Prince Harry and Meghan could still be banned from using Sussex Royal brand

Sarah Young
Meghan and Prince Harry visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia on 18 October 2018: Getty Images

The use of the “Sussex Royal” brand by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is still being reviewed following their decision to step down from official duties, according to reports.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle first used the label when they created their own household, following a split from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Kensington Palace.

The name is already used for the couple’s Instagram page – where they have 11.2m followers – and their official website, sussexroyal.com.

In December 2019 they filed to trademark "Sussex Royal" for their charitable foundation, as seen in documents published by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

In January it was revealed their attempt to do so had been blocked following a complaint from an Australian doctor, Benjamin Worcester.

Despite coverage of the trademark proceedings it had not been made clear whether there would be any issue with the "royal" moniker if the couple were losing their HRH titles and stepping back from duties.

A statement from Buckingham Palace on the 18 January stated: “The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the royal family."

On Wednesday a source told the Daily Mail that Sussex Royal is still under review.

They said: "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."

Chris Ship, the Royal Editor for ITV News, stated that if the couple were denied use of the label they would have to “re-brand their entire operation".

"The matter is a very sensitive one and neither the Sussexes’ spokesperson nor Buckingham Palace would comment directly on the decision last night,” Ship said.

The couple first sought to register the trademark in June 2019 and their application lead to an “opposition period”, during which anyone can object and file a complaint against the trademark.

The Sussexes’ period of opposition was due to end on 20 February 2020, but following the complaint from Dr Worcester, it has now been extended to 20 March 2020.

The ongoing discussions surrounding the brand follows an announcement made by the couple stating their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.

In a statement, the Queen said that the royal family “respect and understand” Harry and Meghan’s “desire to create a new life as a young family”.

However, shortly after it was revealed that the couple would no longer receive public funding or be able to use their HRH titles.

The couple are currently residing in Canada with their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor as they prepare for their new life away from royal life.

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