According to a new report from Vanity fair, Queen Elizabeth still has hard feelings over Megxit and wants the departure “over and done with.”
Vanity Fair reports Harry and Meghan are officially no longer allowed to call themselves royal–a decision made by the Queen, and demonstrating the true price the Sussexes have paid for their newfound independence.
Following reports this week that the couple would not be allowed to use the word “royal” in their new branding, Buckingham Palace confirmed Friday evening that the couple will not “use ‘SussexRoyal’ in any territory post Spring 2020,” because of “the specific government rules surrounding use of the word royal.”
According to a statement issued by Harry and Meghan’s communications secretary on their official website, they will retain their titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but they will not actively use them “as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020.”
The decision will be surely come as a blow for the pair, who spent tens of thousands of pounds on “Sussex Royal,” their sophisticated new website, and also filed to trademark an array of merchandise bearing the name. (Those trademark applications, the statement confirmed, have been removed.) They have already amassed 11.2 million followers on their Sussex Royal Instagram page, which will also have to be re-named.
“While the Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific U.K. Government rules surrounding use of the word Royal, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation, when it is announced this spring, will not be named Sussex Royal Foundation,” the statement read.
The revised role will take effect this spring and undergo a “12 month review,” which suggests further adjustments could come next year. A few things, however, won’t change: the Sussex family will continue receiving security support, and Harry will remain sixth in line for the throne. He will also maintain his military rank, though he will no longer have an official role.
The couple also said they no longer plan to have a traditional royal charitable foundation and instead, are working on a new type of philanthropic platform: “After carefully considering a number of foundation models, and having researched the incredible work of many well known and lesser known foundations, The Duke and Duchess are actively working to create something different – a charitable entity that will not only help complement these efforts, but also advance the solutions the world needs most. They look forward to sharing more with you in due course.”
When the Sussex Royal website launched earlier this year, delivering the shocking news of their decision to step down as senior royals, it was clear that Harry and Meghan had hoped to hold on to their royal status and work on behalf of the Queen whilst pursuing independent careers. But the Queen has made it clear that a “half in half out” approach will not work, and behind palace walls there has been much frustration over the Sussexes jumping the gun before a proper plan was in place. For the Queen, it has been a case of balancing private feelings with public responsibility, and sources say she has shown decisive leadership and loyalty to the only brand that matters to her—the House of Windsor.
“By ruling against their use of the Sussex Royal brand, she drew the line on exploiting their royal connection for profit,” said royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith. “I think in the process she has showed the sort of flexibility and adherence to standards that strengthen the monarchy.”
The Sussexes, who could make millions through public speaking engagements and commercial and charitable ventures, also added a section about the transition to their website. While they have a team of LA based agents, lawyers and publicists, for financial reasons they have been forced to sack their entire U.K. entourage at Buckingham Palace, something they describe as “saddening” on their website “given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team.” The departure of their U.K. team has been interpreted as a clear sign that Harry and Meghan plan to make North America their permanent home, with reports that they hope to have houses in Canada and L.A.
While the Queen has been publicly supportive of Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as senior royals, sources close to her say she has taken it personally. “She generally doesn’t want to talk about it,” says one source. “The Queen has been keen to get this resolved because she sees it is damaging to the monarchy and on a personal level I think this has been rather hurtful for her. She has got to the point where she doesn’t want to think about it anymore, she just wants it over and done with.”
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