Harry – Meghan could face costly and complex legal battles to keep the Sussex Royal brand, according to experts.
The future of the Sussex Royal (the Sussex Royal) brand of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is in doubt after Queen Elizabeth banned Harry – Meghan from using the title “The Prince and the Princess”, and informed them not also acting as an official representative of the British royal family.
With the announcement of leaving the royal family, the couple agreed to trade the royal status for “complete and absolute” freedom, and not be subject to any financial constraints from Buckingham Palace in future trade deals.
Harry – Meghan attended an event in London last October. Image: Reuters.
The tough act of Queen Elizabeth II is certainly something that two people do not want, because they have long hoped to be able to run their own business projects and participate in royal work in an informal role. .
Harry on January 19 said the couple felt “no choice” but to step aside. BBC Last night it was reported that the Duke of Sussex flew to Canada, where he and his wife and son would spend most of their time in the next year-long transition period.
Sussex Royal is the main identity brand of Harry and Meghan on social media, including their new website, Instagram accounts and future charities.
Whether or not they can continue using this brand is one of many unanswered questions. Critics say it is unreasonable for Harry – Meghan to retain the brand because the Queen has made a clear message that they are no longer allowed to trade based on royal status.
“They have to fight for it. Who else could they be. Harry and Meghan Windsor?”, Commented Mark Borkowski, a leading public relations expert.
Changing the brand will be “very expensive and extremely complicated,” he said. “Countless entrepreneurs out there are looking for variations of that name and have created countless fertile grounds for that brand to grow.”
Retaining the Sussex Royal brand may cause Harry – Meghan to be criticized, but abandoning it also cannot help them escape scrutiny. “Nothing stops their attention level, whatever they do,” Borkowski said.
According to David Haigh, executive director of brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, one solution for Harry and Meghan is that they only use the Royal Sussex brand in charitable activities.
“I think they have been advised by many people. They should have other brands for commercial activities and this will help the couple to convey the message that they are not trying to find money based on royal heritage. At least not publicly, “Haigh commented.
To this day, it is still unclear exactly what title Harry and Meghan will carry after they withdraw from royal duties.
Following the Queen’s announcement of the deal with the couple, sources said their official title would change to Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
Harry – Meghan has filed an application to register “Sussex Royal” as a global brand for a range of items and services such as clothing, stationery or activities of “psychological support groups”.
The couple’s advisors have applied for a trademark registration of “Sussex Royal” to the British Intellectual Property Authority in June last year and ownership was transferred to them in December.
Haigh said the use of the word “royal” in British brands is extremely difficult because it is closely monitored and protected. If you want to change, Harry – Meghan should make it soon, he noted.
“The problem only arises when it becomes famous and everyone knows about it,” Haigh said. “At the moment, everyone knows about Harry and Meghan but I don’t think Sussex Royal is a famous brand. I personally find it not even a very good brand. I think they should find another brand.”
Besides, protecting the Royal Sussex brand in the global market is also “extremely hard”, Haigh said. “In fact, it’s a landmine. They will have real problems.”
“If they don’t think it through, they will face a lot of great challenges ahead,” Borkowski said.
Vu Hoang (Follow Guardian)