Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Take Issue with the Queen's Statement About Their Sussex Royal Brand in Rare, Bold Statement

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's statement responding to the Queen's decision not to let them continue to use the word "royal" in brand is passive aggressive.

Members Of The Royal Family Attend Events To Mark The Centenary Of The RAF
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)
  • In a statement on Friday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed that they will no longer use the word "royal" (opens in new tab) in their branding following their royal exit.
  • The decision was reportedly Queen Elizabeth's, who apparently didn't want the couple to continue using the "Sussex Royal (opens in new tab)" brand after they step back as working royals.
  • In a longer statement on their website, Harry and Meghan made it clear that, although they will respect the Queen's decision on the subject, they take issue with it and that she doesn't have "any jurisdiction" to stop them from using the word royal going forward.

Make some popcorn, because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's (opens in new tab) royal exit is getting borderline petty.

On Friday, the couple confirmed via a spokesperson that they will not use the word "royal" in their branding after their exit becomes official this spring. The Sussex rep said, per Page Six (opens in new tab):

"While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal,’ it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation, 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."

Harry and Meghan aren't happy (opens in new tab) about this development, however. The couple were reportedly under pretty intense pressure from Queen Elizabeth (opens in new tab) and Buckingham Palace (opens in new tab) to drop the "Royal" from their official branding.

In a longer statement on their Spring 2020 transition (opens in new tab) on their official website, SussexRoyal.com (opens in new tab) (which, given this development, will need a new URL come March), Harry and Meghan made it perfectly clear how they feel about the decision.

In their technically-polite but definitely-passive-aggressive statement, the Sussexes boldly (opens in new tab) made a point of noting that the Queen doesn't actually have any authority to stop them from using the word royal:

"While there is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory (either within the UK or otherwise) when the transition occurs Spring 2020."

This is true of course—but not something that needed to be explicitly pointed out, either. The fact that Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) decided to include this in their statement makes it very clear just how contentious the decision was. Only time will tell if this snowballs into anything more than low-key pettiness though.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.