What is Prince Harry’s last name now that he’s stepped down from royal duties?

Joanna Whitehead
·2-min read
Prince Harry in March 2020 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry in March 2020 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The news in January 2020 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be stepping back from their royal duties sent shockwaves across the world.

In an unprecedented move, the couple announced that they wanted to become “financially independent” and would be stepping back as “senior” members of the royal family

A statement shared to their now dormant Instagram account read: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution.

Watch: Who Is Prince Harry?

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.

“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”

Since the couple’s sensational interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, the public now has a greater insight into the many challenges facing the pair leading up to this decision.

But what impact does this shift have on Prince Harry’s last name? Here’s everything you need to know.

How has Prince Harry stepping back from royal duties affected his surname?

POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Due to Harry’s “prince” title, he doesn’t actually have a surname like most civilians.

The name he listed on son Archie’s birth certificate reads: His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex.

However, Archie’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor, a family name used for untitled descents who don’t use HRH (His or Her Royal Highness).

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.”

As Prince Harry is no longer using HRH, he has the choice of Prince Harry or Duke of Sussex. He is also entitled to use the last name Mountbatten-Windsor if he needs, such as on official documentation, for example.

It’s also worth mentioning that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children use the surname “Cambridge” at school, suggesting that Harry could theoretically adopt the last name “Sussex” if he so desired, although with so many different names to contend with, he probably wants to keep things simple.

And during his military career, Prince Harry actually adopted the surname “Wales”, becoming known as Captain Harry Wales.

If Henry is Prince Harry’s actual first name, why isn’t he known as Prince Henry?

It transpires that while Prince Harry was originally named Henry, Harry is actually a diminutive of Henry.

“Henry” is still used for formal occasions, such as the announcement of his wedding to Meghan Markle, for example. 

Watch: Prince Harry's ‘outstanding issues’ with his family have reportedly not been addressed

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