Sussexes have already updated their personal website – but STILL call themselves ‘royal Highnesses’6 min read

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The historic decision to step back from royal life means that Harry and Meghan will be free to pursue social and financial independence. 

Within minutes of the announcement from Buckingham Palace earlier today, the couple’s official website, SussexRoyal.com, also released an updated statement.

But the post continued to refer to the couple as ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ despite the Queen announcing that they would no longer be using their HRH titles.

Within minutes of the announcement from Buckingham Palace earlier today, the couple's official website, SussexRoyal.com, also released an updated statement

Within minutes of the announcement from Buckingham Palace earlier today, the couple’s official website, SussexRoyal.com, also released an updated statement

But the post continued to refer to the couple as 'Their Royal Highnesses' despite the Queen announcing that they would no longer be using their HRH titles

But the post continued to refer to the couple as ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ despite the Queen announcing that they would no longer be using their HRH titles 

The statement made on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex read: ‘In line with the statement by Her Majesty The Queen, information on the roles and work of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be updated on this website in due course.

‘We appreciate your patience and invite you to explore the site to see the current works of Their Royal Highnesses.’

It is thought that the full change in titles will come into affect from spring but it is not yet known how Harry and Meghan will balance their trademark brand ‘Sussex Royal’ with no longer having the title.

The pair launched their own Instagram account, @sussexroyal, in April last year and have since attracted 10.8 million followers. 

Additionally, their official website, sussexroyal.com, launched just moments after announcing they were stepping back from royal duties last week.

It is not known what the couple intend to do with either of these platforms given that they are no longer royals. 

Their official page was first registered 10 months ago in March last year and has been secretly developed since then. 

It is currently unclear exactly how much it would have cost to develop the page and who paid for it. 

Social media users have been quick to comment on Harry and Meghan’s official statement with one users branding the use of ‘Their Royal Highnesses’ as being ‘gauche and deliberate’.

One user, Shellery Higgins, wrote: ‘Not sure [their] team are fully understanding they have lost the HRH title? They are no longer Royal Highnesses are they?’

Another, Kayla Adams, added: ‘Yet [Meghan has] still called her and Harry “Their Royal Highnesses” on their new statement today on their website.’

Posts on the website detail the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘new working model’, explaining how they intend to go forward in a ‘progressive new role’.

They list their new media relations policy, the future of their charities and also explained how they will be funded after claiming that they want to be financially independent.

The site also stated that they would be withdrawing from the ‘royal rota’ system, which allows British newspaper, television and radio organisations to cover their work in recognition of the monarchy being a publicly-funded organisation.

UK media are currently entitled to cover their engagements in an impartial manner without control from royal officials.

The couple say they now intend to offer access to specially-invited media and dispense news via their own official communications and social media channels.

On their new website, the Duke and Duchess said they believe this policy will reflect ‘both their forthcoming independence as members of the Royal Family’ and their wish to ‘reshape and broaden access to their work’.    

Some charities feel confident they will still benefit from their links with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, even after they have officially cut their ties as senior royals.

Map Ives, director and founder of Rhino Conservation Botswana, said he has already been told by an official in Harry’s office that the duke ‘wants to continue’ his work with his organisation.

Mr Ives said: ‘If anything our relationship should get stronger.

‘Yes, he is going to have to go out and earn some money but he has a personal understanding of biodiversity and about the health of the planet which leads him to want to be involved and want to help us with awareness.

‘The addition of someone like Harry helps us to get the word out about what we are doing. We need awareness and appreciate support from people like that.

‘If he had withdrawn as our patron or supporter I would have felt it personally myself because he is a very nice man but I am glad he is not going anywhere.’

Harry is the patron of WellChild, the national charity for sick children. A spokesman said: ‘They have already said they are going to honour their patronages.’

WellChild’s chief executive Colin Dyer said the charity is ‘privileged’ to have Harry on board, adding: ‘The amazing support and hard work of the Duke and Duchess is always very much appreciated by everyone at WellChild.’

The couple have also announced plans to set up their own charitable entity.

Having served in the British Army for 10 years, Harry’s charity work has included campaigns to raise awareness of the challenges faced by service personnel who have switched to civilian life. 

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His interests also include sport, mental health awareness and African conservation.

Meghan’s patronages reflect an interest in the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare. 

They include the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which were handed to her by the Queen.

She also took on the patronage of animal charity Mayhew and Smart Works, which helps unemployed women and for which she later designed a collection of clothes.

PR expert Mark Borkowski believes the couple will still have immense pulling power in the charity sector but said: ‘Whether they will become as interesting for charities going forward, I don’t think so, but they will carry a lot of chic and interest with them but sustaining that for 10,20,30 years is going to be difficult.’

He said: ‘They can raise a lot of money. They can make a lot of money and they clearly have an ambition and a purpose.

‘This is a significant move into another world and we haven’t seen that since Edward and Mrs Simpson.

‘I think they (Harry and Meghan) are significant personalities in their own right now and wherever they go they will have press attention, the cameras will follow them. It’ll be talked about.

‘So that’s not going to change and if anything, by not being connected to the Royal Family, not having the HRH monikers on it, they are doing something incredibly disruptive but they won’t immediately lose their sheen.’ 

With their combination of Hollywood glamour and royalty, the Duke and Duchess are likely to be inundated with commercial offers from book deals to brand endorsements – but it understood they have not signed any deals yet.