HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: Why Harry and Meghan have rebranded their children.

Just royal enough. 

That could have been the brief Harry and Meghan gave to the PR team responsible for their 2024 rebrand.

It's a comeback year for the Californian branch of the former royals club, and they're in the middle of their carefully-plotted relaunch, slightly derailed by dramatic news from home.

Four years on from cyclone "Megxit" and according to their official bios, Harry's still a Prince, Meghan's just Meghan.

They're both Duke and Duchess. The kids are Prince and Princess. There's still a coat of arms on their new, simply slick website.

Watch: Meghan and Harry with Oprah Winfrey. Post continues below video.

Video via CBS.

But they're not, you know, ROYAL like that. They've done away with the family surname (Mountbatten-Windsor), confirming the children get around as Archie and Lilibet Sussex. The arms they're using on the site is Meghan's modern design, the one she was gifted when she married Harry in 2018 — a regal songbird with Californian golden poppies. They not HRHs anymore. No one needs to curtsy or anything. 

Crucially, they're not so royal that they need to go back to England to visit a wool-making factory in Nottingham like Princess Anne did last week. Or attend the Air Ambulance gala in freezing London, as the Prince Of Wales just did. Or visit a community centre in Norfolk like the Queen did, a week before last. No, no, they're not royal like that. 


With Harry's dad King Charles having cancer treatment and Catherine, Princess Of Wales recovering from surgery, the roster of actual working royals are cutting ribbons and making speeches in a fragrant blur of activity. The calendar of charity events, infrastructure openings and children's performances in draughty town halls won't just fill itself. 

But this week, alongside the glossy launch of the regal-blue and the revelation that his children have formally adopted the title he's only had for a few years himself, Prince Harry crucially tweaked his tone. 

Swapping Windsor — with all its very clear links to his brother and dad — for Sussex, the royal title he was gifted when he married Meghan, is a clear move to establish his nuclear family as its own royal satellite. 

But he's also hedging bets. This week a "source" close to Harry — and if we learned anything in his mega-selling memoir Spare, it's that 'sources' are usually the family — said that Harry would be willing to return to the fold to help lift the load of royal family duties "if his father asked him to". 

Harry also, himself, with his own mouth, answered a question of whether a reunion in the face of his father's illness was possible. "Absolutely. Yeah, I'm sure," he said, at the launch of next year's Invictus Games in Canada. "Throughout all these [veteran's] families, I see it on a day-to-day basis, the strength of the family unit coming together."


It's confusing, really. Because the Sussexes have podcasts to make under a new, post-Spotify deal and Netflix shows to make as part of their multi-million-dollar contract. Then they also have Invictus, and what they describe on as "patronages, ventures, and organizations which receive the support of the couple, individually and/or together."

All of which sounds half-royal, half-not. 

Listen to Holly discuss this in more detail on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.

So why the Sussex rebrand? And why the kids' name change? And why, after the best part of a year lying low after the blistering success of Spare, are Harry and Meghan suddenly everywhere?

Well, the answer is that the couple have to make a significant living, no matter what. As Prince Harry has carefully documented, his family security is expensive, man

It costs at least three million dollars a year, he's said, to keep his family safe now that London won't pay the bill. And life in billionaire's row (Oprah lives nearby) in Montecito doesn't come cheap, as Harry acknowledged in Spare, when he talked about wanting a lovely Californian movie star house with lovely Californian toilets.  


And he's always said that it's not the royal family he has a problem with (also confusing, seeing as how most of the colonised world absolutely does have a problem with it), but the way the London branch of it operates in cahoots with his arch nemesis, the tabloid media. 

Add to this another strategic leak that Meghan is "trying to reconcile" with her poorly sister-in-law Catherine and it seems that bridges are being tentatively built to keep that royal option open for the Sussexes. 

Finally, there just aren't very many Princes and Princesses in America. Those titles can come in handy. 

The last line of Meghan's bio on the new website reads:

"Meghan lives in California with her husband and their children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet."

The first line reads "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex is a feminist and champion of human rights and gender equity." 

Which is better than, well, almost any other opening line of a bio, ever. 

All of which indicates that she and Harry are getting the last laugh, perhaps, in torturing an institution that tortured them. They're still adjacent to all the advantages and status, and doing none of the standing around, shaking hands at the opening of an icy meat works in Luton. 

Just royal enough, indeed.

Feature image: Chris Allerton/Buckingham Palace.

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