Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Giving Up on "Sussex Royal"

A statement from Buckingham Palace confirms that Meghan and Harry won't use the moniker "Sussex Royal," following a copyright battle.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Attend UK Team Trials For The Invictus Games Sydney 2018
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

It's time to close the curtains on "Sussex Royal," the moniker that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry adopted as a married couple and have continued to use in their branding efforts as they transition into a new kind of life together. In a statement from Buckingham Palace given to royal reporter Omid Scobie, the Palace confirms: "It has therefore been agreed that their nonprofit organization, when it is announced this Spring, will not be named Sussex Royal Foundation. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use 'SussexRoyal' in any territory post Spring 2020."

Back in January, after announcing their decision to step back as "senior members" of the royal family, Meghan and Harry applied to formally trademark "Sussex Royal," which is the name of their Instagram page and their website. (The moniker is pretty easy to decipher—they're the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and also, you know, royal.) The idea seemed to be that the couple would be able to use the moniker for their upcoming nonprofit, as well as for any merchandise they sell. But that trademark request was formally opposed, which paved the way for a month-long wrangling inside the Palace over whether the couple would get to use the word "royal" for the financial benefit of themselves and for their nonprofit—for their individual brand, in short, rather than the royal family's.

The answer, they will not. Although they will their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, as per a Palace announcement in January, the duo will lose their HRH titles and the ability to use the term "Sussex Royal" for branding purposes. They will remain members of the royal family—that much has always been clear—but won't be allowed certain privileges (like their former moniker, it seems). The trademark request has been dropped along with the announcement.

Here's the full statement:

All of this will formally go through when Meghan and Harry begin the next chapter of their lives on March 31 (so they won't have to choose their new moniker immediately and beg Instagram to hand over the handle, I guess). There's a 12-month review period over this new "arrangement," but it's anybody's guess what happens next if, say, the Palace disapproves with how Meghan and Harry are handling things.

So it's time to place bets on exactly what their new moniker will be, and what their foundation will be named after. The Sussexes? The Sussex Family? The Markles? (I can dream, okay?)

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Jenny Hollander
Digital Director

Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books on February 6, 2024.