become financially independent, Meghan and Harry have already said they will pay back the money (£2.4 million) used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage – although it’s not entirely clear when or how they’ll do this. The couple will also be closing their UK royal office, not using their HRH titles and are expected to spend most of their time in Canada.
Of course they’re bound to always be slammed no matter what they do because trolls and racists won’t be placated by their actions, even when these play straight into the areas they argued they were so concerned about.
Just as restrictions are placed on the use of the word royal and their connections with the monarchy, so too it may be that others on the kind of work they can do and projects they pursue are lifted. This could mean that they are able to agree to even more lucrative commercial deals and projects. However, this won’t really be put to the test until after the 12-month review.
As one high profile supporter of Meghan, Beyoncé, one said: “The best revenge is your paper” and Meghan and Harry are set to make lots of it.