Royalty

Prince Harry and Meghan Draw Criticism for Changing Children’s Surname Amid Rebranding Efforts

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are facing criticism following reports of a decision to change the last names of their children, Prince Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Princess Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor. The move, which sees the young royals referred to as Archie and Lilibet Sussex, has sparked debate and raised questions about the couple’s broader rebranding efforts.

Sources cited by The Times indicate a departure from the tradition of using the Mountbatten-Windsor surname, established in 1960 for future heirs of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead, the Sussexes’ choice to align their children’s names with their own reflects a strategic shift in their public image and identity.

This decision to adopt alternative names is part of the couple’s broader rebranding strategy, reminiscent of Prince Harry’s past moniker “Captain Wales” during his military service. It comes amidst their transition away from their former title as “Sussexes,” a move that stirred controversy at Buckingham Palace in 2020, leading to the abandonment of their “Sussex Royal” branding.

In line with their renewed focus on their Sussex identity, the couple has revamped their official website, transitioning from Archewell.com to Sussex.com. The website prominently features Prince Harry and Meghan Markle alongside their royal coat of arms, emphasizing their roles as “The office of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.” Links to their philanthropic endeavors through the Archewell Foundation and Archewell Productions are also highlighted.

Despite facing criticism for their rebranding choices, Meghan Markle has expressed appreciation for the meticulous design work on their website, praising the Canadian-based designers for their creativity and attention to detail.

The rebranding efforts serve as a platform to showcase the couple’s charitable endeavors and to unify their family under the Sussex surname. Notably, the website refrains from using the term “royal,” indicating a departure from their former royal ties.

In addition to their digital endeavors, Meghan Markle recently announced a new podcast deal with Lemonada Media following the conclusion of their previous agreement with Spotify. Meanwhile, the Sussexes have been photographed in Whistler, Vancouver, preparing for the upcoming Winter Invictus Games. Prince Harry was seen participating in sit-skiing, a form of skiing tailored for individuals who may require a wheelchair or have difficulty standing for extended periods.

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