The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace from April, it was revealed today as preparations for ‘Megxit’ continue.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be represented by their UK foundation team going forward following their decision last month to step down as senior royals.
Harry will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader – but his honorary military positions will not be used during a 12-month trial period.
The couple are expected to complete their final duties on March 9 before they official leave the firm on March 31.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured leaving Canada House in London on January 7
The Sussexes are expected to be in Britain regularly over the next few months with Harry at an Invictus Games event with pop star Jon Bon Jovi on February 28.
Harry and Meghan will then attend the Endeavour Fund awards on March 5, and Harry will be at Silverstone with racing driver Lewis Hamilton on March 6.
They will then both be at the Mountbatten Festival of Music on March 7, and Meghan will mark International Women’s Day on March 8.
The couple will then join the Queen and the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.
Their new lives will official start on March 31 and their Buckingham Palace operation will end on April 1.
Prince Harry (left, at at a local market on Vancouver Island yesterday) and Meghan Markle (right, in an undated file photograph) will be represented by their UK foundation team
A spokesman for the Sussexes said the couple would announce details of their new non-profit organisation later in the year.
What will happen next as Prince Harry and Meghan step down?
February 28: Harry attends an Invictus Games event with Jon Bon Jovi
March 5: Harry and Meghan will then attend the Endeavour Fund awards
March 6: Harry will be at Silverstone with racing driver Lewis Hamilton
March 7: Harry and Meghan will attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music
March 8: Meghan will mark International Women’s Day
March 9: The couple will join the Queen and the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey
April 1: The Sussexes will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace
She said they would continue to work with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the UK and the Commonwealth throughout the year.
The Duke and Duchess are also said to have been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish their new non-profit organisation.
Harry and Meghan plunged the royal family into a period of crisis when they announced earlier in the year they wanted to step back as senior royals and become financially independent.
A summit of senior royals was convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, father the Prince of Wales and brother the Duke of Cambridge.
It was later announced they would no longer be members of the monarchy, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, and no longer be known as HRH.
Despite the unprecedented move the couple will keep the themes of their public work – the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively.
The Queen visits the Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals in London today
The couple’s spokeswoman said Harry’s priorities remain supporting the welfare of servicemen and women, conservation, sport for social development, HIV and Travalyst which works to mobilise the tourism and travel industry for social good.
For Meghan her focus remains women’s empowerment, gender equality and education.
It comes after the Daily Mail revealed today that the Sussexes must drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ label after deciding to step down as working royals.
Following lengthy and complex talks, the Queen and senior officials are believed to have agreed it is no longer tenable for the couple to keep the word ‘royal’ in their ‘branding’.
Harry and Meghan have spent tens of thousands of pounds on a new Sussex Royal website to complement their hugely popular Instagram feed.
The Sussex Royal logo which Harry and Meghan use on their Instagram page and website
They have also sought to register Sussex Royal as a global trademark for a range of items and activities, including clothing, stationery, books and teaching materials.
In addition, they have taken steps to set up a new charitable organisation: Sussex Royal, The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
How Harry and Meghan have continued to use ‘Sussex Royal’ brand name to promote future ventures
After stepping down from official duties, Harry and Meghan have continued to use the brand name ‘Sussex Royal’ to promote their future ventures.
The Duke and Duchess have an Instagram account called Sussexroyal and last month they launched a website called Sussexroyal.com.
Both carry glossy photos of the couple and use a cypher of their initials entwined under a coronet.
Their charitable body, which is to be called Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is expected to be launched in April.
It is believed they will wait for the beginning of the UK financial year before unveiling their plans to set up a non-profit organisation similar to those run by Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hilary Clinton and Bill and Melinda Gates.
During a six-week Christmas break in Canada, the couple trademarked their brand name on more than 100 items, from teaching materials and emotional support groups to clothing and even newspapers.
As they stamped the Sussex Royal name on a list of good and services, royal watchers viewed it as an attempt to turn their brand into a global empire.
Documents published by the Intellectual Property Office disclose that among the items the royals have so far trademarked are instructional and teaching material, printed educational materials, printed publications, educational books, textbooks, magazines and newsletters.
Also on the list are clothing, footwear, headgear, t-shirts, coats, jackets, anoraks, trousers, sweaters, jerseys, dresses, pyjamas, suits, sweat shirts, hooded tops, caps, hats, bandanas, headbands, socks, scarves and neckwear, gloves, sportswear.
The list also shows the royal pair have hopes to trademark the title on developing and coordinating volunteer projects for charitable purposes, providing volunteering opportunities and recruitment of volunteers, as well as information, advisory and consultancy services.
It has now been made clear that they will need to ‘re-brand’.
The Mail understands that, amid what has been described as a ‘complex’ situation, the ‘fine detail’ is still being thrashed out.
However, it is understood the couple have accepted that, as part of their new working arrangements, they will not be able to use the Sussex Royal name as they had hoped.
