How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's brand will change now that they can't use the word 'royal'
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry confirmed they have been barred from naming their brand and forthcoming non-profit organization "Sussex Royal" due to UK government laws.
  • Insider spoke to branding expert Kubi Springer, who explained that the couple will have to change their Instagram handle, their website, and will re-name their organization so it doesn't contain the word "royal."
  • Springer added that they will have to change their logo, which features a crown. 
  • However, she said these changes shouldn't affect the core of the Sussexes' brand "because they are the brand."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed they will change the name of their brand so it no longer includes the word "royal."

"Given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word 'Royal,' it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organization will not utilize the name 'Sussex Royal' or any other iteration of 'Royal,'" a spokesperson for the couple wrote on their website over the weekend.

The Daily Mail's Rebecca English was the first to break the news last week. She reported that the Queen and palace officials were in talks over allowing the word "royal" to be used in a commercial setting.

The couple previously registered their non-profit organization as "Sussex Royal The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," before resigning from the royal family.

Not only do Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Instagram account and official website also carry the name, but they applied to trademark the name for their wider brand last year.

Insider spoke to brand specialist Kubi Springer, who detailed what will change — and what won't — when the couple eliminate all traces of the royal family from their brand.

Harry and Markle will have to change their Instagram handle and the name of their website

Springer, who has worked with Nike, L'Oreal, and Rio Ferdinand to name a few, said Harry and Markle's main hurdle will be renaming their entire brand. 

"From a logistical point of view, Harry and Megan will need to re-do their logo and some design aspects," Springer said, in reference to the logo on the homepage of their Sussex Royal website.

The logo, which features Harry and Markle's initials below the image of a crown, is also used by the Sussexes to mark official announcements or personal messages to their fans on Instagram.

"They will also need to re-do some of their website text, but they won't need to change it completely," she added.

Springer also pointed out that "they will need to change the name on their social media platforms, which is fairly easy to do, but their followers will follow them wherever they go."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke a Guinness World Record after reaching a million followers less than six hours after publishing their first post in April 2019. Just 10 months later, at the time of writing, they have 11.2 million followers on the social media platform. 

However, Springer believes it will be easy for the couple to re-brand

"I do not think it will be difficult for Harry and Megan to re-brand, because they are the brand," Springer said.

"Branding is about emotional connectivity, not logos or titles. People buy into what a brand stands for, more than what title surrounds the brand," she added.

Harry and Markle at Canada House in January.
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

"As it pertains to the Harry and Megan, a worldwide audience has brought into their brand values (of being ethical), their brand ethos (of believing in a life that is free and unrestrained), and their brand mission (of supporting those less fortunate)." 

Springer has a point. The content that the Sussexes have recently been publishing on their Instagram account has remained consistent and similar to the posts they made since before they left the royal family.

For instance, they continue to use their platform to highlight a new charity every month. They have also continued to showcase the duchess' work with British Vogue. She became the first person to guest-edit the magazine with the "Forces for Change" issue last year.

View this post on Instagram

Earlier today @edward_enninful, the Editor in Chief of @britishvogue shared: “#ForcesForChange, guest edited by The Duchess of Sussex @SussexRoyal, was our fastest-selling issue in the history of #BritishVogue ( sold out in 10 days) and the biggest-selling issue of the past decade. I can't wait to see what 2020 has in store…” • To celebrate, we wanted to share this never before seen video behind the scenes with Edward and The Duchess of Sussex on the creation of this special issue. Please note, this was filmed last August in London. Congratulations to all of those who took part in the 2019 September issue, and huge thanks to those who supported and helped make this a success! Video credit: Directed by @kloss_films Copyright @sussexroyal

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

"These are the things that audiences really connect with," Springer said. "As such, their brand is strong and will be able to surpass the title that has been stripped."

Therefore, while it seems the exterior of Markle and Harry's brand will change (the logo and the name), the content will remain the same as before.

The couple have not announced details of their forthcoming non-profit organization, however, they reportedly held a "brainstorming session" with professors and academics at Stanford University earlier this month. 

Since the duke and duchess will carry out their final month of royal duties in March, it's likely fans will be informed of the outcome of their re-brand anytime from then.

"As long as they stay true to their brand values, ethos and mission, they will be able to build an extremely commercially successful brand in the future," Springer said.

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