Why Meghan Markle Changed Her Name (Video)
On May 19, Prince Harry will walk down the aisle to wed his royal bride, Rachel.
No, that’s not a typo. In March, Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal blessing for Prince Harry to marry his future bride. But she confused people the world over when she wrote in her decree:
I Declare my Consent to the Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council.”
Yes, Queen Elizabeth let the cat out of the bag that Meghan isn’t really the bride's given name. Keep scrolling to learn more about who Prince Harry is really marrying.
What Is Meghan Markle’s Real Name?
Meghan Markle, who was born and raised in California, was actually born Rachel Meghan Markle. Yes, that means she does in fact share a first name with her character on Suits. Though, it’s not like Markle is trying to keep her first name under wraps. As Business Insider pointed out, her IMDB page states that she was born Rachel Meghan Markle.
We don't know for sure what made Markle embrace her middle name over her first, but a little alliteration does go a long way when it comes to a catchy stage name. And don't forget, Harry isn't her soon-to-be husband's given name either: it's actually Henry. It's no wonder these two get along.
Will Meghan Markle Use Her Real Name to Say Her Vows?
There’s no way to know for sure if Meghan will go by her given name or her middle name for her wedding, but if Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding is any indication, we will be hearing the name Rachel ring out at Windsor Castle.
You see, in 2011, Middleton went by her full name, Catherine, when saying her vows to Prince William. "I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward,” she said. This means odds are Meghan — we mean Rachel — will probably do the same.
Will Meghan Markle’s Name Change After She Marries Prince Harry?
Markle actually has more than one option for a last name after she marries Prince Harry. According to Town & Country, she could become Rachel Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor. This name reflects both the Queen’s surname, Windsor, and her husband Prince Philip’s surname, Mountbatten.
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."
However, just because the name is confirmed doesn’t mean the royals have to use it.
"Once married, Meghan will sign as Meghan, no last name. Just as Harry signs as Harry. Royals use only a first name," royal expert Marlene Koenig told Town & Country. According to Koenig, Harry will, however, most likely use the last name Mountbatten-Windsor when he signs the marriage registrar. "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," she said.
As for Markle's passports, credit cards, and official documents, those will all list her name as her royal title, according to Koenig, which has yet to be decided, though all bets are on Meghan and Harry becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.