How does what Harry and Meghan Markle say differ from the Queen?

How does what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say about their future differ from what the Queen said? The subtle (and not so subtle) contrasts

  • Duke and Duchess of Sussex were forced to drop ‘Sussex Royal’ brand last night
  • Appeared to claim that palace treating them differently to other family members
  • Said the Queen has no ‘jurisdiction’ over ‘royal’ but they will drop term anyway

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a sour-sounding statement after they were forced to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand last night.

In the extraordinary statement that appeared on their website, Meghan and Harry claimed the Queen does not have ‘jurisdiction’ over the lucrative term ‘royal’ overseas.

They also appeared to complain that the palace is treating them differently to other family members.

Here, MailOnline examines what the Sussexes said about what they called their ‘Spring 2020 transition’ and examined how it compares to information already released by the palace. 


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a sour-sounding statement after they were forced to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand last night. Here, MailOnline examines what the Sussexes said about what they called their ‘Spring 2020 transition’ and examined how it compares to information already released by the palace

A statement from Buckingham Palace announcing Megxit in January said: 

‘The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.’

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: 

‘As agreed and set out in January, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will retain their “HRH” prefix, thereby formally remaining known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. 

‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020.’

The palace statement, issued last month, clearly states that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not use their HRH titles.

Meghan and Harry’s statement states, however, that they will keep the prefixes His and Her Royal Highness.

They go on to claim that the titles will not be used ‘actively’ when the couple cease being working members of the firm.

The statement from Buckingham Palace in January said: 

‘They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties. With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. 

‘While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.’

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said:

‘The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on the Sovereign Grant.

‘While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place.’

It later adds: ‘It was agreed that The Duke and Duchess will no longer be able to formally carry out “official duties” for The Queen or represent The Commonwealth, but they will, however, be allowed to maintain their patronages (including those that are classified as ‘royal’ patronages).’ 

The Buckingham Palace statement from January is clear in its assertion that the Duke and Duchess will not receive any public fund for royal duties.

This is repeated in Harry and Meghan’s statement but it starts by stating that the Duke and Duchess did want to represent the Queen in a ‘more limited capacity’.

The Sussexes state that they have been subject to a ’12-month review period’ even though ‘there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution.’

A statement from Buckingham Palace in January said:  

‘As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.’ 

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: 

‘In relation to the military, The Duke of Sussex will retain the rank of Major, and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader. During this 12-month period of review, The Duke’s official military appointments will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign. 

‘No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed.

‘While per the agreement, The Duke will not perform any official duties associated with these roles, given his dedication to the military community and ten years of service he will of course continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes statement lists all the military ranks The Duke of Sussex will retain – even though his military appointments will not be used during the 12-month transition period.

In the statement published on January 18, the Queen said:

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

‘I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said:

‘The Royal Family respect and understand the wish of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live a more independent life as a family, by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives. 

‘They remain a valued part of Her Majesty’s family.’

The Sussexes repeat that they are still part of ‘Her Majesty’s family.’

The Queen says the Duke and Duchess have experienced ‘intense scrutiny’ in the past two years.

The royal couple instead choose the words ‘media intrusion’, a harsher and more divisive stance.

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: 

‘It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son. 

‘This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years.’

The Sussexes stated that they ‘require effective security’ to protect them amid heightened public scrutiny about who will foot the estimated £3million to £6million bill.

In a statement in January, the palace refused to comment on security arrangements all together.

In a statement, the palace said:

‘Due to the fact that the Duke and Duchess will not be undertaking official engagements in support of the Queen, which are funded by the Sovereign Grant, an office at Buckingham Palace was no longer needed. 

‘It is important to note that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be in the United Kingdom regularly.’ 

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said:  

‘Based on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s desire to have a reduced role as members of The Royal Family, it was decided in January that their Institutional Office would have to be closed, given the primary funding mechanism for this official office at Buckingham Palace is from HRH The Prince of Wales. 

‘The Duke and Duchess shared this news with their team personally in January once they knew of the decision, and have worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition for each of them.

‘Over the last month and a half, The Duke and Duchess have remained actively involved in this process, which has understandably been saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff, given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team.’

The Duke and Duchess’s statement is much more emotional than the palace’s initial one. 

Harry and Meghan stated that having to shut their London office was ‘saddening’ and explained that they have been actively involved in the process.

They also said that they told they told ‘their team personally’ last month.  

In a statement, the palace said: 

‘As The Duke and Duchess are stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family, and will work towards financial independence, use of the word ‘royal’, in this context, needed to be reviewed.

‘Discussions are still ongoing, however, a change will be announced alongside the launch of their new non-profit organisation.’

In the statement last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: 

‘As The Duke and Duchess will no longer be considered full-time working Members of The Royal Family, it was agreed that use of the word ‘Royal’ would need to be reviewed as it pertains to organisations associated with them in this new regard.

‘As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally.

‘The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. 

‘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”.’

It later added: ‘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 Duke and Duchess agreed that their new charitable organisation would not use the word ‘royal’, following on from the Palace’s statement in January.

They did insist, however, that they did not have to do this as the Queen has no ‘jurisdiction’ over the term abroad.

Harry and Meghan’s statement on their website in full

AS AGREED AND SET OUT IN JANUARY 2020: 

  • It is agreed that the commencement of the revised role of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take effect Spring 2020 and undergo a 12 month review. 
  • The Royal Family respect and understand the wish of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live a more independent life as a family, by removing the supposed ‘public interest’ justification for media intrusion into their lives. They remain a valued part of Her Majesty’s family. 
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become privately funded members of The Royal Family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests. 
  • The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on the Sovereign Grant.
  • While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place. 
  • Per the agreement The Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties and not undertake representative duties on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. 
  • As agreed and set out in January, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will retain their “HRH” prefix, thereby formally remaining known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020. 
  • As the grandson of Her Majesty and second son of The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex remains sixth in line to the throne of The British Monarchy and the Order of Precedence is unchanged. 
  • It was agreed that The Duke and Duchess will no longer be able to formally carry out ‘official duties’ for The Queen or represent The Commonwealth, but they will, however, be allowed to maintain their patronages (including those that are classified as ‘royal’ patronages). 
  • It is agreed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son. This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years. No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.
  • In relation to the military, The Duke of Sussex will retain the rank of Major, and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader. During this 12-month period of review, The Duke’s official military appointments will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign. No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed. 
  • While per the agreement, The Duke will not perform any official duties associated with these roles, given his dedication to the military community and ten years of service he will of course continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity. As founder of the Invictus Games, The Duke will proudly continue supporting the military community around the world through the Invictus Games Foundation and The Endeavour Fund. 
  • Based on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s desire to have a reduced role as members of The Royal Family, it was decided in January that their Institutional Office would have to be closed, given the primary funding mechanism for this official office at Buckingham Palace is from HRH The Prince of Wales. The Duke and Duchess shared this news with their team personally in January once they knew of the decision, and have worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition for each of them. 
  • Over the last month and a half, The Duke and Duchess have remained actively involved in this process, which has understandably been saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff, given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team. 
  • As The Duke and Duchess will no longer be considered full-time working Members of The Royal Family, it was agreed that use of the word ‘Royal’ would need to be reviewed as it pertains to organisations associated with them in this new regard. More details on this below. 

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: 

  • As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally. 
  • The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. 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.’ 
  • For the above reason, the trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed. 
  • 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. 
  • As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to develop their non-profit organisation and plan for their future, we hope that you use this site as the source for factual information. In Spring 2020, their digital channels will be refreshed as they introduce the next exciting phase to you. 

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