When Queen Elizabeth II first announced that Harry and Meghan would not be allowed to use the world “royal” for any of their personal branding, there were some who thought the queen’s decision was made out of spite.
According to royal experts, the queen’s goal was not at all to punish Harry and Meghan. Instead, she was simply trying to follow the law of the land and ensure that no one inside the royal family could personally profit off of their title.
In Harry and Meghan’s statement agreeing to relinquish their use of the world royal, they made it clear that it was at least partially because of the law.
“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,’” the statement on their website said.
“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,” the statement continued. Although they’ve agreed to abide by it, it’s clear that Meghan and Harry aren’t pleased with the queen’s decision to keep them from using the term.
In an interview with The Sun, royal photographer Arthur Edwards explained that the queen’s decision was simply to follow the law.
“You know, when the queen says you can’t do something, you can’t do it. She’s not saying it because she’s being spiteful to Harry, who she absolutely adores, but it’s because it’s the law — it’s part of the Companies Act, you can’t do that,” Edwards said. “And you certainly can’t use a royal title for commercial gain. They can’t have tea towels and cups with their brand on it, it’s not on.”
“Prince Edward, when he married Sophie, he had a film production company and Sophie had a PR company. They both had to pack that up because it was conflicting with their royal duties and then they joined the royal firm. People have tried it but it doesn’t work and the Queen doesn’t want you to do that,” Edwards continued.
While some members of the royal family have regular jobs, Harry and Meghan were working royals, which means that they had to relinquish their titles if they wanted to step back.