LONDON (Reuters) – The British royal family is discussing with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan the use of the word “royal” in their branding after they abruptly decided to start a new life in Canada.
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.
“As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stepping back as senior members of the royal family and will work towards financial independence, use of the word ‘royal’ in this context needed to be reviewed,” a royal source said.
“Discussions are still ongoing,” the source added.
Separately, ITV’s royal editor reported that the changes to the couple’s status would come into effect from March 31.
Chris Ship said on Twitter they would make public appearances in Britain before the deadline, including at the Royal Albert Hall and at Westminster Abbey in London. He said Meghan would mark International Women’s Day on March 8.
From April 1, they would no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace, he said, adding that a decision on use of their “Sussex Royal” label would be announced when they launched a new non-profit organisation.
As things stand, Harry and Meghan use the brand extensively.
Their website is named sussexroyal.com and they 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.
“As part of the process to transition … planning has been well under way around the launch of their new non-profit organisation. Details will be shared in due course,” the royal source said.
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 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.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison