Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will give up the name “royal” as they withdraw from official duties as members of the British royal family and embark on new lives in the private sector, the couple confirmed on Friday.
Harry and Meghan, who are also known as the duke and duchess of Sussex, had planned to use the name SussexRoyal as an umbrella brand for their new charitable foundation and social media accounts.
But after protracted and difficult negotiations with Buckingham Palace, the couple has agreed not to use “royal” in any of their philanthropic or commercial activities after this spring. They will withdraw trademark applications using the name and remove it from their Instagram account and website.
On the site, the couple left little doubt that this — like other aspects of their new arrangement with Buckingham Palace — was not their preferred outcome.
“The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to support Her Majesty The Queen, albeit in a more limited capacity,” they wrote in a lengthy description of their new status, including the loss of the royal designation.
That decision cements the split between Harry, the second son of Prince Charles, and the House of Windsor, one that emerged last fall when he and Meghan abruptly announced that they planned to step back from their duties, seek financial independence and spend part of the year living in North America.
That precipitated the deepest crisis for the royal family since the aftermath of the death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash in 1997.
Britain’s tabloids ran headlines about a rift between Harry and his brother, Prince William, and reports that Meghan, an American actress who married Harry in May 2018, was isolated and unhappy in her new family.
After emotionally charged negotiations that resulted in an uncompromising deal, Queen Elizabeth II granted the couple’s wish to leave in return for them agreeing not to use their loftiest titles, His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness, and for giving up other perks and privileges, including public funding.
Harry and Meghan, however, had clearly hoped to retain a residual link to their royal pedigrees. In addition to the Instagram account and slickly produced website, they had planned to stamp SussexRoyal on a range of products.
Losing the royal designation could theoretically diminish their earning power, though people close to the couple point out that Harry will remain a prince, sixth in the line of succession to the throne. The couple will also continue to be able to use the titles of duke and duchess of Sussex, including in their new ventures.
In Britain, use of the word “royal” is subject to legal limitations, the couple’s spokeswoman said. Even outside Britain, the duke and duchess have agreed not to use the designation. Harry and Meghan are currently living in Canada and are expected to spend part of the year in Southern California, where Meghan grew up.