The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a lengthy statement to their SussexRoyal website on Friday, a series of confirmations about many things which had already been widely reported or confirmed by Buckingham Palace. I’m not going to get into every single thing they discussed, because it was a lot, but you can read the full “Spring 2020 transition” post here. As previewed throughout all of last week, the Queen has yanked their “royal” branding. There is no argument to be made here other than “it’s a punitive action.” Especially after you read the SussexRoyal post, it’s clear to me that they were planning to build the SussexRoyal brand into a charitable organization, but they were explicitly told not to because of some completely make-believe “rules.” Here are the biggest newsmaker highlights (with my headings):
Media intrusion: 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 hypocrisy around the Sussexes making money: 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.
They’re still HRHs: 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.
Harry is still in the line of succession: 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.
They’re still working with their patronages, even the “royal” ones: 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).
STFU about security: 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.
They told their office staff in January that they were Sussexiting: 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’re starting a non-profit, not a foundation: 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.
The use of “Royal” branding: 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.
They could have used royal-branding but choose not to: 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.
So many terse, shady, amazing asides in here. Of course they trademarked SussexRoyal, just as the Cambridges trademarked their names and the name of their foundation. Of course Meghan and Harry could have continued to call themselves Sussex Royal, because the Queen and her people are truly being petty and punitive a–holes. Of course they told their staff about Sussexit in January, it was always established that they would be ending their palace office back then.
The Sussexes also pointed out in this post that Harry will retain all of his honorary ranks but they “will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign” and Harry “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.” That’s how f–king petty the Queen is – Harry gets to retain his military ranks but she won’t allow him to do any work or events in association with the military.
Anyway, yeah. The coverage of this in the British press is extraordinarily bitter and nasty. They cannot believe – AGAIN! – that Meghan and Harry won’t just sit there and take their endless abuse. The press is absolutely flabbergasted that the Sussexes are obviously quite pissed off (and showing how pissed off they are) about the Queen continuing to find new ways to punish them. The bitterness and nastiness started with Buckingham Palace, the Sussexes reacted and now the media is adding another layer of vile horror on top of everything.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.