ICYMI, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have shared the adorable news that they’ve welcomed a daughter named Lilibet Diana into the world. While Archie’s little sister will be known as Lili, her full name is all about paying tribute to family as Lilibet is the childhood nickname of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and the middle name of Diana honours the Prince’s late mother.
The news was shared publicly via an official statement from the couple's representatives, which read: "It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet 'Lili' Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world... The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family."
Like Archie, Lili’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor, and as well as being super sweet, this royal baby name news has got us thinking about dad Harry’s surname. Like, what actually is it?
The quick answer is: Harry doesn’t have an official surname. Those who use the title of His or Her Royal Highness aren’t given a last name like most of us, and Harry’s no different.
He’s listed on Archie’s birth certificate as His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex. (Let’s just take a moment here to reflect on the fact Harry’s real name is Henry. Never not mind blowing).
All of this begs the question, how come Archie and Lili have the surname Mountbatten-Windsor?
The double-barrelled surname was created in the 1960s, combining the surnames of the Queen and Prince Philip when they married. Mountbatten is the last name of Prince Philip’s maternal grandparents, while Windsor is the surname George V gave his descendants before our current Queen switched things up a bit.
The royal family’s website states: “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.”
Like big brother Archie, who was not given a royal title when he was born in 2019, Lili is not permitted to be a princess or have a HRH title, as they are both too far removed from the crown under rules set down more than 100 years ago.
That said, they will be entitled to become Prince and Princess Archie and Lili, both with HRH styles, after the death of the Queen, once their grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king.
So, let’s circle back to Harry, who still doesn’t appear to have a surname.
As he’s no longer using HRH, since stepping back his role as a senior working royal family member, Harry now has the choice of using Mountbatten-Windsor if he needs it, for things like official documentation, for example. (Anyone else imagining Harry filling out his car insurance forms or registering with a new GP?) He can also go by Prince Harry or Duke of Sussex, his commonly used monikers.
While serving in the Army, Harry adopted the surname ‘Wales’, reflecting his dad’s title (Charles, Prince of Wales). So he could use that, too, if he so wanted to keep some continuity. Although, since then, Harry’s become the Duke of Sussex, so might possibly prefer to opt for the surname ‘Sussex’.
This surname style is one currently being used by his nephews and niece – George, Charlotte and Louis – who use the last name ‘Cambridge’ at school, due to their mum and dad being the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Some royal protocol is plain old confusing, and this is one example of that, but to summarise, Harry has a bunch of surname options to use as and when needed. As for us? We need a tea break after all of that info.
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