Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry file to trademark their charitable foundation

By Zach Harper, with files from Sarah Walker

Royal fans will remember earlier this year, Buckingham Palace announced Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan would separate from The Royal Foundation and create their own charity. We now know they filed to trademark the name of the organization, which will be called Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The couple officially filed their paperwork in June, a day after they separated from The Royal Foundation, but it hasn’t been made public on the UK Intellectual Property Office's website until now.

In their application, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex look to trademark items such as clothing, social care services, magazines, booklets, education and other materials. This means the couple will be able to launch legal action against anyone who uses the brand without asking.

The Cambridges and Sussexes at Sandringham on Christmas Day in 2018. Photo: © Getty Images

In June, when the announcement was made that the Sussexes would leave The Royal Foundation, the Palace said it would continue to operate as Prince William and Duchess Kate's charitable organization.

MORE: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially split from The Royal Foundation

"The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex has today announced the conclusions of a review into its structure, and how it will best support Their Royal Highnesses with future charitable activity," the statement read.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through The Royal Foundation. They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better."

The dukes of Cambridge and Sussex originally founded The Royal Foundation in 2009. Kate officially came on board after her marriage to William two years later, and Meghan became a patron of The Royal Foundation in 2018. Since the Sussexes' departure, the organization has been known as The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

MORE: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's charitable foundation to be called Sussex Royal

Meghan spent much of her time in South Africa this year highlighting issues affecting women and girls. Photo: © Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's charitable vehicle will have a big focus on charitable causes such as "female education and sexual violence," according to a report released in June. A source who spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about Harry and Meghan's plans said the organization is also likely to have a US wing, since Meghan is American.

Meghan had plans to start a charity for women and girls long before she met Harry, according to the Daily Mail. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since much of Meghan's charitable work to date has focused on those issues, but she had to put her plans on hold when she moved to the UK to marry Harry.

MORE: Harry and Meghan's new foundation to have big focus on women and girls: report

"She is somebody [who] has been involved with women's causes since she was young," a source told the Mail. "This isn't new, it's something that has always driven her, from long before she met Harry."

We saw Meghan focus heavily on women and girls' issues during her tour of South Africa earlier this year.

The environment is another cause that's close to the couple's hearts. Harry and Meghan have used their Instagram account, also called @SussexRoyal, to spread awareness about environmental causes and climate change many times.

Royal fans can expect Sussex Royal to continue to take shape over the next few months, sketching out initiatives that will either be "one-off projects" or separate charities. We can't wait to hear more about the causes Harry and Meghan will support!

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