Meghan and Harry to Break Free of Royal Family Starting March 31

Meghan and Harry to Break Free of Royal Family Starting March 31 Photo: ABC News file

The Associated Press
Updated: February 20, 2020 12:32 PM

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will begin the next stage of their life away from the royal family on March 31, according to a spokesperon for the couple.


The announcement came as Harry and Meghan's office released an update about their plans.

A number of royal engagements have also been announced with Harry due to attend an Invictus Games event on Feb. 28 with singer Jon Bon Jovi.

Harry and Meghan have begun a new life in Canada after choosing financial freedom over being full-time members of the monarchy
There are also reports in the British media that the Queen is reviewing whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can use the brand name 'Sussex Royal', as they step back from royal duties.

David Knight, is a branding expert and intellectual property litigation lawyer, for the law firm Fieldfisher. He says the brand 'royal' has great standing.

"Um, I think first of all, some sympathy for the Queen. I think sort of, yes they, they, I don't want to be royal but they want to trade on the royal name. That is a bit of a hypocrisy there perhaps. Uh, but from a trademark and branding perspective, I can well see why they want to use Royal, uh, in, in their name both for historical reasons and indeed many businesses in the UK would like to tag 'royal' along to their business, whether, it's making jams or a restaurant or whatever for that extra prestige that goes, goes with it. "

"There are clear provisions in our trademark law, that says if it has got 'royal' in it and it creates an association with the, with the Queen or the crown, then it's a no, no, you can't have that, that trademark. And unless you get the consent of the Queen or a member of the Royal family to use it. Uh, and that's, I think where we're falling down. I'm not sure whether the Queen gave consent and has withdrawn it or just hasn't given consent. I suspect it is the former," adds Knight.

When news of the couple's decision to step back from royal duties broke last month, LA based Howard Bragman, a Hollywood PR strategist and CEO of LaBrea Media, warned the couple to create their brand carefully.

"So Number 1 you get the team in place. Number 2, you get the vision in place. Number 3, you play the long game. You don't play the short game. You're not here to grab nickles. You're here to burnish a reputation, burnish a brand that could last 50 years or more."

Before leaving London, the Prince Harry admitted he was taking a “leap of faith’’ after stepping back from royal duties in an attempt to build a more peaceful life, free from royal constraints.

But many observers believe Harry and Meghan will struggle to escape global fame and its pressures.


The Associated Press

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