As the official end date of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal duties draws near, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are slowly solidifying their new identities as non-working royals. Prince Harry recently came out and asked that he just be referred to as Harry—yes, like Cher and Madonna before him, he’s adopting the one-name formula. But the 38-year-old Duchess of Sussex has remained quiet about how she’d like to be addressed following their royal exit.
Yes, technically, the 35-year-old prince is still a prince, duke, earl and baron, and Markle is still a duchess, countess and baroness, but Harry’s recent decision to just go by Harry seems to signify that they won’t be using those titles. (Remember, Markle is the Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness of Kilkeel.) Furthermore, under the specifications of their new deal with Queen Elizabeth and the royal family, they have agreed to no longer use their Her and His Royal Highness prefixes. So what should we call Markle? That’s still TBD.
She could follow Harry’s suit and just go by Meghan, or (more likely) they could both follow the path they paved for their 9-month-old son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and adopt the hyphenated last name. (FYI: Mountbatten is Prince Philip’s family name and Windsor is Queen Elizabeth’s.) Members of the royal family who are not technically working royals have utilized some form of this name in the past. For instance, Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex’s children are known as Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn (he’s higher in the line of succession).
Harry and Meghan could also completely branch off from the family tree and go by Harry and Meghan Sussex (borrowing from their duke and duchess titles), but that seems unlikely.