TOM BOWER: The Sussexes’ new website is a sign that the stakes are so high for Meghan and Harry. The cupboard is bare and Americans don’t much care about them any more

The Sussexes have relaunched their brand so they can earn their royal status – this time with a new website, Sussex.com, and a rather ridiculous coat of arms.

You may feel the timing is odd. This latest controversy comes as King Charles begins treatment for an as yet unknown form of cancer.

Hardly what the doctors ordered, but then what can you expect?

The Sussex cupboard is starting to look a little bare. Without new sponsorships, without a new Hollywood deal, there are few obvious sources of the money needed to maintain their luxurious lifestyle.

Needs must.

The duke and duchess have done good business with their various claims and revelations on their Netflix documentary and in Harry’s ghost memoir, Spare, but what more is there to say?

The climate in the United States seems to be changing and the welcome the Sussexes enjoyed when they first arrived in California in 2021 is fading.

Americans increasingly don’t care much for Meghan and Harry. It is notable that the Sussexes were not one of the many celebrities they enjoyed during last weekend’s Super Bowl.

Maybe they had better things to do that night.

The new home page of Sussex.com features an image of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September 2023

The new home page of Sussex.com features an image of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September 2023

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal coat of arms feature prominently on the new Sussex.com website and could cause tension as a result

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal coat of arms feature prominently on the new Sussex.com website and could cause tension as a result

If the naked opportunism seems obvious, Sussex.com is further evidence, at least to me, of how hardened Harry and Meghan have become in their opposition to the monarchy.

Those who complain that the king’s illness is a wonderful moment for reconciliation between father and younger son do not understand the true state of the relationship between the Sussexes and the royal family.

It’s terrible.

In this light, Harry’s flight to London after hearing of his father’s cancer can be interpreted as a cynical ploy.

Did Harry really believe that a transatlantic flight to see King Charles would endear himself to a public that once adored him?

It seems his stricken father knew better. No doubt encouraged by Queen Camilla, just over 30 minutes before Harry’s departure, the king gave his son not a royal palace but a hotel to sleep in.

Meghan will no doubt have played a full part in their decisions. This, remember, is a woman who refuses to be reconciled with her sick father and has been accused of haunting her (former) best friends.

The Sussexes’ recent trip to Jamaica was particularly inappropriate, perhaps even tantamount to treason.

In the wake of the Cambridges’ ill-fated visit there in 2022, amid the island’s bid for restoration and its talk of ditching the British monarch as head of state, Meghan must have known that the Jamaican government’s hospitality would embarrass Britain set.

I suspect she loved it, not to mention the private jet, the five-star hotels and the royal treatment given by Jamaica’s prime minister.

Harry and Meghan will be closely briefed, but Sussex.com is flirting with danger – a sign perhaps that the stakes are now so high.

The move exposes them to accusations that they broke a solemn promise to Queen Elizabeth that they would not commercialize the relationship with the royal family.

What else can we infer?

The time has surely come for the King to cancel their titles and withdraw the titles from their children.

Charles has been too tolerant of the Sussexes’ money-grabbing antics until now.

After the Oprah Winfrey show, the king failed to pressure the Sussexes. That would have been the wise course of action.

Instead, he gave their children titles as prince and princess and invited them to his coronation. Only Harry came – and then left for America in short order.

During this time, King Charles was too lenient with a couple who made their living by damaging the royal family and Britain. It’s time for that to change.

This latest breach of trust – a clear attempt to cash in on their royal status – should be punished.

Once the king recovers from cancer, he must make it clear that the Sussexes are no longer members of the royal family and are not welcome in Britain.

Tom Bower is the author of Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors published by Simon & Schuster