If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get The Royalist in your inbox every Sunday.
Shortly after their marriage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle began hatching plans to walk out of the royal family and their thoughts inevitably turned to their post-royal commercial future.
Having been given the title the Duke and Duchess of Sussex upon their marriage, and having already christened their Instagram page and charitable vehicle Sussex Royal, Harry and Meghan apparently decided that it would make sense to use the same brand name for their commercial ventures.
They took out a vast range of copyright protections on a bewildering array of potential products and services, from pajamas to magazines to counseling services.
At the time the royals briefed that this was being done simply to stop imitators appropriating the name of their brand to dupe unsuspecting members of the public into buying fake Harry and Meghan-ware, but after they announced they were leaving the royal fold, they launched their own website, sussexroyal.com, which made it quite clear they intended to trade off their names to make money, and that the Sussex Royal brand would be the umbrella for their commercial activities.
That dream now appears to be over, with an extensive report in the Daily Mail detailing exactly how the Sussexes have been told in no uncertain terms that they simply cannot use the term royal in their business activities.
The Mail quotes a source as saying: “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.”
The palace refused to confirm or deny the reports to The Daily Beast, however a source told us, somewhat tersely: “Discussions are ongoing.”
Given that Meghan and Harry are clearly not stupid, one can only wonder how on earth they thought they would get away with it.
It seems likely the coterie of American advisers who Meghan and Harry entrusted with their plans (understandably, they couldn’t bring any palace staff into the loop) failed to understand the absolute abhorrence felt by Queen when it comes to the notion of individuals profiting from the royal name.
Meghan and Harry have wasted no time cashing in on their newfound independence with Harry reportedly pocketing a fee of $1m for making a speech to a room of JP Morgan bankers.
Harry, who said in a recent interview that camera flashes of press photographers bring back traumatic memories of his mother, allegedly spoke about how he has been in therapy for several years to help him cope with his mother’s death.
Meanwhile it is being reported that Meghan has told the National Theatre she will continue in her role as patron of the organization.
Artistic director Rufus Norris told The Telegraph: “There has been no indication at all from her that her engagement with us would be anything other than business as usual. She has proven to be a very engaged patron and we look forward to working with her. She has star reach, she understands the nature of what we’re trying to do.”