We may not be able to call them the “royal” couple much longer. Only the Queen can explain Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s “royal” word ban reason, as it seems she and other senior officials decided outright that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ought not to use the term altogether. And yes, that includes the only gem in all of this British family drama: the @SussexRoyal Instagram account.
It appears that once Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, announced their plans to “step back” from their roles as “senior members” of the royal family, that inadvertently meant giving up more than they may have initially expected. It isn’t the first time the Queen has taken away some of their royal laurels—Meghan and Harry were “shocked” to learn the Queen stripped them of their royal titles only late last month. But following the pair’s decision to move to Canada and lay off their entire Buckingham palace staff, there is realistically little left for them to claim within the royal family.
Except, of course, the association. Prince Harry—who, yes, remains a prince—is at the very least entitled to it. Yet reports suggest the Queen is throwing a curveball at him and his wife, whose branding largely revolves around the use of the word “royal.” There is their shiny Sussex Royal website and hugely popular Instagram feed by the same name.
There have also been talks of registering the term “Sussex Royal” as a global trademark—with the expectation for use on items ranging from clothing, books, stationery, and other merchandise. Not to mention, their more philanthropic plans to launch “Sussex Royal, The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” a new charitable organization.
But now, all discussions point to the difficult possibility of a rebrand for the couple. According to the Daily Mail, where news of this “royal” word ban first broke, the royal family is still in the midst of working out every “fine detail.” A royal source with PEOPLE, meanwhile, expressed that Meghan and Harry are already aware and working to address this.
“As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stepping back as senior members of the royal family and will work toward financial independence, use of the word ‘royal’ in this context needed to be reviewed. Discussions are still ongoing,” the source says. “As part of the process to transition the Duke and Duchess of Sussex into their new chapter, planning has been well underway around the launch of their new nonprofit organization. Details will be shared in due course.” We’ll be waiting for those with bated breath.