London — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will officially step down as senior members of the royal family on March 31. But questions remain about whether they can cash in on their royal relations.
For now, Harry and Meghan are known as "His and Her Royal Highness." But in five weeks, they will drop the grandest form of address and be known simply as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It's both a title and key to their new brand, "Sussex Royal," which already has 11.2 million Instagram followers.
At the moment, it promotes their charity work and projects like Meghan's guest editing of Vogue Magazine. But the trademark application Harry and Meghan filed suggests they hoped to use "Sussex Royal" to sell things from paper to pajamas.
On Wednesday, the palace in effect said "not so fast." The word "royal," when the couple is independent, needs to be reviewed, a spokesman said.
After breaking with the inner circle of the royal family, Harry's had to give up the office he kept at Buckingham Palace. But the door is open for re-negotiations. All parties involved have agreed they'll revisit this deal in a year.