The Queen doesn't own the word 'Royal', say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posted an extraordinary statement on their website claiming that the Queen does not own the word royal across the world after they were forced to drop their 'Sussex Royal' brand.

Harry and Meghan put a new statement on their own website hours after announcing they would stop using the word 'royal' in their branding after the Spring.

The statement said that while neither the government nor the Queen herself own the word 'royal' internationally, they would stop using the title.

The statement read: 

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.

They also appeared to complain that the palace is treating them differently to other family members.

The statement continued: 'While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place.

'Per the agreement The Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties and not undertake representative duties on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.'

A spokesman for the couple first issued a statement to the media about their use of royal titles shortly after 7.30pm on Friday but around 10pm they shared a much longer statement on their website via their Instagram story.

The much-longer statement included the reference to the treatment of other royals, the fact that Harry is still sixth in line for the throne and that they are still entitled to public protection.

They said they 'require effective security to protect them and their son' amid controversy surrounding the estimated £3million - £6million protection bill that would be split between taxpayers in Canada and the UK.

Many sections of the later statement released on their website appear hostile in tone, especially when compared to the earlier statement which was released through a spokesman for the couple.

Many royal experts believe the episode is another PR disaster for the couple.

Harry and Meghan's statement on their website in full
A few hours later, the Duke and Duchess shared a link on their Instagram story to this much-longer statement on their website.

    It is agreed that the commencement of the revised role of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take effect Spring 2020 and undergo a 12 month review.

    The Royal Family respect and understand the wish of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live a more independent life as a family, by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives. They remain a valued part of Her Majesty’s family.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become privately funded members of The Royal Family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests.

    The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on the Sovereign Grant.

    While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place.

    Per the agreement The Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties and not undertake representative duties on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

    As agreed and set out in January, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will retain their “HRH” prefix, thereby formally remaining known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020.

    As the grandson of Her Majesty and second son of The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex remains sixth in line to the throne of The British Monarchy and the Order of Precedence is unchanged.

    It was agreed that The Duke and Duchess will no longer be able to formally carry out ‘official duties’ for The Queen or represent The Commonwealth, but they will, however, be allowed to maintain their patronages (including those that are classified as ‘royal’ patronages).

    It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son. This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years. No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.

    In relation to the military, The Duke of Sussex will retain the rank of Major, and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader. During this 12-month period of review, The Duke’s official military appointments will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign. No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed.

    While per the agreement, The Duke will not perform any official duties associated with these roles, given his dedication to the military community and ten years of service he will of course continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity. As founder of the Invictus Games, The Duke will proudly continue supporting the military community around the world through the Invictus Games Foundation and The Endeavour Fund.

    Based on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s desire to have a reduced role as members of The Royal Family, it was decided in January that their Institutional Office would have to be closed, given the primary funding mechanism for this official office at Buckingham Palace is from HRH The Prince of Wales. The Duke and Duchess shared this news with their team personally in January once they knew of the decision, and have worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition for each of them.

    Over the last month and a half, The Duke and Duchess have remained actively involved in this process, which has understandably been saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff, given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team.

    As The Duke and Duchess will no longer be considered full-time working Members of The Royal Family, it was agreed that use of the word ‘Royal’ would need to be reviewed as it pertains to organisations associated with them in this new regard. More details on this below.

    As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally.

    The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. 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 will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.’

    For the above reason, the trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed.

    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.

    As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to develop their non-profit organisation and plan for their future, we hope that you use this site as the source for factual information. In Spring 2020, their digital channels will be refreshed as they introduce the next exciting phase to you.

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