The Queen doesn't own the word 'Royal', say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Couple complain about their treatment in lengthy statement after Her Majesty forces them to drop Sussex Royal brand
Buckingham Palace told Harry and Meghan not to employ the name when they are no longer working royals
Duke and Duchess said neither the government nor the Queen herself have 'jurisdiction' over the word 'royal'
Even so, they would not use title from spring onwards as they are no longer working members of the family
Significant blow for couple, who have spent hundreds of thousands building Sussex Royal-branded website
Trademark applications, covering items from clothing to stationery and bandanas, were filed under the brand
By JEMMA CARR and JAKE HURFURT and JACK ELSOM FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 19:36, 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:05, 22 February 2020
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.
In the statement, the Duke and Duchess 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.'
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.'
They also confirmed that their office - based in Buckingham Palace - would be closed, a move they said was 'saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff'.
The announcement follows the Daily Mail’s revelation this week that Buckingham Palace had told Harry and Meghan not to employ the 'Sussex Royal' name when they are no longer working royals.
It is a significant blow for the couple, who have spent tens of thousands of pounds building the Sussex Royal-branded website and creating a hugely popular Instagram feed.
In an unprecedented legal move, the queen has drafted in top lawyers in a bid to enforce the ban.
A string of trademark applications, covering items from clothing and books to stationery and bandanas, were withdrawn.
It comes after MailOnline yesterday revealed that Meghan has told friends there is nothing 'legally stopping' her and Harry from using their Sussex Royal name.
Meghan complained to her inner circle that using the name 'shouldn't even be an issue in the first place and it's not like they want to be in the business of selling T-shirts and pencils,' the insider said.
They added: 'Meghan said she's done with the drama and has no room in her life for naysayers, and the same goes for Harry.'
The friend added: 'Meghan said the global projects they are working on speak for themselves and they chose that name to protect the royal name, not profit off of it.'
But, the insider added: 'Meghan has told her inner circle that their success is inevitable with or without their current brand name.
'She said regardless of the name, Harry and Archie have royal blood and no one can take that away. And that as a family, they will always be considered royalty.'
Harry and Meghan are in the process of setting up a new charitable organisation after their split in August last year from the Royal Foundation Charity, which they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The pair wanted to use Sussex Royal branding but a new name will now have to be found.
Meghan's friend added: 'Meghan said the name of their brand pales in comparison to the foundation they are building and the enormously positive impact it will have on people and the environment.'
Losing the name is the latest humiliation for the couple who announced last month they were stepping down as senior royals and moving to North America.
The pair have already agreed to give up their HRH titles for work purposes, and their official patronages on behalf of the queen, including Harry’s honorary military titles.
Complicated negotiations concluded that it was untenable for them to use the word ‘royal’ in their branding.
A spokesman for the Sussexes said last night: ‘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 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 Sussex Royal in any territory post-spring 2020.
‘Therefore trademark applications that were filed as protective measures, acting on advice from and following the same model for The Royal Foundation, have been removed.’
Harry and Meghan first began using Sussex Royal this time last year after they split their household from that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, known as Kensington Royal.
The Sussexes’ Instagram page, @sussexroyal, has amassed 11.2million followers – the same number of fans as William and Kate’s account.
But the Mail revealed this week that the Queen and senior officials had decided the couple would have to drop their name.
A source told the Mail at the time: ‘In many ways this is inevitable given their decision to step down.
‘But it must surely come as a blow to the couple as they have invested everything into the Sussex Royal brand. The Queen would have had little choice, however.
‘The Sussexes’ original plan – of being half-in, half-out working royals – was never going to work.
‘Obviously, as the Queen has made clear, they are still much-loved members of her family.
‘But if they aren’t carrying out official duties and are now seeking other commercial opportunities, they simply cannot be allowed to market themselves as royals.’
Harry and Meghan announced on Wednesday that they will step down as working royals in less than six weeks and close their Buckingham Palace office.
The statement Harry and Meghan sent to the press
'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.
'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex eagerly await the opportunity to share more with you and greatly appreciate your support!'
The statement went on: '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.'
They will take part in six more engagements before formally withdrawing from frontline roles on March 31.
Their final official engagement is expected to be on March 9, when they will join the Queen at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day.
The statement also addressed the controversy surrounding the cost of the Duke and Duchess's security.
Protection for Meghan and Harry is estimated to cost taxpayers in Canada and the UK between £3million and £6million a year, as staff work round the clock two weeks at a time.
The statement read: '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.