By Andrew MacAskill
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have decided not to use the word “royal” in their branding after they start a new life in Canada following their decision 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.
“It has been agreed that their non-profit organisation, when it is announced this Spring, will not be named Sussex Royal Foundation,” a spokeswoman for the couple said.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘SussexRoyal’ in any territory post Spring 2020.”
As things stand, Harry and Meghan use the brand extensively.
The couple’s Instagram account, which has 11.2 million followers, uses the name SussexRoyal, 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.
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.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, Editing by Franklin Paul and Angus MacSwan)