We are only three weeks apart from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day. Once the couple gets married, Meghan could have a completely new name.
Prince Harry’s fiancée full name is Rachel Meghan Markle. But, after May 19, she could become Rachel Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor.
Carolyn Harris, who is a royal historian and author, revealed to Town & Country: “Junior members of the royal family have the option of using the surname.”
The descendants of Her Majesty have the name, Windsor. Also, they carry the name, Mountbatten. Mountbatten reflects Prince Philip’s surname.
According to the official royal website:
The Royal Family name of Windsor was confirmed by The Queen after her accession in 1952. However, in 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family (without changing the name of the Royal House), as Windsor is the surname used by all the male and unmarried female descendants of George V. 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.
All that said, royals rarely use their surnames.
Marlene Koenig, the royal expert, explained to Town & Country: “Once married, Meghan will sign as Meghan, no last name. Just as Harry signs as Harry. Royals use only a first name.”
According to her, Prince Harry will most likely use the last name when he signs the marriage registrar—probably Mountbatten-Windsor.
“This was used by Anne, Andrew, and Edward when they married. Charles had no surname on his registrar. We do not know what William used because unlike every other royal, he chose not to make it public,” adds Koenig.
She also explained that when William and Harry were going to the school they were listed as Wales. And that’s because Prince Charles is the Prince of Wales. Now, Prince George goes to school registered with the last name Cambridge. However, on his birth certificate, William and Kate don’t have last names written.
Most likely Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will receive the titles Duke and Duchess, likely of Sussex.
Marlene says: “It will be interesting on how passports are handled, as she cannot become a legal resident of the country for five years.
“There are visa procedures to go through from the fiancee settlement visa to the marriage visa, which has to be renewed at least once, and then, after five years, a foreign spouse can apply for permission for permanent residency and then start the citizenship application. So, I do not know how the passport issue will be handled.”
When it’s about Markle’s credit cards and driver’s license they will show her title as her name, Koenig reveals.