Prince Harry, Meghan Markle jab at monarchy after Sussex Royal ban

Hot on the heels of the Queen telling Prince Harry and Meghan Markle they can't use the word "Royal", the renegades have snapped back, saying the monarch doesn't own the word overseas.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Queen Elizabeth had ruled it "no longer tenable" for Harry and Meghan to use "Royal" or "Sussex Royal" in their branding following their decision to step back as senior members of the family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's transition to independence will officially happen on March 31.

That was confirmed on Saturday (NZT) when the pair's spokesperson said their upcoming non-profit organisation would no longer use the label Sussex Royal. Trademarks the pair had also applied for using the name have also been dropped.

"While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word 'Royal', it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name 'Sussex Royal' or any other iteration of 'Royal'."

But Harry and Meghan's statement also made a jab at any suggestion the monarchy owns the word overseas. The couple are intending to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America. 

"There is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word 'Royal' overseas," the pair's website said.

However, they confirmed they wouldn't use Sussex Royal or "any iteration of the word 'Royal' in any territory - including outside of the UK - from the transition point. 

The statement seems to lend credence to a report from The Daily Mail on Saturday that a defiant Meghan had told friends there was nothing "legally stopping" her from using the Sussex Royal name.

The controversial American Duchess reportedly complained to her friends that using the name shouldn't have been an issue. But she ultimately believes the name of the brand "pales in comparison to the foundation they are building and the enormously positive impact it will have on people and the environment." 

It's unclear what will happen to their Instagram account, which uses the moniker Sussex Royal, as does their website.

The pair are currently across the pond in North America, but will return to the United Kingdom this coming week for their final set of official engagements. This will include Meghan attending events for International Women's Day on March 8.

From April 1, they will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace.