On Jan. 8, 2020, in an Instagram post seen ’round the world, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry effectively broke the Internet when the couple announced that they would be taking a “step back” from their royal duties. While Buckingham Palace was reportedly blindsided by the rushed announcement, shortly after the news broke, the Queen revealed just how the royal family was going to deal with the controversial situation that has become known as Megxit.
At the time, Queen Elizabeth shared that there would be a quick turnaround time in finalizing the timeline for Markle and Harry’s departure. “These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days,” she said in her statement in January 2020. Fast forward to early March 2020, and Markle and Harry’s days as senior royals are numbered. According to the Daily Mail, the couple is slated to wrap up their duties on March 9, 2020 before officially stepping down on March 31, 2020.
In the face of the couple’s impending departure, there are several unanswered questions about Markle and Harry’s lives after Megxit comes to fruition. One of those questions involves how the couple should be addressed after March 31. Will it be business as usual or will they truly embrace being “normal” people? Here’s what you should officially call Harry and Meghan once they part ways with the royal family.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry seemingly want people to get to know them on a first-name basis
While some royals have had their titles stripped from them, that’s not the case with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. That being said, after March 31, the couple will no longer be using the titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace in mid-January 2020 revealed that while Markle and Harry will “not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” they will continue to use the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, so that option is still available if you got used to the titles the couple picked up after they tied the knot. However, while they will still be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it seems like Markle and Harry are really committing to leaving all the fanfare behind as they step into this new phase of their lives.
According to CNN, at one of his last public engagements as a senior member of the royal family on Feb. 26, 2020, the prince asked that he just be called “Harry,” seemingly getting a jump on his post-royal life — and he’s not the only one. In a video clip from 2019 that was posted on Instagram in February 2020, Markle tells British Vogue editor Edward Enninful to call her “Meghan” instead of “Duchess.”
So basically, it seems like if you run into the couple on the street, you wouldn’t be remiss if you kept things super casual.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could share a last name with their son, Archie
The royal family has a last name, but they very rarely use it. However, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could be picking it up pretty soon.
According to the royal family’s website, members of the family who carry “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness” titles don’t really need a last name, but in the event that they do need to use one, they can use Mountbatten-Windsor, a combination of the Queen’s last name, Windsor, and the adopted last name of her husband Prince Philip, Mountbatten. The website also notes that the Privy Council declared 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.”
Since Markle and Prince Harry don’t intend to use their HRH titles, this could very well apply to them in the near future. If they do choose to use the last name Mountbatten-Windsor, they will share a surname with their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. That being said, the couple could also opt to simply be known as the “Sussexes.” According to Insider, it’s not uncommon for royals to make their title their name.
Only time will tell which names Markle and Harry settle into after their departure, but, regardless, the couple will definitely be working to make a name for themselves outside the shadow of the royal family.
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