Meghan Markle could be known as “Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor” or “Meghan Sussex” after dropping her royal title.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will technically retain their “HRH” titles after resigning from royal duties in April, but they have said they will not use them.
According to the royal family website, members of the royal family who do not carry the HRH prefix should use the last name “Mountbatten-Windsor.” This was the name given to Markle’s son, Archie.
Yet Prince Harry and Markle could also opt to make “Sussex” their last name, or alternatively continue to have no last name at all.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will retain their titles after leaving the royal family, but they have made it clear that they don’t want to use them.
A video of Markle telling British Vogue editor Edward Enninful to call her “Meghan” instead of “Duchess” was shared on Instagram last week, while Harry also told an audience to call him “Harry” instead of “Prince Harry” at a UK engagement on Wednesday.
That raises the question: Are fans supposed to refer to them simply as “Harry and Meghan” or will the royals start using last names?
Meghan could use baby Archie’s last name and become ‘Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor’
When Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, she stopped using her maiden name. But unlike many married couples, the duchess couldn’t take her husband’s name because he doesn’t have one.
According to baby Archie’s birth certificate, Prince Harry’s full name is His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex.
While Markle’s full name was previously Rachel Meghan Markle, it is now Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex.
However, when Archie was born the couple announced he would not have the HRH prefix and instead would be called Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
According to the royal family’s official website, members of the family who carry HRH titles do not legally require a last name, but if they do need to use one, they can use “Mountbatten-Windsor.”
It’s a combination of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s last names, with “Mountbatten” from Phillip’s side and “Windsor” being the official name of the House of George V’s descendants.
“It was therefore declared in the Privy Council that The Queen’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor,” a statement on the royal website reads.
Since Harry no longer wants to use his HRH title, it seems the above statement could apply to him, and therefore possibly Markle too.
Not to mention that the couple will likely want to have the same last name as their son.
They could choose to make their title their name and go by ‘Sussex’ like other royals before them
“Members of the Royal Family can be known both by the name of the Royal house, and by a surname, which are not always the same,” the royal website says.
This was true for Harry before he got married. Before he became the Duke of Sussex upon his marriage to Markle, the royal used his father’s official title — or “House” — which is “Wales.”
For example, during his 44-week training course in the army, he was referred to as “Officer Cadet Wales” rather than “Officer Cadet Mountbatten-Windsor.”
This is true for many current members of the royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children reportedly use “Cambridge” as their last name while at school.
Even though Harry and Markle do not want to be referred to as “duke” or “duchess” it seems they still want to be associated with the “Sussex” part of the title.
Before Buckingham Palace officially barred them from doing so, the couple intended to name their brand and their nonprofit organization “Sussex Royal.” Their website and Instagram handle both currently hold the name.
Whether “Harry and Meghan Sussex,” “Mountbatten-Windsor,” or just simply “Harry and Meghan,” all versions of their names are technically correct.
But it’s likely we’ll have to wait until the couple officially resign from the royal family in April to see what they choose to be known as going forward.