Friday, June 21

Sussex’s statement hints at tensions



Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s underlying tensions with the palace have been laid bare in their latest bombshell statement.

It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed they will stop using the word “royal” throughout their branding after they step back from royal duties next month.

In an extraordinary statement released on Friday, Prince Harry and Meghan hinted at the tense negotiations as they detailed the “revised role” they will be taking on in the next year.

They also appear to complain about not being allowed to seek outside employment while remaining working members of the family, as is the case for some other titled members of the firm.

The couple will no longer carry out royal duties as of March 31, although they will still receive police protection because of Harry’s military service and Meghan’s “independent profile”.

They also said they no longer plan to launch their own foundation and have abandoned plans to trademark Sussex Royal, as per the Queen’s request.

Reports in the US suggested Meghan had told pals there was ‘nothing legally stopping them’ from using Sussex Royal despite the Queen’s ban.

The Queen called on her senior legal advisers to outline the case enshrined in UK law banning the use of the word “royal” for financial gain, prompting their latest bombshell statement.

It means they cannot use Sussex Royal on merchandising, despite having already spent thousands on doing just that on a range of goods from T-shirts to bandanas and literature. They will also have to choose a new name for their planned charitable foundation, which was due to use the label.

But in their new statement, the couple claim the Monarchy and Cabinet Office had “no jurisdiction over the use of the word ‘royal’ overseas”.

However, the Sussexes said they no longer plan to trademark ‘Sussex Royal’.

The statement, published on their official website, reads:

  • 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 10 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.”