The development is thought to represent a major blow to the Sussexes, who now face starting again and re-registering everything from their website to their charity under a new label.
Harry and Meghan first began using the Sussex Royal branding this time last year, after they split their household from that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – known as Kensington Royal.
The Sussexes’ Instagram page, @sussexroyal, has amassed 11.2million followers – the same number of fans as William and Kate’s account.
It was a natural progression, therefore, for Harry and Meghan to use the moniker for their new charitable foundation, due to be launched this year with the support of Buckingham Palace.
And as they secretly prepared for a new life in Canada, it was clear that Sussex Royal was at the forefront of Harry and Meghan’s plans.
Dozens of trademark applications were made for everything from bandanas to notebooks – although sources have always stressed that these were preventative measures to protect the trademark from others, and never intended for commercial use.
The couple also privately commissioned a new website. It went live last month to coincide with their bombshell announcement, with the introduction: ‘Welcome to the Sussex Royal community, your source for information on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.’
The couple’s decision to step down as senior working royals and pursue ‘financial independence’ put a spanner in the Sussex Royal works.
It placed the Queen in an invidious position, given her long-held conviction of refusing to allow working members of the family to profit from their positions.
Announcing Her Majesty’s decision to allow her grandson and his wife to pursue a new life abroad, officials made clear that the Sussex Royal title would still need to be re-evaluated.
All members of the family – including Harry and Meghan – were involved in the discussions, and it is understood they all agreed that, in light of the Sussexes’ decision to step back, their use of the word ‘royal’ would come into question.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace in London
Now, as well as giving up their HRH titles for work purposes, the Sussex Royal brand will have to be abandoned. Such is the sensitivity around the issue, Buckingham Palace officials would not discuss the developments last night.
A source told the Mail: ‘In many ways this is inevitable given their decision to step down, but it must surely come as a blow to the couple as they have invested everything into the Sussex Royal brand. The Queen would have had little choice, however.
‘The Sussexes’ original plan – of being half-in, half-out working royals – was never going to work. Obviously, as the Queen has made clear, they are still much-loved members of her family.
‘But if they aren’t carrying out official duties and are now seeking other commercial opportunities, they simply cannot be allowed to market themselves as royals.’
The couple are reported to have ‘no regrets’ about their decision to step down.
Discussions about their charitable foundation took them to the prestigious Stanford University in California last week.
The foundation had been expected to launch in April, with the couple believed to be modelling the non-profit plan on those run by Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hilary Clinton and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The Sussexes also recently appeared at a conference in Miami organised by banking giant JP Morgan.
They are said to have dined with Jennifer Lopez after flying in on the firm’s private jet from Vancouver – despite previously calling for the world to embrace more eco-friendly ways to travel.
One social media user made light of the situation about the Sussex Royal brand, joking the pair could instead ask to use the title, ‘H&M’, in reference to the popular High Street store
The news has divided members of the public, with some agreeing they should not be able to keep using the word ‘royal’ in their ‘branding’
Local media reported that Harry appeared on stage with his wife and Gayle King, an American television presenter who attended Meghan’s baby shower last year.
It remains unclear whether the Sussexes were paid for their appearance at the invitation-only summit, but experts said it could have earned the couple up to £775,000.
A spokesman for the couple has been asked by MailOnline when the couple will no longer be able to use the Sussex Royal name, but it is anticipated that this could be from April.
Last week the Mail revealed Harry and Meghan were axing 15 staff and closing their Buckingham Palace office in the surest sign yet that the couple and their son Archie were unlikely ever to return to the UK to live.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke the news to their team in person in January following the announcement that they were stepping down as senior working royals.
While one or two may be absorbed back into the royal household, most are now negotiating redundancy packages. They are the latest casualties of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell decision to move to North America and make their fortunes outside the Royal Family.
Among those to lose their jobs are the couple’s newly appointed private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham – although she is on secondment from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is likely to be found a role in Whitehall – and their hugely experienced communications chief Sara Latham.
Prince Harry and wife Meghan waving after their wedding ceremony in Windsor in May 2018
Harry’s long-standing programme co-ordinator Clara Loughran, who was so well regarded by the prince that she was asked to hand Meghan her bouquet in church on her wedding day, will go.
As well as Miss Latham – who previously worked for the Obamas and was Hillary Clinton’s senior campaign adviser – her deputy, assistant communications secretary Marnie Gaffney, is understood to be leaving.
A much-loved and long-serving member of Buckingham Palace press staff, she played a major role in supporting Harry on his military work and organised his and Meghan’s hugely successful official tours to Australia and Africa.
The Queen made her a member of the Royal Victorian Order because of her devoted service.
The other press officer to lose her job is Julie Burley, who worked for Harry, William and Kate on their successful mental health campaign Heads Together.
David Watkins, poached from fashion house Burberry in August as the couple’s social media expert, is also out.