Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Sussex Brand Won't Suffer by Losing the Word "Royal," an Expert Says

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images / Chris Jackson)


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) lost a branding battle this week. The couple confirmed on Friday that they would no longer use the word "royal" in their personal branding after they step back from their positions as working royals (opens in new tab) this spring.

How will this impact the couple's global brand (and, more importantly, their earning potential now they're working toward financial independence)? Not much at all, according to personal branding expert Deborah Ogden (opens in new tab).

Speaking to Yahoo UK (opens in new tab), Ogden explained that Harry and Meghan's brand (opens in new tab) will remain strong sans "royal" because the couple "have been clever in the causes they have supported and messages they have put out there."

"With a personal brand, there is no question that they have invested their profile globally and established that," she said. "But it’s my belief that a personal brand is more than a logo, so what they would spend time building is a strong reputation and strong profile to support certain causes."

That's not to say that dropping "royal" from the Sussex brand (opens in new tab) won't have any effect, but Ogden is confident it will be minimal. 

"They will lose some value from the Sussex Royal brand but my belief is that Prince Harry will always be Prince Harry therefore in the UK market, the American market, and the global markets that recognize the British Royal Family, I’m not sure taking it away will have a huge impact," she said.

Even though the change might not have a huge impact on their brand's reach in the future, Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) have still made it clear they aren't happy with the decision, to which the Queen reportedly pressured them to agree.

In a statement detailing their spring 2020 transition plan (opens in new tab), Harry and Meghan (rather passive aggressively) pointed out that "there is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word 'Royal' overseas."

In January, the couple's attempts to trademark "Sussex Royal" (opens in new tab) were temporarily blocked.


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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.